Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: The Man Plan by Tracy Anne Warren

The Man Plan by Tracy Anne Warren
Series: The Graysons, Book 2
Publisher: Signet
Genre: Contemporary Romance The Man Plan Cover
ISBN: 9780451466143
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

What’s a girl to do when the man she’s loved her entire life thinks of her as a little sister? Worse, her own big sister was the one who broke his heart years earlier. For Ivy Grayson, the chance to get him to see her in a different light comes when she receives an unexpected invitation to move into his luxury New York apartment building. Manhattan also just happens to be the perfect place to pursue her wish to become a successful artist. But how many dreams can one woman expect to come true?

Billionaire financier James Jordon has everything a man could want—except love. When Ivy’s family asks him to keep an eye on their “little girl” in the big city, he agrees. But the innocent girl he knew is now a dynamic woman who knows what she wants, and how to get it. He may have promised himself to keep things platonic, but ignoring the game of love isn’t an option. Especially when Ivy is so eager to play.

The Man Plan is a book with a cute (though awfully familiar) premise that ultimately falls short in execution. I really wanted to enjoy Ivy and James’s story, but the soap opera-light feel of the book simply wasn’t for me and it wasn’t until almost the very end that I liked the heroine at all.

Ivy has had a crush on James for as long as she can remember, but he’s always treated her like a kid sister. He’s fifteen years older than her, a successful businessman, and he’s not too keen on opening his heart to another Grayson woman after Ivy’s sister broke his heart and left him at the altar. Ivy’s determined to make James see her as a woman, and she sets out to ensnare him and make him love her. Where this plan breaks down (for me) is Ivy herself. She’s a nice girl, but is slightly spoiled, something that’s never really addressed. She’s had everything in life handed to her, making it hard to feel any sympathy for her for the whole week that things don’t go her way. Though she claims she’s a woman, in reality this twenty-year-old still acts like a teenager, making it hard for me to swallow the age gap between her and James. I’ve read books with significant age gaps between hero and heroine before, but never before have I read a story where the maturity levels between the two protagonists are so significant. As for James, I felt like we only got to see the surface of his character, and I really wanted to go deeper. As a couple, they never quite rang true for me until the very end. Fortunately author Tracy Anne Warren finishes The Man Plan strong, but two chapters of solid story doesn’t make up for an entire book of high school-like seduction plans and sob fests.

The saving grace of The Man Plan is the story’s minor characters. Ivy’s sister Brie is smart, hardworking, and interesting and I wanted to learn more about her. There’s also the beginnings of a plot thread concerning Ivy’s brother and sister-in-law. I desperately wanted to follow said storyline, but unfortunately it was never fully fleshed out. All in all, The Man Plan simply wasn’t the book for me. I simply couldn’t suspend disbelief long enough to buy a true romance between a mid-thirties, mature businessman and an immature heroine, no matter how lovely or love struck she is. I’m not sure I’ll be reading any more books in the Graysons series, but who knows? Brie Grayson might just tempt me into giving this series another shot.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.