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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review: Even the Score by Kate Meader

Tell me I'm not the only one who really liked this book! I really hope there are going to be more books in this series soon.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Entangled - Brazen
Release Date: July 21, 2015

He'll make her an offer she can't refuse...

Actress Tess McKenzie is performing in the Tenth Circle of Showbiz Hell-dinner theater. All she really wants is to start a theater of her own. Then Tess receives an offer she can't refuse. She'll get her funding...if she pretends to be the fiancée to her nemesis, Texan property tycoon Hunter Dade. If she's going to pull this off, she'll need all the luck she can get. Break a leg, indeed.

On the verge of a big business deal, Hunter needs to hire a fiancée. He hasn't quite forgiven Tess for ruining his wedding, but when their chemistry goes from combative to straight-up lust, the "no sex" clause in their mutually beneficial arrangement is tested. Which is a serious problem, because if Tess isn't careful, she'll go from breaking a leg to breaking her heart...

Hunter Dade and Tess McKenzie’s first meeting went less than well. Their second encounter even less so since Tess managed to convince Hunter’s fiancé to run off with someone else. Time doesn’t necessarily heal all wounds, especially the ones that have to do with pride and vanity. When Hunter needs to hire a fake fiancé in order to close a business deal, Tess is the only viable candidate and Hunter sees it as an opportunity for revenge as well. Their off the charts physical chemistry is matched only by their constant bickering, which leads to some very steamy moments. Little by little, the millionaire Texas cowboy and the struggling stage actress discover that they may not be as different or as indifferent to each other as they originally thought.

Nice shootin’ Tex.

I just felt like that had to be said. Hunter is seriously one sexy Texan from humble (and tragic) beginnings. He and Tess just lit up the sky with their antagonism the first time they met. At least that’s what I gathered from the way they both remembered that fateful meeting that the encounters after that. Taking two strongly opinionated people and throwing them together is bound to create some major sparks and author Kate Meader gave me exactly what I was expecting and what I wanted from two people like Hunter and Tess. These two could argue over the color of a pearl and drive innocent bystanders nuts but they could also burn up the sheets like no one’s business!

But aside from the antagonism and the burning chemistry between them, Hunter and Tess have more in common that what their prejudices originally lead them to believe. I enjoyed the back story on both characters and was pleasantly surprised at how emotional Meader made Hunter’s early life. I didn’t get the sense that he had such gut wrenching baggage from the first chapters so this was unexpected but very welcome. It gave Tess the jolt she needed to start seeing Hunter as more than an annoyance. The same with Hunter. Once he had enough pieces of Tess’ unhappy childhood to form a better picture, he was forced to admit that maybe he was too hasty in his judgments of her.

When these two went from hostile parties to reluctant allies to lovers was when Even the Score really got good. Hunter and Tess had to navigate their way as an engaged couple through a group of unsuspecting people, including a very shallow woman who wanted more than just a smile from Hunter but it was his past that became the antagonist in the story and I’m always a sucker for a character who is his or her own worst enemy. The angst, which wasn’t present in the first half of the story, came charging in, giving both characters one heck of a conflict and more reasons to think up excuses for why they couldn’t be together. They traded one set of hasty judgments for another set and it was like they were back at the beginning all over again!

Meader did a great job of creating two characters I liked, making them think they were total opposites thereby causing some serious tension and then having them fall madly in love with one another. Even the Score was an overall enjoyable read, fast paced and seriously sexy. It had me adding Kate Meader to my list of Entangled – Brazen authors to be on the lookout for.

Final Verdict: Hunter and Tess had so much heat between them it nearly singed my eyebrows off!

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