ARC Review: Her Favorite Rival by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-bookherfavoriterival
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Mathews Sisters
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Zachary Black
Heroine: Audrey Mathews
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 3, 2013
Started On: August 31, 2013
Finished On: August 31, 2013

Her Favorite Rival by Sarah Mayberry, though not up to par with the most recent releases from her still managed to be a romance that captivated me from start to finish. Some books require an effort to trudge through them, page after page, because its just difficult to give up when you have invested so much of your time in reading that book. But Mayberry’s books stand apart from this crowd as her books always manages to provide all those elements that makes a romance work on so many levels.

Her Favorite Rival is the story of work rivals Audrey Mathews and Zachary (Zach) Black. Audrey is the one who has made her way through the different levels through sheer grit and determination with a whole lot of experience at her back to support her. But Zach who joined just six months back seems to have what she doesn’t; the weight of college earned degrees that speaks volumes. Audrey knows that Zach is the only contender that she should be worried about regarding the upcoming promotion and she is ready to pull all stops into impressing the new management when an assignment pushes both Audrey and Zach together which forms the basis of their relationship.

Mayberry does quite an impressive job of bringing to the readers the pressures of trying to perform in an organization which really drives a hard bargain with its employees. Audrey and Zach are both ambitious and career-driven people, both for different reasons, but similar in the aspect that it is the demons of the past that drives them and has scarred them on levels that they are not even prepared to acknowledge when the relationship between them fosters into being.

Audrey makes the huge mistake of judging Zach based on his good looks and the charm he exudes, but she couldn’t have been more wrong even if she had tried. Mayberry brings to the table the “other side” of what its like to grow up with a drug addict as a parent, the pain of seeing the one person you love continue to go back and feed an addiction that never seems to cease. The shame that clings onto a person for not being able to stop loving that person no matter how destructive a force the person’s continued addiction becomes. Not an easy subject, but I think Mayberry did a splendid job in that aspect of the story.

Her Favorite Rival seemed to begin with a bang and waned a little towards the middle and then picked up again towards the latter part of the book. Even then, a Mayberry book is always worth the investment in time and money and if you love contemporary romances with deeper and in depth stories, this one’s definitely recommended!

Final Verdict: Mayberry delivers a great romance amidst the grit and realities that is life.

Favorite Quotes

“I tell you who won’t be going, though—Zach. Fifty bucks he gets a promotion out of all of this.”
Audrey reached for the fries. “He’s not that good.”
“Sorry, sweetie, but he is. He’s smart, he’s good at what he does and he could charm a snake out of its skin.”
Audrey rolled her eyes. “You’re only saying that because you have a soft spot for him.”
“Yeah, it’s called a vagina.”

He was already hard, his arousal a hot pressure against her belly. The ache between her thighs demanded that she rub against him, that she slide a hand around his waist and grip his backside and haul him closer still.
He muttered something urgent against her mouth, then his hands were on her breasts, cupping and squeezing them through the thin cotton of her shirt. She gave a small, inar- ticulate moan when his thumb grazed her nipple, and when he caught it between thumb and forefinger and squeezed she almost dissolved on the spot.

He was reaching for her before she could process his words. One second she stood on the doorstep of his house, the next she was inside, her back against the wall, his mouth and body against hers. He tasted of heat, his tongue stroking hers with demanding greed, his body large and powerful as it pressed into hers. Her hands found his bare shoulders, closing over warm, hard muscle, even as his thigh slid between hers, forcing the heart of her into intimate contact with his leg.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | HarlequiniBooks

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