Monday, April 14, 2014

Business As Usual by Denise Grover Swank ~ Review

Source: Received an eBook copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Lexi Pendergraft has given up on finding love after a disastrous encounter with her last boyfriend. Instead, she focuses on two things: One, setting up a summer program for underprivileged middle-school aged students. And the second, getting to the bottom of her brother Reed’s recent strange behavior. His secret is destroying his relationship with his fiancĂ©e Caroline, and Lexi will do anything to help him save it. Especially after he gave up his dream to give Lexi a chance at a semi-normal college experience, something her parents threatened to steal from her after her rape a year ago.

Ben Masterson is determined to make it through his final semester of his senior year at Southern University. After recently losing his full ride scholarship, he’s suffering from sleep deprivation while trying to keep up with his mechanical engineering courses and working three part time jobs. He thinks he’s lucked out getting a job in the university math lab. The only problem is his boss—Reed Pendergraft.

As part of a role in a community theater play, Lexi wears a black wig and feels a confidence she hasn’t experienced in over a year. When she wears it to a bar close to the theater, she doesn’t think Ben, a bartender there, recognizes her. While Ben’s intrigued about what she’s up to, he’s smart enough to stay far away from his overprotective boss’s sister. Until fate forces him to help her, but why won’t she tell him her real identity?

My Thoughts:


5 stars - I love this series!

First Impressions...

I loved After Math and Redesigned so much.  I was so excited to jump into this third book in the series.  I had pretty high expectations and I wasn't disappointed at all.

While I loved seeing all the characters from the previous books, this one certainly can be read Stand Alone.

The Characters...

I am completely in love with Ben.  He lost his full scholarship when he was falsely accused of rape by his ex-girlfriend.  Now he works 3 jobs and takes 15 credit hours of classes so he can graduate in three months.  He so doesn't want a girlfriend.  Not after the last one.  That changes when he meets Alexa.  He's drawn to her and he's so sweet.  He's supportive and caring.  He protects her even when he first meets her.  But once he learns her secrets he may be even more caveman about his protective ways.  He's sweet and adorable, giving up things to help her and understanding some strange behavior on her part.  I just love him.

I love Alexa or Lexi.  Ben calls her Alexa so that how I think of her now too.  She's experienced some really bad days and with the terribly uncomfortable night with her last boyfriend she doesn't want a new one.  But she can't resist the yummy bartender, Ben.  He bails her out one night and his kiss has her wanting more.  But it's more than his help that she loves.  They are perfect for each other.

The Story...

I love how these two characters have very different experiences in their past around a common theme.  It has the potential to draw them together or bust them apart.  It was so nice to watch them drawn together and then to see what the result would be when they both learned the truth.  (Though it may have stressed me some).

I also loved that the this storyline drew in a previous couple and let us see how they dealt with more drama.  It wasn't a side story but very much part of the action between Ben and Alexa.  We saw the couple from the first book as well but they were more in the background.  It's nice to see them again and know they are still together.

I really enjoyed Ben and Alexa's story.

Could I Put It Down...

The deal is that I had to put it down for stress relief.  A couple of times, I was wanting to read faster and afraid to read on.  I needed someone to talk to about the book but didn't have that.  It's okay, cause now I can be that person for someone else.  If you're reading this one and need some virtual hand holding, send me tweet and I'm there.

In The End...

All three books in this series were 5 stars for me.  They are what makes New Adult good.  They have the perfect balance of yummy sexy scenes combined with serious real issues.  Anyone who loves NA will want to read not just Business as Usual but the whole series.  If you haven't fallen in love with this genre yet, then this is a great series to make that happen.  

About Denise Grover Swank: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

The Off Subject Series...


  1. I cannot wait to read this one! It just grabbed my attention right away for some reason, even though I haven't read anything else in this series. Great review!

  2. I always knew you would love this series! I'm so glad Business As Usual lived up to expectations!

  3. yay this is the only site I consult for books and reviews and I cant wait to read this whole series! thankss! <3

  4. I agree with you 100% Val! This was an amazing read! I loved Ben. He was amazing with Alexa, and I was so worried that their relationship wouldn't survive when everything came to light! We need more quality NA reads like this one! Wonderful Review :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape