In anticipation for the Kindle World’s Until crossover series (also known as the “Happily Ever Alpha Kindle World”), based on Aurora Rose Reynolds’ Until Him/Her series, I’ve gone and read some of the authors crossing over. It’s releasing in April 2018 and I am so excited, because I seriously love the whole Mayson crew. (And Until Harmony comes out March 6th, look for my review after it’s released!)
The first author I picked up was Brynne Asher, and the Carpino series, because Byrnne’s novel, Until Avery, will be a crossover with this series. And Ms. Asher, I NEED MORE! It was a short series, only three books, but there were so many people that could have had a story, and the family is just so crazy, that I cannot wait until Avery releases. I need more Carpino’s in my life.
The first novel is Overflow, starring Gabby Carpino and Jude Ortiz.
Gabby is an interior decorator, not designer don’t mess it up, with a huge, crazy Italian family. After decorating her friend’s laundry room, the FBI and ATF come barging in, hand cuff her, and pat her down. Jude Ortiz is the FBI agent that pat her down, and then barges his way into her life when she could be in even more danger. Jude, with his police get up, ability to put Gabby in a Jude coma with his kisses, and his bossy-ness, not-so-slowly moves into Gabby’s life and home, protecting her and going out of his mind with worry. Because as much as Gabby likes Jude’s bossy behavior, she still gets her way when she wants to.
This book started out slow. So slow, I was seriously worried if I would be able to finish it. I loved Gabby and Jude almost from the beginning, but because Gabby is an interior decorator, it seemed the first chapter was dedicated to just the laundry room Gabby had designed. Gabby’s eye for detail certainly made her job a profitable one, but the paragraphs dedicated to just how a room looked, were not for me. I bullied through, and I am so glad that I did. Gabby and Jude’s love story is one that I don’t think I will ever be able to get over. It has the perfect amount of struggle and darkness, and tons of comedy to keep it light, and fun.
After giving Overflow 4 stars, I moved onto Beautiful Life.
This story had some more darker themes to it. Leigh, who is Gabby’s best friend since they were 8, has an abusive ex-husband, whom she left because she got pregnant and he beat her. She miscarried. Tony Carpino, who is Gabby’s cousin, who’s always had a thing for Leigh but waited too long, slowly moves in so he can get his chance to be with her. Leigh, who is still struggling with the four years she spent with her husband, and still coming to terms with how to be Leigh again, tries to ignore her feelings for Tony. Gabby was in a Jude Coma, Leigh had Tony Torture. Little touches, gentle caresses, that Tony gave Leigh to show her that he was not Preston, he would never be Preston, and he was going to wait until she was ready. He pushed, just enough for Leigh.
This book was a little darker in it’s nature. Leigh’s life was a hard one, but Brynne makes expertly navigates the emotional trauma Leigh suffered, and Tony’s struggle to be with Leigh, help her move forward with her life and not be stuck living in her mental prison, but also end up happy with her. The one thing that bothered me, that bothers me about all books that have an extreme emotional and physical trauma, is that everyone says their fine and they don’t need to see a therapist. Like going to therapy is a bad thing. Therapy is not bad! And I’d love to see more authors writing a more accepting view of therapy.
But I think that’s more my personal issue than an actual issue with the book. I have never been the victim of physical abuse so I don’t know how it feels to be abused by someone, and I can’t tell if this accurately portrays that. I do know, that it was believable.
My one question: for all that Gabby and her friends complained about Preston being an asshole, and never seeing Leigh, how could they not know that he was being abusive?! It seemed pretty obvious to me.
Still 4 out of 5 stars!
The last of the series is my favorite installment, Athica Lane.
This is the story that, start to finish, kept me smiling and laughing. Paige Carpino meets Cam Montgomery after literally bumping into him at a burger store. After they’re both a mean to each they’re both mean to each other, they go their separate ways thinking they will never see each other again. But, Paige is watching his kids while her sister Sophia is on her anniversary vacation. While Cam would love to never see her again, and vice-versa, Cam’s kids quickly fall in love with her. Cam and Paige struggle with some crazy events, and Cam struggles with his ex-wife Bekki with an i (please read this novel so you can understand that reference), and the damage she did to him when she left him with two kids.
The third installment of the Carpinos includes two crazy families, a lot of psychos, and some more darker themes. This is probably the craziest of the three books when it comes to struggles, but it is also my favorite. I was engaged from beginning to end, constantly waiting for the next part, the next crazy antic that would happen. My favorite part? There’s something that Paige wants that Cam can’t give her, and she sticks with it. She agrees there’s things she has to do, to stay safe; she agrees there’s things she has to do for the kids, and will do everything she can to protect them; but she will not give up her dreams. And she doesn’t force Cam.
I do love a strong heroine.
This book? 5 stars. Hands down.
“You’re going to go down in the books as a first class donkey face with a pile of shit on your head.” – Jen Montgomery
Quotes like the one above are what made me laugh out loud, literally. Brynne’s writing is amazing. And she truly brings the Carpino family to life. I cannot wait to continue reading more of Brynne’s work.