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Monday, March 30, 2020

Mum's the Word by Staci Hart - Book Review

Yes! My favorite Bennet brother is here!

When I started seeing blurbs and info about this book, I kept seeing Staci telling us “your favorite Bennet brother is almost here”. Now I had a hunch she was probably right about that from what I already knew, but BOY was she right!! I’d tell her to get out of my head, but…ha, no I wouldn’t ;) Marcus is absolute perfection. Smart, logical, honest, and loyal to a fault with passion burning hot just beneath the surface (at least for the right woman), he’s everything I’ve been hoping for – plus a little more!

I really, REALLY loved this book (yes, really)! Since I read the series slightly out of order, I can absolutely tell you that all three of these books are stand-alones (I know some people worry about that, and I get it!). Although I feel that you get the most richness from the overall community story threads if you read them in order. I promise you; it’s not necessary – particularly here. If this is your first foray into the world of the Bennet family, you’ll find nothing lacking, and will not be disappointed.

So - why did I love Mum’s the Word? Well, the reasons are many, but the overarching theme is the relatability and richness of both the characters and the story. Staci Hart has SUCH a way with words – and an amazing attention to detail that brings her stories instantly to life. You’ll be hooked from the first word - just be warned.

We pick up with the Bennet family reaching the peak of their messy, unpleasant lawsuit with the wicked witch Evelyn Bower of Bower Bouquets. Bower will sacrifice anything and everything to take down the Bennets and their family flower business, Longbourne. Marcus Bennet has invested everything he owns and everything he is into saving his family’s legacy. He’s en route to a meeting on this very subject when he’s bowled over (literally) by Maisie, an adorable woman with whom he feels a deep and instant connection. After making dinner plans for that night, they go their separate ways. A more perfect meet-cute there never was! Alas, we are soon to find out that Maisie is Margaret Bower, Evelyn’s daughter. Though Marcus knows from that initial encounter that she is nothing like her mother, they both know that a relationship between them is asking for all sorts of familial trouble.

Although technically Marcus and Maisie were not themselves enemies, I think this is a most excellent spin on the enemies-to-lovers trope. The family histories and intertwined relationships going back generations are given to us at such well-timed moments to truly enhance their place in the story. The emotion of all the characters in this tale came through with every page – including the secondary characters – making this book simply unputdownable. The boisterous cast of Bennet siblings are such a fun range of personalities, and I just loved Maisie’s amazing dad.

Mum’s the Word is a true winner, classically combining “forbidden” romance, exceptional character depth, witty dialogue, and sexy fun. What a perfect read! I’m sad that the Longbourne setting has come to a close, but I’m SUPER excited that there are still two Bennet siblings waiting in the wings to share their stories!

My general rating rationale:

3 – Perfectly fine story, perhaps some minor editorial errors. Entertaining. Typically with this rating I feel like there could have been MORE – be it believably/relatability, character development, internal dialogue, explanations or depth, richness to the overall storyline, etc. May lose a bit of engagement here and there but always finish reading.
4 – A very good book. Engaging, with well-developed characters, a great plot, relatable scenarios; keeps you invested to the last page. Would recommend to reader friends.
5 – Can’t say enough amazing things, loved the characters, fabulously detailed plot, a quick hook, intense investment in both story and characters (including supporting characters) throughout the book. Will tell anyone who will listen that they should read it.

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