I can't resist these Bowens *grunts*

To the Max - Elle Aycart
"You telling me you moonlight as a porn stuntman?"
He cocked an eyebrow. "You mean a stunt dick, right?"[...]
"Just for the record. I would never be a stunt dick. I would be the main dick."

4 Stars--Operation Kindle Klean-Up Kommencing! (Another one I had on there for some time.)

The Bowen Boys series is one I've followed for years. James Bowen, from "More Than Meets the Ink" has made an impression in book #1 nearly four years ago with his sexy blonde self. Possessive with a brain and not annoying, he's one of my fave heroes. And boy was I happy he had brothers. I preferred Christy in book #2 as a heroine because who wouldn't love a geek with body issues who finally gets a great guy in the super damaged oldest brother Cole?

But Max, the youngest blonde Bowen (with a nipple piercing), the stuntman and renowned ladies' man, his book was the one I was really looking forward. And I waited and waited. (And found books to keep me occupied in the interim if my shelves are anything to go by) But when I learned it'd be Christy's good friend, Annie - the recently knocked from a one night stand and older Annie as Max's love interest, I really could wait to read. (Age gaps are my kink.)

I devoured this book in less than 24 hours. Far from perfect, it was entertaining and filled with Ayecart snark, one liners, Bowen men (*growls*), surprises and hot fucking!

"Good thing you're not a sympathetic puker."
"We need to stop meeting like this. I'm not used to making girls ill. This is very bad for my self-confidence. They tend to be doing something else when they're on their knees."

It was beautiful reading them go from somewhat friends to roommates to lovers. I love reading playboys falling in love! Max was totally clueless and it was great reading his reactions to the baby's father trying to get back in Annie's life or other men around the woman he just can't stop thinking about. Love the


(show spoiler)

woman plot twist.

Max was courting her and didn't even know. And him being a modern day Viking (for a job) was a nice touch. Annie's friends and reading group was fun. Nothing wrong with reading "Cliterature". Sometimes the girlfriend bonding was a little grating but I think the author was trying to set up the other friends for future books.

As with a couple of other side people...with so much time in between it was a little hard to remember who was who.

Also, though I was happy with the couple and learning about both of their families and the way they fell for each other. It might be quick but because of the book length and since it spanned the pregnancy, it didn't read like it. There was some issues with formal speaking in the dialogue at times. Didn't read as natural. Also repetitiveness, more so in the first third, and some typos here and there. Plus, I know the Bowens are dream guys, but damn...everyone was on their dicks. Like everyone in the town. So some reality stretching will be needed.

One part that stuck in my craw slightly is after the art gallery opening between the main couple. It was bordering closer to something dark and ugly, Emotions be damned and it wasn't anything violent. But something about that scene...I wasn't too keen on.

But it didn't change my feelings on either character.

I like Max a lot. I like Annie a lot too. I still think Christy is my fave of the Bowen women but Annie is definitely a close second. She was smart (except for when it came to piece together the threats against her life but what was up with all of that? Wow!) There was a suspense plot added in, the entire escort baby daddy plot thing going on, Annie's entire family history (I learned about preppers - Thanksgiving was a hoot!!) and Max falling in love. It was a lot. But it worked. Can't give a 5 though.

The epilogue on one hand was indulgent (super long) BUT...

I got to catch up the future for the Bowen brothers.

I. Fucking. Ate. It. Up.

That was a step in the right direction for the mega long wait in between books.

I love the Bowen brothers and their women. I'm so happy how it worked out for them. Some parts cheesy, some parts a little predictable...and sadly no more brothers to carrying their arc. But they have friends. And the women have friends. And of course, the Elle and Jack mystery couple flirting this going on through the entire series.

I'm not sure if I'll come back for more years later. But I was so satisfied with "To The Max".

I'd recommend reading the books in order.

Great choice for my first book of 2016!