Thursday, April 14, 2016

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

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Let me start out by saying in my life I do not condone cheating in any form, especially while married.  That being said, it is not a topic that will keep me from at least trying to read a book.  This book in particular caught my attention and I had to at least give it a try, so here we go!

Love & Happiness is about a couple whom have problems in their life the same as we all do. In college, Karen realizes she's going to lose Chris from her life if she doesn't do something drastic to keep him around and drastic times call for drastic measures, right?  Well she seems to think so, she gets pregnant, they get married and unfortunately are not even close to living happily ever after.  As the blurb tells you, Karen is cheating on her husband Chris with not one but two men.  And there actually was a third but he was the man who started it all off.

Let me say, in the beginning and pretty much throughout the story for me there was never a reason other than their twin daughters that should keep these two together.  They are two very different people and always were.  Karen is a party girl who does drugs, drinks to black out excess while Chris is a man trying to take care of business at home, partakes in hobbies like restoring an old car and paying the bills by working two labor intensive jobs.  Chris is a decent man.  He is faced with temptation and turns it down because he's a married man.

Karen has ZERO redeeming qualities.  She doesn't appear to be a good mother, she claims throughout the book that Chris is a good guy, great husband and she loves him but she's screwing these two men on the side as often as she can.  Then she gets slapped in the face and has any business complaining about the house being messy, dinner not being cleaned up, and her husband looking for parts for his old car all while not watching their kids.  They are a disaster together plain and simple.  You basically love to hate her and oh don't get me started on the loud mouth sister Chloe, whom if she ever talked the way she does around my kids, sister or not, she'd be getting the back hand and kicked out of my house, but I digress.

You may be thinking, why the 4 star rating.  Don't let my hate for Karen fool you.  You love to hate her, wholly and truly.  You can't help it.  But it's that intense hate that makes it so good to read.  You just want to see her get her just desserts.  You can't have your cake and eat it too ladies and gentlemen and they always find out.  Ben Burgess Jr does an incredible job of painting everyday life as many live it in the real world.  Maybe you don't want to read a story about two people with a marriage falling apart because it smirks of problems you yourself have been through or maybe you know someone who lived something similar.  It's real and feels real and it makes you feel which makes it a really good read in my book!  I wouldn't read it again but it's definitely worth a read.  You'll at least walk away with a smile on your face and hopefully a little more happy about your relationship and life!


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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