**I voluntarily read an early copy of this title compliments of the author in exchange for an honest review** I adore Lauren Blakely and her books and Once Upon a Real Good Time was no different. I absolutely devoured this book in one day. It's a great start to Blakely's new Heartbreakers series. Mackenzie is a single mother who is a graphic designer by trade, but also excels at trivia, so she spends time at a local bar with her friend entering trivia contests. During one of the evenings she's out at a contest, Mackenzie catches a glimpse of an absolutely hot guy that piques her interest, but she's sworn off dating as she wants to focus on her teenage son. Campbell is a musician through and through and also a single father. He is the lead singer in a band that plays at various bars around town and he spends his days teaching kids how to hone their own musical crafts. He is equally as captivated by the woman he spies across the bar and so when his set is over, he approaches her and asks to have a drink. The chemistry between Mackenzie and Campbell is off the charts from the second they touch for the first time. They both enter into their night together with eyes wide open and ready to scratch that proverbial itch for one another. Little do they know that Campbell is going to be the person that can help take Mackenzie's son to the next level in his musical pursuit. Will the development than Campbell is now Kyle's new music teacher end everything before it starts? Or will the absolutely beyond obvious chemistry win out in the end? Campbell might be one of my favorite heroes that Blakely has written. He was an awesome dad, a fantastic musician and couple that with the fact he was sexy as all get out and he is a dirty-talker as well and that just about makes for the perfect guy! I also loved that while Mackenzie hadn't been dealt the easiest life, she has carved out an amazing life for she and her son. She might have had curve balls thrown her way, but she managed to overcome them. I absolutely loved this book and I was drawn in from the outset. I didn't want to put it down and I simply can't wait to see what happens in the next book, Once Upon a Sure Thing - I have no doubt that it is going to be as equally engaging as this one was!
4 people found this review helpful
4.25 stars-ONCE UPON A REAL GOOD TIME is the first instalment in Lauren Blakely’s contemporary adult THE HEARTBREAKERS erotic, romance series focusing on the Evans brothers. This is single parents, former teen idol and guitarist Campbell Evans aka Mason Hart, and graphic designer MacKenzie Marksons’s story line. Told from dual first person perspectives (Campbell and MacKenzie) ONCE UPON A REAL GOOD TIME follows the building relationship between former teen idol and guitarist Campbell Evans aka Mason Hart, and graphic designer MacKenzie (Markson). MacKenzie is all about playing trivia at The Grouchy Owl until the one night the sexy lead singer of a local band offers up more than a couple of songs for our story line heroine. Enter single father and former teen idol Campbell Evans aka Mason Hart, and the man with whom MacKenzie will fall in love. What ensues is the building romance and relationship between MacKenzie and Campbell, and the potential fall-out as MacKenzie struggles with Campbell’s position as her son’s infamous music teacher. MacKenzie is a single mother to Kyle Markson, a child music prodigy whose has been offered a prestigious chance with a former star but unbeknownst to MacKenzie, said former star and her son’s new music teacher is the man who is currently starring in both her literal and virtual dreams. Unwilling to risk her son’s chance for the future, MacKenzie sacrifices her friendship and relationship with the man that she loves. Campbell Evans suffered a tragic loss, and in the ensuing years left the band to raise his daughter as a single father, but meeting MacKenzie gives Campbell the hope for a second chance at a happily ever after. The relationship between Campbell and MacKenzie is one of immediate attraction; a palpable sexual attraction between two single parents who have put their personal lives on hold for the foreseeable future. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense. Both Campbell and MacKenzie like to talk dirty in the bedroom. We are introduced to MacKenzie’s son Kyle, his father Jamison, and MacKenzie’s best friend Roxy Sterling; Campbell’s daughter Samantha, and his brothers Miles and Miller Evans aka Hart. ONCE UPON A REAL GOOD TIME is a story of family, friendship, music and love. The premise is sexy and sassy; the romance is seductive and passionate; the characters are flirty, colorful and lively. ONCE UPON A REAL GOOD TIME is a spicy and spirited story that is sure to set the sheets on fire. I will add I am not sure if Markson is MacKenzie’s last name. I looked throughout the story but could only find one reference to Kyle’s last name, and no last name given for the other significant man in MacKenzie’s life, Kyle’s father Jamison. I am not a fan of no last name for the heroine, especially when the leading male is ‘gifted’ not one but two last names. The female lead is entitled to the same recognition, in my humble opinion.
3 people found this review helpful
4.5/5 Once Upon a Real Good Time certainly lives up to its fairytale inspired title. Full of swoon but also with the important message that when life throws you a curveball it can lead to wonderful if unexpected things. Campbell and MacKenzie are both single parents whose whole world revolves around their children. Although as their children are growing into young adults they now have the freedom to indulge in their own pursuits. For MacKenzie, this involves trivia nights at the local watering hole, while former teen pop/rock-sensation Campbell, is able to satisfy his musical passion by playing at a local bar. The bar in question just happens to be the same one both MacKenzie and Campbell frequent. Sparks fly from their first glance 🔥 When the opportunity to scratch that itch occurs, neither Campbell nor MacKenzie hesitate. What they don't expect is the ease at which they click together and not just physically. Although they are perfectly matched neither of the wonderful duo were expecting more than one-night but are unable to deny their desire to explore their potential. Unfortunately, they are thrown adrift when Campbell is hired as the new music teacher for MacKenzie's son. Rather than risk any awkwardness and potential fallout if things didn't work between them they both agree not to date for the sake of their children. However, the more time they spend together the harder it is to deny the connection they have and the deeper feelings that are developing. I loved everything about both MacKenzie and Campbell, their positivity in making the most of their respective situations and the fantastic relationship they have with their children. their parenting style was amazing and the uniqueness of their family situations complimented their overall appeal. Their respective children are also pretty amazing, a musical prodigy for a son for MacKenzie, and a Vlogging cooking sensation of a daughter for Campbell, Both children are also surprisingly intuitive for teen and want happiness for their parents 😍 We are introduced to the other members of Campbells siblings who made up the former teen-band The Heartbreakers within Once Upon a Real Good Time, although there are snippets of their backstories I am really excited to get to know each of them better and witness them falling hard. Hopefully, this will include watching the progression of MacKenzie and Campbell's relationship 💝💞