How the Playboy Got Serious

Author: Shirley Jump

Publisher: Harlequin

Release Date: August 7, 2012

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5.0


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Riley McKenna and his two brothers lost their parents at a young age and were brought up by their grandparents. Now his brother Finn is married with a child and another on the way, while his other brother Brody is a doctor and is taking his talents overseas to help the disadvantaged. Meanwhile, Riley works for his grandparents’ company, McKenna Media, and goofs off most of the day while still drawing a paycheck. Although the family tradition is that of meaningful works and charitable organizations, Riley is known for being a partier and a playboy. His antics often show up in the newspapers, but his latest scandal is the breaking point for his grandmother Mary, who now runs McKenna Media. To save the family name and force Riley to grow up, she cuts him off – firing him from McKenna Media and informing him that from now on he will be paying rent on the guesthouse where he lives. At first, he is ecstatic, seeing this as a challenge, but he soon discovers that this is not as easy as he thought it would be. After all, he is used to everything being handed to him, not working for it.

Stace Kettering works at Morning Glory Diner, which was owned by her father and his best friend Frank, but now her father is dead. The place is filled with memories for her and she cannot imagine working anywhere else. Her tips are good, but sometimes the long hours get to her. Frank is like a second father to her and has always been there for her, especially since the death of her father. He frequently talks about traveling so Stace has been saving her pennies, hoping to one day buy him out, so he will have the time to travel. Recently, her sister, who has a drug problem, dropped her son Jeremy off at Stace’s house, and now Stace is doing the best she can for her nephew, who seems to have a chip on his shoulder. Fortunately, she has Frank to lend a helping hand with the boy.

Tired of the long hours since they are short a server, Stace threatens to quit once more, so Frank promises to hire the next person that comes in. Then she sees Riley, who is a frequent customer, come through the door. She knows his reputation and that of his family. After almost marrying a playboy like him, she steers clear of Riley, despite his good looks and charm. She had made a lucky escape by not marrying her fiancé. But she could not help being betrayed and devastated when, two days after proposing to her, he ran off and married a girl that he had just met. She is determined not to let it happen again.

Seeing the ‘help wanted’ sign in the diner window, Riley inquires about the job. Frank, true to his word, hires him. At first, he finds the job more difficult than he expected but soon catches on. Although he only took the job to prove to his grandmother that he could do it, he finds himself falling for Stace and looking for ways to build business at the diner as well as help Stace with her nephew. When the roof in Stace’s ramshackle home, which is in a poor part of town, collapses, Riley convinces her to move into the guesthouse with him temporarily along with her nephew.  As they spend time together, Stace begins to see a different side of Riley and knows she is falling for him. But can she depend on him to be there for the long haul, or is she only setting herself up for more heartache?

An emotion-packed story, HOW THE PLAYBOY GOT SERIOUS, the second novel in gifted author Shirley Jump’s MCKENNA BROTHERS series, is a witty, engaging contemporary romance that will have you eagerly turning the pages to see how things turn out. Even as Riley begins falling for Stace, he gets skittish and longs to escape. But slowly he begins to grow up and this growth is a delight to witness. The McKenna Brothers series is about three billionaire brothers who, despite guarding their hearts, still find love. Each book can be read as a standalone, but for additional enjoyment, be sure to read all three, beginning with the first book; ONE DAY TO FIND A HUSBAND, which is Finn’s story. Through it all, the guys have their grandmother to love and they come to appreciate her attempts to guide them. Combining sexual tension, engaging characters, passion, humor, clever banter, family dynamics, romance and love, Ms. Jump has once more penned a winner. I highly recommend HOW THE PLAYBOY GOT SERIOUS and look forward to reading the third book in this trilogy, RETURN OF THE MCKENNA, which is due out in September. Do not miss HOW THE PLAYBOY GOT SERIOUS or any of the books in this entertaining series.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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