Review: On the Square by Brenda Murphy

Dale needs a job. Mai ends up homeless. Will these two end up mixing business and pleasure?

Cover Design: Natasha Snow


Dropped from her television show after a very public split with her cheating ex, celebrity chef Mai Li wants nothing more than to reopen her parents’ shuttered restaurant and make a fresh start in her former hometown. So what if twenty years of neglect has left the building in need of a major renovation?

Seduced by Mai’s charm and determination, hard-edged contractor Dale Miller agrees to take on her renovation project.

After a spring storm causes significant damage to the building and renovation costs exceed Mai’s budget, Dale offers her a deal, but is it a price Mai is willing to pay?

Warning: racism, homophobia, homophobic violence

Read an excerpt here.

Who says that authors don’t listen to readers? Brenda Murphy definitely does and more as On The Square is a direct result of readers’ input. Apparently readers said they wanted diversity, family, steam, butch/femme, and a reflection of today’s social issues. Did I mention steam? (hehehehe)

I love this book. Murphy switches roles up, a technique I adore, and makes the construction worker the femme. Dale is an incredible person who is a strong woman raising three boys on her own. There have been difficult times for the family who have suffered many down economic times and are bordering are one when the book starts. It doesn’t stop this family from forging a dynamic where every person plays a role in the family’s success. It is hard not to root that as Murphy gives them heart, soul, and typical brother humor.

Mai represents a different social issue today: racism added with homophobia. It does not matter how successful Mai is as people still look at the outside package and judge. Her whole life she has been the brunt of racial slurs and derogatory actions. Murphy adds in family dysfunction mixes in with cultural issues within the family and then Mai’s homosexuality. 

Murphy then has these two women meet, bump heads, heat up, cool off, and then the rest is history…or should I say you have to read the book! (laugh) Then once you finish you can look forward to more according to the Author’s note as this will be a series. I am so excited and I cannot wait to read more.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 “As a Bookshop and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” at no additional cost to you.

Books in the University Square series can be found here.

Further Details:
Publisher: NineStar Press, 978-1-64890-069-3, 17 August  2020
Series: University Square #1
Pages: 64400 words
©On the Square, Brenda Murphy © 2020 All Rights Reserved

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