The Devil You Know The Devil You Know by Mary Monroe
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

                        Description
For best friends Lola Poole and Joan Proctor-Riley, there's never too much when it comes to online-dating rich, no-commitments lovers. It's a fantasy come true that makes their unhappy lives bearable. But there's no escape when Lola's vicious relatives cheat her out of everything that's hers, and Joan's husband pulls a devastating betrayal. With nothing to lose, the two will do everything and anything to lock down Mr. Right and lifetime satisfaction . . . 
With his scorching sexual healing and compassionate nature, handsome trucker Calvin Ramsey keeps coming out on top with Lola. And she's this close to winning his love and finally getting the loving family of her dreams. But she doesn't suspect that Calvin's idea of making a woman his own is a fatal affair. Now, his gentle reassurances and sensual promises are spinning a web where Lola and Joan's deepest longings could be the deadliest trap of all

Book Review

This review is a little different as it is a chronological review as I listened to the book on audio. The production quality was top notch.

Started 2/19-/18-These are comments/thoughts as I go. I'm
12 chapters in....
No character growth for Lola & Joan in this final book
Calvin has grown somewhat. He's proposed and decided who will be his final victim.
There's already a lot of redundancy because each chapter recaps the previous chapters from a different POV.
The narrator's voice doesn’t go with younger women from California or younger women period. I kept picturing senior southern ladies.
2/20-
it's slow going...in the middle ...goodness Lola is as simple-minded as they come.
I know more about the online group Discreet Encounters than I do about the main characters
These women are 32? They still come across as teenagers or pre-teens with their simple mindset
I feel sorry for Elbert & Jeffery. They deserve better.

2/21/2018 update-just under 3 hours left and it's getting interesting.. yay!
no, no, no, no why did you have to make the chapters that featured Calvin redundant too???????
With 3 hours left, Reid has new found "happiness" and I rooted for him even though he was a weak man.   Although, it was no shock when it was revealed. Joan is receiving some karma.
Bertha's kids are a piece of work. Libby got a bit of karma finally.
I actually felt sorry for Lola for about 2 minutes during the hospital scene & funeral and then all sorrow dropped when she started discussing upcoming dates… Her sorrow lasts about 2 or 3 sentences.
2/21/2018- 1 hour left
And the most interesting character is gone  .
Elbert offers Lola a hand and he gets dismissed. Jeffery offers similar assistance and gets welcomed. Elbert is boring, unattractive and beneath the simple-minded Lola? A character who brings nothing to the table herself.
These simple, uneducated and boring women want men who give them excitement and treat them to lavish things. But, they are bringing nothing to the table except their vaginas.
20 minutes left and Lola is still delusional…smh
It’s almost like the story gets away from the author and she has to hurry and wrap it up or in the case of the 2 other books just cut them off in random spots….
Elbert’s backstory was interesting.  Why was he so set on Lola when she never really gave him the time of day. We have no idea what he saw in her that made him zone in on her.
I felt sorry for Reid’s ending.
I don’t think Joan or Lola deserved the HEAs they received. In 3 books, this series which had so much potential failed miserably.
I’m glad this is the final book. It was the best out of the 3, while still being extremely low.

Audible book review comments
Would you try another book from Mary Monroe and/or the narrators?

Yes. Even though the author missed the mark with what should have been an explosive story.

What was most disappointing about Mary Monroe’s story?

The level of redundant material left little room for any real development or action.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The heroines were supposed to be youngish women from California. I kept envisioning a matronly southern drawl person.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Devil You Know?

I would go thru each chapter and cut out the recap of each previous chapter.

Any additional comments?

There was no chemistry between any of the couples. Karma was doled out to the “bad guys”, but not to the 2 heroines who deserved it. They received HEAs. Neither Lola nor Joan had any growth until the epilogue, which was about the last 3 minutes of a 10 hour listen. The last 3 hours of the 10 hour listen was interesting and had my full attention. I felt sorry for Elbert and Reid’s ending. With this type of plot, this should have been an explosive story. The story bogged down with so much redundant rhetoric that it left little room for any actual movement or action to be told. It should have been one book, which had the “fat” been cut and the men focal point ( Elbert & Calvin) it would have been.
Audible book review comments
Would you try another book from Mary Monroe and/or the narrators?

Yes. Even though the author missed the mark with what should have been an explosive story.

What was most disappointing about Mary Monroe’s story?

The level of redundant material left little room for any real development or action.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The heroines were supposed to be youngish women from California. I kept envisioning a matronly southern drawl person.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Devil You Know?

I would go thru each chapter and cut out the recap of each previous chapter.

Any additional comments?

There was no chemistry between any of the couples. Karma was doled out to the “bad guys”, but not to the 2 heroines who deserved it. They received HEAs. Neither Lola nor Joan had any growth until the epilogue, which was about the last 3 minutes of a 10 hour listen. The last 3 hours of the 10 hour listen was interesting and had my full attention. I felt sorry for Elbert and Reid’s ending. With this type of plot, this should have been an explosive story. The story bogged down with so much redundant rhetoric that it left little room for any actual movement or action to be told. It should have been one book, which had the “fat” been cut and the men focal point ( Elbert & Calvin) it would have been.

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