Review: TURN IT UP by Vivian Arend

Maxwell Turner considers his stubborn and resourceful attitude a plus. After all, it usually gets him what he wants—except for Natasha Bellingham. The long-time family friend may be ten years older than he, but so what? He’s plenty old enough to know they belong together. Now all he has to do is convince her.

Over the past few years Natasha’s love life has degenerated into a series of bad clichés. Her biological clock is ticking—loudly. As a proven architect with her own house-design company, she’s financially ready for a baby. Who says she needs a permanent man in her life for that? She just needs a “donation”.

When Max discovers Natasha’s future plans include artificial insemination, he’s outraged. She wants to get pregnant? No problem. He’s more than willing to volunteer—no turkey basters involved.

But there’s one non-negotiable clause: He wants forever. And he intends to do everything in his power—fair and unfair—to make it happen.

Warning: This title contains one younger man ready, aimed and hell bent on giving one woman everything she wants. Includes interludes against the wall, in a Jacuzzi, on a car hood and even—shockingly enough—on a bed or two. Oh, and about that porch swing? Yup…


Title: TURN IT UP
Author: Vivian Arend
Series: The Turner Twins, book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2011, February 8
Format: eBook
Source: Bought via Samhain’s eBook store

First line:
The doors of the Sugar Shack swung shut behind her and Natasha Bellingham drew a sigh of relief, thankful to get out of the blinding morning sunshine.

Memorable Scenes:
– the dry hump scene at the building-site > wow…
– porch swing scene > double wow…
– ultrasound scene > sweet and emotional

The book TURN IT UP is a prequel to was TURN IT ON. I have fond memories of TURN IT ON as it was my very first unsolicited ARC-review request and it was my first encounter and the beginning of a beautiful bookish online relationship with the fabulous and lovely Vivian Arend. Soon after I reviewed TURN IT ON in January 2010 I discovered (Viv told me) Max’s story was in the making and from that moment on I was anxiously awaiting this story. When it was finally available and loaded onto my e-reader I read it like a starved person at an all-you-can eat buffet and I wasn’t disappointed.

TURN IT UP is the story of Natasha “Tasha” Bellingham. A talented architect who is also a bit of a control-freak and she likes to be in charge and on top of things. She’s cool, unflappable, pragmatic, bossy and let’s not forget as stubborn as they come. Her co-star is Maxwell “Max” Turner who owns Computer-software Company. Max is caring, sweet, laidback, smart and most of all very patient. The man has the patience of a saint and paired with his tenacity Tasha never stood a chance against his persuasive and seductive powers!

Max has been in love and pursuing Tasha since he was 17. When in a drunken stupor she lets it slip she wants to start a family by becoming a single mom he grabs his chance to finally get his woman. Max and Tasha were a perfect match and I really enjoyed their story. Banter and little internal emotional battles alternated with sexual chemistry that just burst off the pages. I was sucked in from first page to the last and rooting for Max all the way.

If you read my reviews or know me well enough to know my reading preferences you’ll be sick of hearing that one of my favorite tropes is the older woman-younger man trope. I have a few others, such as the friends=to=lovers and the ménage tropes and Vivian Arend once again combined two of my favorite tropes into a wonderful contemporary read.

One itty-bitty thing that bothered me in this book was the Lila (Tasha’s friend and Max’s cousin) situation. I kept waiting for a logical explanation for her behavior and attitude but the only one given was plain age-old jealousy and since I am not familiar with that emotion and think being jealous is a waste of time I couldn’t relate to her very much and took Tasha’s side in the “fight” to the very end.

This is definitely another one of my favorite Vivian Arend books. It had it all: heat and explicitness, pace, tropes I love and main characters I totally clicked with, a hero who shot to the top of my favorites list and last but not least the right amount of back-story and secondary stuff to create a perfect balance. Thank you, Ms. Arend for once again keeping me entertained and for never disappointing me when I open one of your books to read.

Favorite Quotes:
Max sank his fingers into her thick mane of dark hair and let his satisfaction escape in a low moan. God, he’d wanted to do that forever, and last night refusing her sexual advances had taken him to the breaking point. He needed this so badly he felt raw inside, aching with need for a taste of her.

His brain and body fought a battle for which could react the fastest. She was accepting his proposal. He was going to be with the woman he’d longed for his entire life. They were going to have sex and start a lifetime together. And have sex.

Max: “You tell me what you like and I’m game to try.”
“ Jesus . How can you talk while you’re fooling around?”
(…)
“I like talking when I’m fooling around. I like to tell you the dirty things I want to do to you. You make me hot.”
Tasha growled at him. “Bastard. I was so close.”
“I know, but you’ll get there again. And again. And again.”

Tasha ached as Max wept, his arms cradling her tenderly. That something inside that longed for a love without end—that place she’d had tied up tight and hidden away fearing it could never, ever be—snapped wide open.

Tasha wiped away the tears flooding her eyes. There was no more denying it—how much she loved him. It had taken far too long to admit it, but it was there, inside her.
No rockets went off, no loud thunderclaps or brilliant fanfare accompanied her realization. Only tightness in her throat, and a building joy to melt the final layers of icy fear that had coated her heart for so long.

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