Series: Country Road #3
Published by Andrea Johnston on June 28, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Minnesota “Minnie” Walker has worked hard for the life she has – a close knit family, successful career, and long-term relationship. When a tragedy strikes, Minnie sacrifices everything to be there for her family. Never expecting a move to the small town of Lexington would change the course of her future, Minnie finds herself wondering if what she always thought was perfect is really what’s best for her … and her heart.
Owen Butler has lived in the town of Lexington his entire life. After years of feeling second best and wasting his time vying for the attention of his father, Owen has settled into an uncomplicated life. Not one to believe in happily ever after, he never expected the new woman in town to have him questioning everything he thought he wanted in life.
Together, under the rays of the moonlight, Owen and Minnie find themselves wondering what the future holds and if facing it together is worth the risk.
Martinis & Moonlight is the third book in the ‘Country Road Series’ by Andrea Johnston, and tells the story of Owen and Minnie. Both are side-characters from the previous books in the series, and I was curious for their own story, especially Minnie’s. Although I wanted to slap a certain person a few times, I’ve enjoyed Martinis & Moonlight very much.
“My heart is racing and my breath is ragged. I’d love to say it’s from seeing my life flash before my eyes. Or, from the fear and embarrassment of a box falling on me. It’s not. It’s because I know this body. I know this scent. Owen.”
Minnie is living the busy city-life with her boyfriend, until she finds out he doesn’t want to deal with the aftermath of her sister’s heartbreak. Knowing her sister needs her the most, Minnie gives up her own life and moves to Lexington to take care of her sister’s family. Still a bit hurt by her ex and buried in work and family life, Minnie is not looking for a guy, but cocky Owen is hard to resist.
Owen is your typical commitment-phobe. He’s good-looking (and knows it), charming, and popular with the ladies. But since he has had a front row seat to heartache, Owen doesn’t do love and relationships, just meaningless flings. Minnie however is different, and for her Owen tries to be better.
“I note a slight shudder from Minnie when I speak her full name. I’m not sure if it’s a shudder of disgust or lust but either way, it causes her cheeks to pinken and I like that. “Well, it was, uh, nice to see you. I should…”
As co-workers and part of the same group of friends, Minnie and Owen spend a lot of time together. Minnie is very well aware of Owen’s reputation, but she’s also attracted to him. Her life is busy and in no need of drama, so she wants to keep Owen in the friend-zone. The same with Owen; he knows Minnie is special, but friendship is all he has to offer. But the sparks cannot be ignored, so the couple sneaks around, and it’s hot and sexy. Of course, the casual arrangement is doomed to fail, so Owen and Minnie are getting a bumpy road to their Happily Ever After.
Like the other books in this series, Martinis & Moonlight is a well written story with real-life characters. I love Minnie, she’s a sweet woman who everything she can to help her sister. I love that she has a good bond with her family, I’ve read too many books lately where this isn’t the case. Owen… I don’t know what to do with you. I get your issues, but I want to slap you quite a few times. For a smart guy, you can act pretty immature…
“I was a fool for not realizing I love you.” Overwhelmed, I grab his face and kiss him. I kiss him for the words he spoke, for the feelings he’s sharing, for the amount of strength and trust it is taking for him to say this to me. “I love you, too.”
I’ve enjoyed reading Martinis & Moonlight, but due to Owen and his ‘stupidity’ I give this story 4 stars.
~ by Marieke
This week has been particularly quiet in the office, and as much as I hate to admit it, I’d even take an encounter with Owen at this point. Yep, be careful what you wish for.
The door to the office opens and I sense him before I hear him. Maybe it’s that I smell him. Not smell in a gross way, but a way that is like some weird mating call. I’m sure there’s a name for that but I can’t think of it because there he is, walking toward me in a pair of khaki cargo shorts, a sleeveless T-shirt that, thanks to the sweat on his body, is clinging to his torso and chiseled chest, and a pair of sunglasses sitting atop his head. That smile I mentioned taking over his face as he gets closer to my desk has me quickly looking away in embarrassment. I know he can tell that he affects me. I know my tell-tale giveaway to embarrassment has completely taken over my arms, neck, and cheeks in a glorious shade of strawberry.
“Well, Miss Walker, fancy meeting you here.”
“Oh, hey.” I don’t take my eyes from my screen and very diligently read the same line over and over. Why does he make me nervous? I don’t get nervous.
“Here are some invoices for you and I signed off on the time cards for my crew.”
I finally lift my eyes from my screen to see Owen sitting in the chair in front of my desk, leaning back so he is rocking on the back two legs of the chair, with his arms crossed, and a smirk on his face. The same smirk he usually offers me before not so subtlety suggesting something flirtatious.
“Thanks. Checks will be ready Monday as usual. Was there anything else?”
“What’re your plans this weekend? Date with your boyfriend? Painting your nails with the squirt?”
Clicking the save icon on the spreadsheet I’m working on, I sit back in my seat, crossing my feet at the ankle while folding my arms, and contemplating how to answer this. He’s trying to get to know me and I promised myself I’d be open to new friendships. Owen Butler is a lot of things, and while I’m not sure he’s completely harmless, I doubt he’s much more than talk.
“No boyfriend,” I casually respond before whispering under my breath, “anymore.”
“What? Some schmuck let you go? What a loser.”
I snort out a laugh; I guess my whisper was louder than I thought. The more I’ve thought about my relationship with Kent, the more appropriate a word like “schmuck” is a perfect way to describe him. Boring, self-absorbed, career driven, and missionary style are also other ways.
“Well anyway, I’m actually going to just hang out this weekend. The girls are going with my parents and it’ll be the first time in weeks I’ve had time to myself. How about you? Got a date?”
Owen chokes on what I think was supposed to be a laugh, startling me a little while simultaneously sending a little shiver down my spine to my lady bits. His voice is deep and gravelly, as is his attempt to laugh, almost like he doesn’t do it very often and his vocal cords don’t know how to respond.
“Yeah, I don’t date. Hook up maybe, but dating indicates I’m interested in a relationship and that’s not the case.”
“I hear ya. A relationship is the last thing on my mind these days.”
We sit in silence for a few ticks before Owen clears his throat and rests his chair on all four feet. I follow suit by sitting up more in my chair and grabbing my mouse. A few clicks and Owen stands and then taps the top of my monitor.
“You should call the girls.”
I look up at him, slightly confused, but not before acknowledging the sweat has dried from his torso while his shirt still clings to his skin. He must notice my gaze has lingered a little longer than necessary because he offers me that smirk again.
“Sorry, the girls – Piper and Ashton. Me and the guys are heading to the lake for a little fishing so I’m sure they’re around.”
“Oh.” The realization of how much my life has changed in the last few months struck me; when he said “the girls,” I thought of my nieces. “Yeah, uh, maybe.”
“Well, all right then. Have a good weekend, Minnesota. See ya next week.”
I don’t bother asking Owen to not call me by my full name. I know he knows it’s not my preference. And honestly, for whatever reason, it doesn’t bother me when he says it. I would never tell him that, but it’s true.