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Review: The Simple Life by Tara Sivec

*A standalone romantic comedy with a lot of heart*

Brooklyn Manning thought her life was perfect in every way, until it crumbled down around her and turned into a dumpster fire. With her pride wounded and her tail tucked between her legs, she leaves New York and goes back to her tiny hometown of White Timber, Montana.

No more twenty-four-hour taco trucks, no more shopping at the best designer stores within walking distance, no more giving taxi drivers the finger when they angrily honk at her. She didn’t think it could get any worse. But then Clint Hastings walked into the room and insulted her.

Her arch nemesis from high school is no longer a nerdy computer whiz, masturbating to pictures in PC World magazine in his free time (allegedly). He’s grown up to be a hot-as-hell cowboy, and she has no other choice but to be a smart ass right back to him. After all, it’s what they do. It’s what they’ve always done, and twelve years apart hasn’t changed anything.

Only this time, getting under each other’s skin is a hell of a lot more fun than it used to be.

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My Review

“Then Brooklyn walked back into my life, and it felt like I’d just woken up from a coma. Everything was louder, more colorful, brighter, newer, and more exciting. I couldn’t wait to wake up every day just to catch a glimpse of her.”

“She made me feel alive again for the first time in years.”

“You’re a pain in my ass. But fighting with you every day for a month has made me happier than getting along with someone else all my life. You drive me crazy, you turn me on more than any woman I’ve ever known, and you make me laugh. You’re stubborn, and smart, and strong and independent…”

The Simple Life is everything I’ve ever wanted or needed from a rom-com. Have you ever read a book that just had you laughing until tears came out of your eyes? A book with excellent banter and explosive chemistry? A book where the characters gave just as good as they got? A book that gave you all the feels and you never saw it coming? For me, that is this book. The Simple Life is hands down one of the best rom-com’s that I’ve read this year.

From the moment I picked up The Simple Life I was HOOKED. I mean completely and utterly sucked into the life of Brooklyn Manning. The things that happened to this woman, I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But, I’d be a liar if I said she didn’t have me laughing my butt off. With her life in shambles, I was excited to see how she would turn things around. And when a unexpected job fell into her lap that had her facing off with her arch nemesis. I just knew I was in for one heck of a ride. And let me tell you, Brooklyn and Clint do not disappoint. I love, love, loved the banter between the two of them. It was just so entertaining. They didn’t hold anything back and I just lived for the moments they were together because I didn’t know what they would say next! And the sparks! OMG, the sparks!! They were everywhere and so palpable. You just knew that if these two were to get over themselves, that they would be dynamite. I loved the push and pull and the flutters they gave my heart. I was swooning all over the place and couldn’t wait to see these two figure things out.

The Simple Life was a terrific read from beginning to end. I easily devoured this book in just a few short hours. It was everything I needed and then some. It was smart. It was funny. The story-line was addicting and kept me on my toes. The characters were real, flawed and just totally stole my heart. This story made me laugh so much, my cheeks still hurt as I’m typing up this review. It had the perfect amount of steam and just the right amount of drama. Simply put this story made me fall totally head over heels and I loved every single moment of it.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*


A few seconds later, the man I saw riding the horse out front walks into the room with his cowboy hat-covered head tipped down low so I can’t see his face, carrying Mia in his arms.

Oh, screw you, ovaries!

No, I still don’t like children, but come on! Seeing a hot, manly cowboy wearing tight jeans, with his cowboy boots thumping across the floor, and carrying a kid in his arms would make anyone weak. Too bad he’s Nicole’s husband. Damn. I should have paid better attention to her Facebook photos. Lucky, lucky girl.

And then he lifts his head and our eyes meet.

Wait just one damn minute. This isn’t possible. There’s no fucking way.

“You!” I shout, my eyes bugging out of my head.

“What the hell is she doing here?” he growls, setting Mia down on the ground.

My only source of happiness right now is that Mia presses her face to his jean clad leg and wipes her nose back and forth against the material, leaving a trail of snot behind.

Clint Hastings. Nicole’s older brother and my arch nemesis growing up.

Whatever. I know I’m not a superhero in a comic book, but this guy has been the bane of my existence since the day I met him when I was in kindergarten, he was in second grade, and he threw a rock at my head. I kicked him in his tiny nuggets first, since he told me I couldn’t play baseball with him and his friends because I was a girl, but that’s not the point. If this were a comic book and we were meeting in a dark alley, I’d be holding my fists above my head next to a talk bubble that says So, we meet again. Tonight I will get my revenge and you will die by my iron fists! WHAM! BAM! KAPOW!

I cannot believe I was checking out his ass when I got here. There’s got to be a bottle of bleach somewhere in this kitchen I can pour into my eyes.

“What am I doing here? What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be off in Silicon Valley becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg?” I ask, making sure my eyes stay above his neck and aren’t tempted to head south and see if those tiny nuggets hugged in his tight jeans grew in size since the last time I threw my foot into them.

Which would have been his senior year of high school, right here in this very kitchen, at his graduation party when he asked me if I bought the dress I was wearing in the toddler section.

It was a LBD! It was supposed to be tight and tiny, goddammit!

And seriously, what is he doing here? Last I heard through the high school grapevine, after he graduated from UCLA, he became a hotshot software developer at some huge company in Los Angeles and hadn’t been back home in years. Not that I ever asked. Or cared. You know, just idle chitchat after one too many glasses of wine and a friend request on Facebook from someone we went to high school with.

“Awww, have you been keeping tabs on me all these years, fancy pants? I knew you always had a thing for me.” Clint smirks.

“In your dreams. You smell like horse shit.”

“You look like horse shit,” he fires back, that stupid grin never leaving his face.

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