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Monday, March 30, 2020

Mum's The Word (Bennet Brothers #3) by Staci Hart

 A Review by Wendy
4 Sorry To See End Stars
* * * * 
Spoiler Free
From the very beginning, I have loved this series. I mean come on, a wonderful city base, the historic backstory of the family and its business, and the charming, confounding collections of brothers who have come together to save the day. What's not to love...

We have met this engaging family from the start and learned of all their quirks and soft spots. Brothers, one by one have met their match. They have had to recognize love, dive in, stop being their own worst enemy and come out the other side with a love so true, it makes all of us want the same.

Mum's the Word is about "the Responsible Brother", Marcus.
From the start, Marcus was self-contained. Living with a group of siblings and parents who were more relaxed and carefree about neatness and systems led Marcus to thrive with order, schedules, rules, and set things. He followed this path in his career. He was not part of the landmark flower shop or nursery in the beginning. Instead, Wall Street called to his senses. Over the years he made quite a bit of money and lived a very comfortable life.

Marcus bought a brownstone down the street from his folks and was a regular at the family meals. He thought he knew everything he needed about how things were with the family company. When his mother finally revealed the truth...that the company was in serious trouble, Marcus stepped up and purchased the family business. He took a look at the finances and saw what needed to be done. He called all of his siblings to come back home and pitch in to bring the shop back to life.

Marcus' family all stepped up and things were finally turning around. The shop was doing much better and the nursery continued to provide beautifully. In fact, things were going so well it caused Marcus to learn from his mother the biggest secret of all, her signing a contract that put them in jeopardy and threatens them to lose everything. 

Exactly what the Matriarch of Bower Bouquets intended.

You see there was long-standing hate continued over generations between Marcus' family and the family of the Bower's. So when his mother explained how she tried to save the company and the Bower's offered this contract, she signed it without reading all of it or having anyone else look at it. She was ashamed and embarrassed so she had not shared the contract with Marcus when he bought the company.  Calming his mother down, understanding her pain, Marcus was now suing the Bowers. It is the only way to save their company.

Margaret Bower is back in New York City. She has been bribed back by her mother by dangling the non-profit Margaret created years ago. You see Margaret who goes by Maisie is nothing like her mother. Where Maisie wants to help communities with skills and new opportunities to enlighten and empower, her mother is determined to crush and destroy those she is jealous the Bennets. Maisie is willing to do what she must for years in order to have the reins of the business when her mother retires as promised. That was the promise...

Now she is on her way to a meeting her mother insisted she attend. It is pouring rain and she wasn't paying attention as she should. She smacks into a block of muscle...a suited block of muscle.

Marcus is stunned by Maisie and when the two of them untangle, Marcus feels something he hasn't in years. Interest in the woman standing opposite him. This woman...her eyes looking into his soul...touching his heart and restarting it. Maisie also feels the connection and is stopped by it too.

They recover, Marcus insisting the have some hot chocolate or coffee and get out of the rain. There in the shop, they are both still tingling and in a bit of a trance. Both don't do this sort of thing but Maisie gives Marcus her number and suggests they meet for dinner that night. They both have somewhere to be so off they go.

Now, this wouldn't be a romance book without them meeting at that same meeting, Right...
and of course, they are sitting on the opposite side of the purpose. He fighting the horror that is Mrs. Bower and poor Maisie realizing her Marcus is The Marcus Bennet.

They both are devastated. They both had the sincere feelings that this meeting, this connection was something real and had potential that could develop into being The One.

And they both are very aware, They Cannot Happen.
With all of this known, when Marcus connects with Maisie after this meeting, Maisie feels she has nothing to lose in asking for a kiss from Marcus. After all, they have no future.

Well, My My My...Talk about a kiss, talk about chemistry and the need for one another...Wooooo Hooooo. These two are like magnets. They need to be together and have to figure out how to make it all happen. There is just so much to lose if Mrs. Bower finds out.

This tale has all of the family there and all of the pathos. The storyline regarding the Bowers and Maisie's Mother is front and center ugly. I have read a bunch and I can name on one hand mothers I hate. Mrs. Bower has been added to that list. She is horrid, cruel and hasn't any redeeming traits.
Maisie's dad is the only one in her family who was worth anything. He was responsible as well as her aunt who showed her how to be the sweet person she was.

And Marcus...Oh, how smitten he was with Maisie. He cared for her, wanted only the best for her, supported her and loved her clearly. It was lovely to see him go all in. Maisie had her challenges. All she ever wanted was to have her mother love her freely. To have her approval. Unfortunately, it was something not to come. Maisie was challenged to grow up and understand what was important and choose. When she did, I cheered.

This is the end of the series and it was a delightful ride. Staci Hart, I cannot wait to see what you come up with next!

bout Staci Hart

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom to three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, nor is she the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party--especially if she’s been drinking whiskey--and her favorite word starts with f and ends with k.

From roots in Houston to a seven-year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north in Denver, where snow is magic and the mountains have become home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, gaming, or designing graphics.

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