Review: Love and Happiness

This is a review of Love & Happiness by author Ben Burgess, Jr
Warning this may contain spoilers oh and I get a little potty mouthed on this one. get your copy

The story opens up with us in bed with Karen. Honestly you feel kind of nasty and broken right along with her. This is my first time reading this author and I must say he has absolutely nailed the art of drawing you in. I was legitimately pissed off at his character. That's a great sign. The characters all have vibrant, tangible personalities. He tells the story from each main character's perspective and it is done well.

So let's talk about Karen shall we...
Reading the first few paragraphs and you are thinking this "b" has lost her mind. She is selfish, self absorbed and stupid to a fault. She has what most women want- a loving doting, totally faithful, handsome, working husband, two beautiful children and a successful career. Sounds like a pretty fucking ok life to me. But oh no...shocker! that life is not enough. (Insert a broken violin and some stinky cheese with that whine) So lets say we play the pity party for just a second, so she cheats to feel validated, passionate, what the hell ever...with one man...ok we can kinda forgive her right?  but two... now that's just one dick too many for a supposedly respectable woman.

Enter the sexy...
Chris is the fantasy man we all dream about and envision when we read romance stories. Tall, dark, handsome, hardworking, mechanically inclined and good with the kids. He is distant but he is faithful. He is trusting and a little naive. (Just like we like them)

Lets wrap it all in a drama sandwich...
The cast of friends and lovers are both enablers, instigators and at times the voice of reason. They help to keep the story moving right along with their outrageous behavior and opinions. Each person is perfectly balanced in their role in Chris and Karen's life. Their individual involvements help to show the tragedy of cheating and realistically portrays how those events can touch and effect everyone involved. The search for happiness is a cataclysmic snowball that sweeps everyone in its path along for the ride. The situations are totally believable and you will find yourself talking out loud at the book.

I love how the woman gets to be the antagonist and is well defined in what many like to think is a spot held traditionally by males. Bravo for gender equality!

After all is read and done...
This story has many moving parts. It is emotional, funny and engaging. We get to see and experience the story through the eyes of the MCs Karen and Chris and although I was hard on the chick in the beginning, as the plot unfolds the writer brings you along with her and you begin to understand Karen a little better. The back stories help to fill in all of the gaps. It shows our capacity to grow, how our actions cause other actions and don't always have the intended outcome. As crazy at it seems, there is growth, wisdom, forgiveness, love  and lessons learned all packaged in a neat little book called Love and Happiness.

As we all know, I do not read a lot of urban romance but this one I will highly recommend. This is really good and entertaining writing. At times the word choices are brash so be prepared. This is not your mothers' romance novel. The sex scenes don't carry the book, the actual story does.

Author Ben Burgess Jr has managed to capture all of the volatility of love- romance, cheating, heartache and heartbreak, death and forgiveness into one expertly woven tale. He has masterfully sidestepped the traditionally genre boring diatribe of ghetto life, drugs and money that seems to be the lifeblood of a lot of urban writing and given us a story anyone can enjoy.

I would say he is on par with Eric Jerome Dickey.

I give this novel 5 stars

Get a copy for yourself and one for your friend, this book is one you will want to keep talking about!

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Karen has it all: a handsome husband, beautiful twin daughters, a lovely home and a great job. Karen also has a secret; she’s cheating on her husband, with not one man, but two. On the outside her life seems perfect, but on the inside Karen feels neglected, bored and unappreciated. Yearning for affection and excitement, she falls into the arms of first Raheem and then Tyrell. Out of fear of losing her husband and breaking up her family, Karen ends the affairs but things don’t turn out how she planned...

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