REVIEW: “Too Complicated” by Bethany Lopez

Bethany Lopez is bringin’ Geeky Back! “Reardon Lewis’ bringing sexy back.  To paraphrase Justin … “Them other boys don’t know how to act.  Chloe thinks you’re special, what’s behind your back?”  Apparently a butt you can bounce quarters off of.  In “Too Complicated” Reardon Lewis is Cherry Spring’s town lawyer and a really nice guy convinced he’ll always finish last.  He doesn’t realize he’s one of the town’s most eligible bachelors.  Reardon’s a closet geek, worshiping at the altars of Star Wars, Stan Lee, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Harry Potter.  For Reardon, Chloe Zahn’s the girl who got away, only she has no idea.  Chloe moves to Cherry Springs under complicated circumstances which make her feel wary and insecure.  This convoluted new family tree begun in the first installment of The Lewis Cousins series.  Setting the stage for Reardon and Chloe’s obstacle.

At a Super Bowl party Reardon attended with his cousin Gabe 15 years ago was when he saw Chloe.  In fact between the two cousins Reardon saw her first.  However a very tipsy Chloe came over and approached Gabe and one thing led to another.  Wild and impetuous backroom bar sex was involved.  Reardon never forgot the dark haired beauty and still regards her as the one who got away.  Years later Gabe learns a fifteen-year-old boy attending his summer football camp is his son from that bar bathroom hook-up.  What makes his more complicated is that Gabe has fallen in love with the boy’s aunt and Chloe’s sister Zoey.  As Gabe’s attorney he has to play the bad guy and protect his former NFL player cousin’s interests.  This hard-nosed stance doesn’t allow Reardon to be in a position to ask Chloe to a romantic dinner.

Chloe’s moved to Cherry Springs to be closer to her sister Zoey. It allows her son access to his father.  Making things complicated, Zoey’s engaged to Chloe’s son’s father. (Whew) Chloe’s under the impression Reardon still doesn’t like her.  This may be a result of his discombobulation around his longtime crush.  Unfortunately all of his cousins, and apparently Chloe’s son, knows he “likes her likes her”, and has for fifteen years.  So they’re all pushing to get them together.  Chloe’s happy to learn that Reardon truly doesn’t dislike her.  Since she’s new in town and has no friends, she tells him she’s happy to have at least one friend.  Curses.  Friend-Zoned.  His cousins encourage him to disregard that label.  In fact his cousin Dillon gets angry at Reardon.  He tells him, you’re a Lewis don’t worry about what people think about you.  You know what you want, go get it.

Mutual attraction leads to a kiss and an agreement to move toward a relationship slowly.  The wedding party imbibes in too many drinks and several shots at Gabe and Zoey’s wedding reception.  When Chloe wakes up half naked next to a completely naked Reardon in her bed slow is out the window.  After some thought Chloe decides she’s okay with it.  As for Reardon, he’s all in, he’s made his choice and Chloe’s his future.  There are some bump and misunderstandings along the way.  A big issue is Gabe’s mother isn’t accepting of Chloe, at all, which makes her feel unwelcome and terribly insecure.  However the biggest land mine’s a doozy.  It’s a situation that Chloe may not be able to come back from.

I’m loving Bethany Lopez’s The Lewis Cousins series.  “Too Complicated” has characters who’re all lovable and engaging.  The storyline, although not overly complex, is intriguing and entertaining.  The book’s pace moves quickly due in part to short chapters and alternating points of view.  Reardon’s a delightful Hero.  He’s humble, tush over tea kettle smitten with Chloe, and ready to protect and possess.  Reardon’s that rare and elusive unicorn – the Sexy Geek.  Chloe’s more complicated; a mash-up of bravery and vulnerability.  She’s walking into a large devoted family in a very small town.  Chloe’s at an immediate disadvantage with only two allies she can truly trust unconditionally.  Any social events she’s invited to are minefields of unwelcome-ness.  All the Lewis cousins are charming and likable leaving you hungry for their stories.  The Sporting Goods Store owning ginger, Dillon’s romance is up next.  I can’t wait!

I’m giving “Too Complicated” 5 Lightning Bolts and a Gale Warning.

 

This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed

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