Worked up by Tessa Bailey
Tessa Bailey certainly brings her A game as she introduces us to a pair of commitment phobics whose marriage of convenience opens the door to more than they could have ever imagined. Humor, outrageous chemistry, wild unpredictable sex, and some mild angst helps to build a page-turning erotically charged romance when a pouty, growly, giant of a factory worker finds his world turned upside down when he meets a sexy, upbeat illustrator with a penchant for bad puns. Never had I had so much fun watching this couple banter their way in and out of bed, each trying to deny the intense chemistry that is burning them alive. Add in four divorced sisters, an over-protective step brother, and a nosy small town and you have a story that will leave you laughing and swooning for a Jersey boy yourself.
Duke doesn’t do relationships. He has seen the results of failure in his mom and four sisters. He admits he is a man and men are scum. All he wants is to work his shift and come home to a beer and Sportscenter. Samantha has recently called off her engagement and is in town to face the music with her brother. She had agreed to marry this man in return for a loan to start up an art program for children. No marriage-no money. When Duke and Samantha meet, their connection is instantaneous. But what can a factory worker who hates to date give a woman who is worth everything? Maybe more than he thinks.
While I have enjoyed many works by Bailey, Worked Up is the jewel in her Made in Jersey series. See Mandi’s top ten reasons why you should read Worked Up HERE.
Wild Things by Jennifer Ashley
As a fan of Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series, I was surprised to see I had missed this one. This novella falls between Mate Bond and White Tiger. It is a bridge of sorts that introduces new characters, opens new story lines, and closes a small one that has been running in the background. I loved revisiting Shiftertown and the familiar faces who live there. Fast pacing, a well developed plot line, and the usual dynamic characters drops you right back into this world and takes you on an action-packed, wild adventure filled with humor, angst, romance, and redemption as a man’s rite of passage grants him the chance at a life he never dreamed of.
Wolf shifter Mason McNaughton has to find a rare shifter healer before he ends up dead in his own bed. This leads him to a psychic, Jasmine, rumored to be able to find anyone. As Mason and Jasmine search for the healer, a romance blooms between the reluctant couple, and offers them the chance of a lifetime if they are brave enough to take it. ** This is free on AMZ*
The Mysterious Governess by Beverly Oakley
I picked up The Mysterious Governess out of curiosity. Oakley is a new author for me and I do enjoy a well plumed historical romance suspense. My interest was instantly captured by our heroine-an illegitimate child of a viscount who suffered the shame of her birthright and now works as a governess. She essentially blackmails her employer’s son for a chance to attend a ball and see her half sister who parentage is secure. A carriage accident on the way back home sweeps her up into a world of intrigue, espionage, and love.
I had a hard time deciphering if this book was suppose to be serious or humorous. There is a soap opera feel to it with it’s multiple melodramatic story lines yet it’s syrupy dialogue and characterization stays on the straight and narrow. Though this is 3rd in a series, I don’t believe not reading the first two was the cause for my confusion. The romance is extremely slow in developing and maintains a low profile despite the obviously attraction held by the protagonists. Around 30/40% realized I hadn’t formed a connection to anyone and didn’t care who was doing whom or why.
Rock with You by Rachel Lacey
This is a new to new author writing about a trope I love, famous hero meets non-famous heroine. In this instance the hero, Sam, is a rock star who is living in a small town to find his new muse. Carly is the owner of a bakery in the small town that Sam is staying in. The beginning started with an info dump of characters, which I dislike. The story never really got better for me. Sam goes to the bakery and has some cheesy lines including, “I do have a sweet tooth, especially for a pretty woman who bakes.” Carly recognizes Sam instantly and of course is smitten. He never truly introduces himself to her and that bugged me.
Carly delivers a car full of pastries to Sam’s house and because of an ice storm end up staying two nights with him. Everything moved really quickly and seemed filled with cliches and predictability.
Carly bordered on being TSTL and annoyed me. This was a novella at 82 pages. I found it predictable and rushed. I only finished it because it was so short. I never felt the connection between Carly and Sam, probably because of the shortness of the story. Unlikely I would read the next in the series.