The Donnigans series, book 2
by Marie Harte
Genre: Spicy Contemporary Romance
A FLING MIGHT BE JUST THE THING...
Gavin Donnigan left the Marine Corps a shell of a man, hounded by guilt for deaths he couldn't prevent. But teaching a self-defense class at the local gym brings some stability to his life―along with a gorgeous woman who won't give him the time of day.
Zoe York lost her twin sister to a freak car accident a few months ago. She's been struggling to bury her grief, but it isn't until she signs up for a self-defense class with its distractingly hot instructor that she begins to come out of her shell again. With the memory of her sister telling her to live a little, Zoe decides a fling with buns-of-steel Gavin Donnigan might be just the thing.
Soon they're sparring both in and out of the gym. And for the first time in a long time, each is looking forward to tomorrow.
“Wasn’t sure if you liked coffee or tea, but thought I couldn’t go wrong with cocoa.”
The moment seemed like a freeze frame from the most romantic scene ever. She still tasted chocolate. The moon overhead lit everything with a preternatural glow. The scents of earth and lavender and Gavin filled her head, until she could focus on nothing but him.
“Gavin?” She didn’t know what she was asking him for, but the promise of safety in his eyes drew her closer.
“I’m gonna kiss you now,” he said, his voice low, warm.
He leaned closer at the same time she did.
Their coming together felt amazing. Perfect. Right. The kiss shook her. Deep, sensual, yet not as close as she wanted. His tongue swept her mouth, caressing while he took charge of the embrace. But not once did he overwhelm her. Instead, she followed him, sip for sip, and let the rush of her heartbeat pull her into a tide of longing she couldn’t suppress. Not now, surrounded by all her favorite things.
“Gavin,” she murmured when he kissed his way from her mouth down her cheek to her throat.
He pulled her to him, but their clothes kept them too far apart. Gentle bites down her throat ended in a soft kiss that caused a full-body shiver.
“Cold?” he whispered as he straightened.
She shook her head, unable to speak, and blinked into his shuttered gaze. Then he made everything worse. He tucked her head under his chin and hugged her with affection. No way she could chalk this up as a gambit to get her to bed, not when he had the gall to make her feel.
With a sigh, he ended the embrace and pulled back. “Now show me which ones I can pull and which ones I can’t.” He nodded at the third flower bed they hadn’t gotten to yet, not winded or affected by their kiss, apparently. Hell. Zoe couldn’t feel his heartbeat through their clothes, but hers raced like a thoroughbred intent on taking the Triple Crown.
The bastard had the nerve to wipe a clean thumb over her lower lip, causing that thoroughbred to run past the finish line with no signs of stopping.
“I have the urge to flip you again, right here,” she rasped. For starting something he wouldn’t finish. And for making her want to finish it, regardless of their newness.
He smirked, as if reading her mind. “I know. I can’t stop thinking about us in the gym either.”
“That’s not what I meant.”
He wiggled his brows. “I think it is. Next time I’m flat on my back, I’ll be thinking only of you, mistress.”
“You’re such a pain.”
“I know. It’s a gift.”
She wanted to smack him, so she did. When his laughter ended, she pulled him close and planted a kiss on him that had him panting and grabbing for her—but this time she had the presence of mind to disentangle herself. “Now,” she said, her voice hoarse, “grab that trowel and let’s get back to work.”
He kept staring at her mouth. “Trowel?”
She groaned, because she wanted to get back to that kiss as well. “Why me?”
✯✯✯✯ ...the power to break your heart and heal it.
Over the years, I have become a fan of Ms. Harte's contemporary romances. Sure her stories have a tendency to get steamy but behind all the foreplay lie some deeply meaningful messages. In the case of Gavin and Zoe, theirs is a quest for hope. Gavin lost his fighting for a world that he feels like a stranger in. Nightmares and guilt are his constant companions in a world filled with loneliness and despair. For Zoe, her anguish lies in losing a piece of soul. The death of her twin has left her searching for who she is and what comes next in her life. The loneliness is overpowering and the pain cuts deep for both, but the oddest thing happens. Out of the darkness, they find strength in each other. Just The Thing has the power to break your heart, but between the author and her awesome lead characters it also has the will to heal it. by Isha C. on July 04, 2017 via Kobo
✯✯✯✯ This is a very nice, fast paced romantic comedy that actually deals with the side effects of grief as well as PTSD and survivor’s guilt. I enjoyed both Gavin and Zoe although Gavin’s behavior was a little juvenile at times for a thirty-two year old man. His family’s prank war was hilarious and entertaining but I felt like there were moments that it overtook the story. However, my heart hurt for Gavin when he had to face his past and make a decision on how to deal with it. Zoe’s character remained strong and dedicated. She was willing to do whatever Gavin needed to find healing.
This was a fun read with some serious moments, plenty of humor, and some extra spicy bedroom play. No real epilogue and the ending sets us up for Gavin’s sister Hope. by carvanz on July 3, 2017 via Barnes and Noble
✯✯✯✯✯ Love Gavin & Zoe’s Story!!!
Just the Thing is the 2nd storyline in the Donnigan Family following Gavin Donnigan and Zoe York. It is a contemporary journey between two grief-stricken wounded souls that find each other, connect and fall in love. Their journey to each other is not easy; their emotional experiences, thoughts, dialogue and chemistry is very real. You experience a wide range of emotions while reading Just the Thing. It has it all and MORE! It is a very substantial story; you are witness to the power of love, laughter, familial bonding & pranks and satisfying sex. I laughed out loud at the humor Marie Harte so cleverly weaves within moments of pain, love, grief, passion and very scorching sex between Gavin & Zoe. Gavin & Zoe are two people that are relatable to men & women in this day and age. Marie Harte eloquently deals with real world issues of Survivor’s Guilt and PTSD within Just the Thing. Marie Harte weaves magic in creating the Donnigan Family – you want all of them to be your own Family!! Like, her first Donnigan Story - A Sure Thing, I did not want Just the Thing to end...ever. Marie teases us at the end of the Just the Thing with a peak into sister Hope Donnigan’s story that will be coming out next. *I received an e-version ARC of Just the Thing and I LOVE the Donnigan’s so much, I bought A Sure Thing & Just the Thing in paper format also!! by Anya Z.on July 9, 2017 via Amazon
✯✯✯✯✯ In JUST THE THING by Marie Harte, Zoe York has always played by the rules. She never takes risks and has always played it safe. However, when her twin sister suddenly dies, it throws her life into turmoil. Her sister was the kind of person who always had fun and always encouraged Zoe to live a little. Now alone, Zoe is looking at her life and trying to decide how to honor her sister’s memory by moving forward in a manner that takes her out of her comfort zone so she can try new experiences.
Gavin Donnigan is teaching a self-defense class Zoe is taking at the local gym. He loves women and in particular thinks Zoe is banging hot. The only problem–she won’t give him the time of day. He tries his best lines on her, but she does not seem interested. Other women seem to enjoy his company, but the woman who really intrigues him barely glances his way. This is so frustrating.
JUST THE THING is book 2 in The Donnigans Series and is about two people who have each hit a crisis in their lives. Zoe is reeling from her sister’s death and trying to figure out what to do next. Gavin is a former Marine who is recovering from being wounded both physically and mentally while serving his country. He’s trying to get his life together and fears it will not happen. Keeping his past relationships light and flirty has helped him get through some really tough times, but he realizes that won’t work with Zoe. The more he gets to know her, the more he dreams of having a normal life. He needs to address the post traumatic stress disorder he suffers from before he can even begin to think of having the kind of life he really wants.
I really enjoyed this book by Marie Harte. My heart went out to both main characters who suffered such horrendous losses. However, even when things got hard, they kept putting one foot in front of the other, facing their demons until finally, they both realize just how much stronger they are when they are together. This is a great book to start off your summer by reading. by BPoston via Romance Junkies Book Reviews
Meet the Donnigans
With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone's mind...
Can this Bossy Badass Marine...
The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life...until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.
Be her Mr. Right?
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men-not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.
THE ONLY THING
Releasing in 2018, date TBD
On the cusp of turning thirty, Hope Donnigan is getting her life together. She’s working in a job she likes, has good friends, and has finally stopped dating Mr. Wrong. Entirely. So she should have no problem ignoring J.T. Webster. He’s big, bad, and totally what she should be steering clear of.
J.T. fell for the hot blonde months ago at his sister’s wedding. Having seen what love did to his father, he’s never felt close to a permanent relationship with a woman. But Hope gets to him. When he agrees to be her pretend boyfriend to annoy her mother, he never expects their fake relationship will be better than anything real he’s ever had. Before he knows it, he’s falling in love and not sure what to do about it.
But someone else wants Hope all to himself, and that someone isn’t happy about J.T. being in the picture. Soon, J.T. and Hope will have to deal with a secret admirer, her protective family, his annoyed sister, and their feelings for each other, which aren’t so pretend. But sometimes, there’s only one thing to do when you’re falling in love. And that’s let yourself go.
Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte has over 100 books published with more constantly on the way. She’s a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit Marie's website and fall in love.