Friday, April 15, 2016

Blog Tour + Giveaway + Review: Love and Happiness by Ben Burgess Jr.

Title: Love & Happiness
Author: Ben Burgess Jr.
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance / African American Fiction
Published: April 24, 2015
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. When Karen’s dirty secrets are revealed she must fight to keep her family together.

Chris is doing all he can to hold his marriage together. He loves Karen but she grows more distant every day. When she starts coming home later and later, he suspects she is being unfaithful. When Chris accidentally takes her cell phone what he finds changes their lives forever.

When tragedy strikes, Karen must decide if she should sacrifice her happiness for her husband’s love, and Chris wonders if he should stay with Karen because he still loves her despite her infidelity. But if they do stay together, will they ever find love and happiness again?

Sexy, and relatable, insightful and inspiring, Love and Happiness shows us both sides of Chris and Karen's story, and reminds us that sometimes to have it all, you must first lose it all.

I must say that I did not think that I was going to enjoy this book as much as I did. I am a big advocate of marriage. Stepping out is not what I think should happen in a marriage. You vow to stay by your mates side through thick and thin. This is why I did not think it was my cup of tea.
However, Ben Burgess did an excellent job with detail. He gave us the back story. He told us why Karen does what she does, and how it all started. I must say that there is no excuse, but he does give us the reasoning why.  
Karen struggles with her infidelity and betrayal, and she also knows that what she is doing is wrong. Chris accidentally finds her betrayal and is heart broken, although he knew in the back of his mind, that she was stepping out. Even though things had ended, the hurt and pain is still there. It's awful. Karen tries hard to keep the family together, but is it too late to start anew? Can their relationship survive the hurt and heartache? Will Chris stay in the marriage and see it through? Does love truly conquer all?
We do see how relationships can get stale, and what one does to keep gain attention, when not received at home. Does this make you think twice about what you have at home? Will you do everything possible to keep that spark alive? I know that I do. Love and Happiness brings reality into our lives. It shows us what can happen if you don't fight to keep that love and spark between each other. Don't fall into the boring pit. Don't cave when you're faced with the 7 year itch!
Great job Ben Burgess Jr. I thought that I would loathe this book (if I am being completely honest), but it turned out to be an excellent read. Lots of twists, turns and events that you don't see coming. You kept it alive and had me turning pages so quickly. What is next for us, your loyal readers?

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Love & Happiness Excerpt © Ben Burgess Jr. 2015

When we got home, I decided to put all our bickering aside and make love to my husband. While Chris pleased me sexually, our busy work schedules had reduced our lovemaking to mundane quickies. I knew if I was bored, he must be too.
To spice things up, I’d read magazines, watched porn, and gathered tips from my friends. He loves lacy lingerie, so I wore my black bustier, black French-cut panties, and fishnet stockings. I lit scented candles and put on soft jazz to set the ambiance in the bedroom. Chris walked in.
“Damn!” he said.
He tugged on my lingerie to take it off. I couldn’t hide my smile. His hands hungrily roamed my body.
“Easy, baby. Enjoy what you’re looking at.”
I felt self-conscious as he groped me because his earlier comment about me looking chunky, kept replaying in my mind.
We made love. I used a lot of the new ideas I learned to spice things up, but he didn’t seem to notice. Chris always has the decency to make sure I cum, but again we ended up having another quickie because he had to wake up early the next morning. He rolled over on his side and went to sleep almost immediately after. I frowned, shook my head and stared at the ceiling. Was it me? Is this how marriage was supposed to be? Had we both gotten too comfortable?
I decided I’d start going to the gym and get a personal trainer. I hoped working with a trainer would change me enough that even Chris would have to say something positive about it. I didn’t imagine how much it would change me.
Ben Burgess Jr is the author of the award-winning novels "Monster", "Wounded", the poetry book "Times Have Changed and Life is Strange" and the new novel "Love and Happiness" He is an active performer of spoken word poetry. Ben Burgess Jr uses his love of writing to inspire and influence youths to strive for what they believe in, and to never give up on their dreams. His poetry book "Times Have Changed and Life is Strange" and his novel "Monster" are currently used in schools on the lower east side of Manhattan. Ben Burgess has a BA degree in Business Management and an MA degree in Educational Leadership. He is the proud father of his daughter Jaelynn and is active in trying to improve urban neighborhoods and communities.
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