A Mess of Reason by A. Wilding Wells

A Mess of Reason by A Wilding WellsAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

“Scout Steele is the country music star People magazine just voted “sexiest bachelor”. More than that, he’s my best friend forever, my bff. OK, not quite my lingo – I’m almost thirty. We’ve shared everything, and then some. Even crossed the line a few times, but not too far. Well, mostly…. He’ll go to the end of the world to make me happy; he knows me inside and out. Except, that is, my most intimate and darkest defect; this he must never know. It would ruin us, and ‘us’ is the only thing that matters. So I’m marrying someone who doesn’t care about the truth or, frankly, even me.”

“She’s twisted and sexy as all get out. Brilliant and beautiful, Tess Harlow is my best friend and my forbidden fruit – the woman I’ve always known and loved the best but can never have. Between my tours (and sexy groupies) and her man-juggling, we’ve never found “our time”. I love her to pieces but she’s about to marry the bane of my existence, rocker Creed Luce. He’s a walking cliché and he treats my Tess like hell – why she stays with him I still haven’t figured out. I am always there for her…but not this time. Tess deserves better, way better, my better. The door is half-open and I have my ways. Her best friend is about to become her best lover.”

I’ve been trying for days to think of how to review this book. In fact, I’ve since read another book and I’ve half-composed that review in my head, and yet this one still eludes me. A Mess of Reason is aptly titled. This book is, to put it bluntly, a mess. It’s one of those where you read the blurb and think it’s going to be fabulous, and in reality it turns out to not be anything like what you expected.

Scout and Tess have been best friends forever. Friends without benefits, although there is plenty of flirting, touching, kissing, teasing…all in a platonic way. Scout Steele is a very famous singer/songwriter who has the world at his fingertips…including a steady supply of willing women. There is a long list of groupies and fellow celebrities who have shared his bed, but not one of them have shared his life. That’s because he only opens up to Tess – the one woman he can’t have.

Tess Harlow has known Scout forever. To her he’s not a music superstar. He’s just the guy she loves to hang out with – and secretly loves. Scout “gets” her more than anyone she’s ever had in her life, including her current fiancé. Tess knows, though, that taking their friendship into deeper territory would mean having to open herself up to Scout, and she can’t afford to take the chance that something she’s been hiding most of her life would send him running.

This book started out as the classic friends to lovers story, where both characters are completely in love with each other but they are afraid to admit it. Their careers have taken them to different places at different times, and their respective relationships have kept them apart even when they were together. That all changes when they find themselves in the same city, working together, and Scout decides he’s had enough of watching Tess give herself to everyone but him. He can’t let her marry her rock star boyfriend without at least trying to show her that his heart is hers.

Unfortunately Tess is too scared to acknowledge Scout’s feelings (or her own). She hides behind the “safe” relationship where she can pretend to be something she’s not. After one moment of insanity where they let their chemistry get the best of them, their relationship goes from playful friendly flirting to heart-wrenching emotion and desire. The question is, is Scout’s love strong enough to break down Tess’s walls?

I liked the story. I liked Scout. I had a harder time with Tess, and I had a really hard time with the two of them together. I wasn’t thrilled with their banter – it was more annoying than sexy. Some of the decisions each of them made were very questionable to me (oral sex while engaged to someone else isn’t cheating?). I’m also not a big fan of the writing in this book. It read more like a screenplay than a book – it was all internal dialogue and conversation. I didn’t really care about Tess and Scout, which is a must for me with romance.

I give A Mess of Reason by A Wilding Wells 2.75 stars

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