From USA TODAY BESTSELLING authors of Cruel and Beautiful, A.M. Hargrove and

Terri E. Laine bring a new full-length standalone New Adult Contemporary

Romance. This novel includes mature content, not suitable for younger readers.

(Rated R)


Man Whore, Player, Heartbreaker are all familiar names to Ben Rhoades. He

prefers Money Man or Sex God, but he doesn’t let other people’s opinions rule

him. And he’s only gotten worse without his compass, his best friend, whose

devastating death at a young age has taught him a valuable lesson about not

getting too close to anyone … ever. Until one smart and stubborn woman with

eye-catching curves throws him for a loop and refuses to be tamed.


Calhoun has her life on track even after the shattering break-up with the guy

she’d thought she’d wanted to marry. With her chin held high, she focuses on

her career, building her business and making a success of it all. Only a chance

meeting has her lost in a set of alluring steel gray eyes that have her steps

faltering and her heart leaping out of her chest. Forewarned by

not-so-flattering rumors plus his no-holds-bar rules, she tries desperately to

play his game while guarding her heart.


Only they have no idea of

the journey they’re about to undertake when their lives collide. Ultimately

they’ll tackle the biggest test of their lives because she is his game changer.

The one, who through the ensuing wreckage, can domesticate the mess of a man

that he is.





There is finality to the sound of the door

closing behind her. A sort of tormenting peace knowing the end has come. It’s

not like I should have expected things to go on this way for long. How could



I stare holes in the walls as if I can still see

her, the one woman I let in.


Sweeter than peach cobbler, she hardly has a

bad thing to say about anybody—until now. Her parting description of me,

beginning with ass and ending with hole, reverberates through my hollow heart,

as I stand here rooted to my spot. I’m not even shocked, as this isn’t the

first time I’ve been on the receiving end of that sentiment. I’m only surprised

because I don’t think I’ve ever heard her so much as mutter a single curse word

before. And the first time I do, it’s aimed squarely at me.


My hands tighten around a tumbler filled with

amber liquid before I toss back its contents hoping for oblivion or something

close to it. This road is so familiar. Only this time is different. I never

cared like I do now. She means more to me than a quick fuck. Hadn’t I been

about to tell her just that? How could things have gone wrong so fast?

Don’t be a dumbass. You can still fix this.


Instead, I stubbornly stay embedded to my

spot because nothing can change the outcome. It’s a truth she and I know will

haunt me until my last breath. And it’s created a wall between us I’m unable to

climb … even if you gave me a damn ladder.


I’ve never been much of a risk-taker when it

comes to matters of the heart. I can fill a bank account with a number having

many zeros behind it from my astute choices in the market. But I can’t be a man

a woman stays with. Hadn’t I warned her about that too?

Unable to see past my own shitty existence, I

long for her to come back. I want to believe it’s all been some kind of mistake

and I can forget what I know to be true. As the seconds continue to tick by,

the inevitability that things are really over sinks in. My window of

opportunity quickly closes as fast as her car door slams and the engine fires

to life.


She’s so close, yet miles away. The longer I let the minutes expand between us I know distance won’t make the heart grow fonder. But maybe it’s for the best. Love, or whatever masquerades as it, just isn’t enough for the dirty, fucked up truth. Right when things were better than I ever expected, facts messed it up.


Groaning, I launch the crystal glass worth a small fortune at the door I can’t seem to force myself towards. A beautiful show of light plays off the shards as they cascade down in an explosion of fireworks. Visually, it’s what I feel inside as desolation constricts and then obliterates my chest because the best thing I ever had is gone … leaving me with only the certainty I’m meant to be with her.


I love you, I whisper for the first time and in place of goodbye. She left me and will never hear it. I can only pray we both survive what’s to come.


by Victoria


This for me is an absolutely beautiful and touching story and I loved every moment I spent in it.

A Mess of a Man is a book that feels like it has taken over my heart and I know it will forever have a place there. Yes it’s a love story but it’s the journey that the story takes that will leave you speechless, floored and your heart melting.

Ben and Sam have become one of my favourite book couples and meeting them has been an amazing experience. Ben will have you falling in love with him, breaking your heart, wanting to throttle him, all before completing the circle and making you fall back in love with him all over again. He’s a complex character, one that is certain of what he wants from life and is not afraid to go out and get it. He’s also a character who is trying to piece himself himself back together after suffering a huge loss, but like a lot of men, emotions aren’t one of his stronger points nor is dealing with them. Sam is a woman I admire with all my heart. She is a wonderful character to read. She’s funny and sassy with a heart of pure gold. She is surrounded by a tough but loving family and some absolutely amazing friends who all have her back and are there to offer unwavering support. Together the pair will have you going through a whole host of emotions and you will feel every last one of them.

This for me personally is a story about heart and it will certainly pull on your heartstrings. It’s beautifully written and the world the story has been created in is so very easy to lose yourself in.

Ladies, you have done an outstanding job creating A Mess of a Man!

***ARC given in exchange for an honest review on behalf of my co-owned blog United by Books***


A.M. Hargrove:

One day, on her way home from work as a

sales manager, USA Today bestselling author, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life

was on fast forward and if she didn’t do something soon, it would be too late

to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So she

made a quick decision to quit her job and reinvented herself as a Naughty and

Nice Romance Author.

She fancies herself all of the following:

Reader, Writer, Dark Chocolate Lover, Ice Cream Worshipper, Coffee Drinker

(swears the coffee, chocolate, and ice cream should be added as part of the

USDA food groups), Lover of Grey Goose (and an extra dirty martini), #WalterThePuppy

Lover, and if you’re ever around her for more than five minutes, you’ll find

out she’s a non-stop talker.

Terri E. Laine:


E. Laine, USA Today bestselling author, left a lucrative career as a CPA to

pursue her love for writing. Outside of her roles as a wife and mother of

three, she’s always been a dreamer and as such became an avid reader at a young



her early years, she and her best friend would tell each other stories over the

phone when they were bored. They called them their “soap operas” and

generally revolved around whatever boy they liked at the time.


years later, she got a crazy idea to write a novel and set out to try to

publish it. With over a dozen titles published under various pen names, the

rest is history. Her journey has been a blessing, and a dream realized. She

looks forward to many more memories to come.

Connect with A.M. Hargrove:


Connect with Terri:


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