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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: Worked Up by Tessa Bailey

This is the second book by Tessa Bailey I've read and while I liked it, I'm not sure if this author is for me.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Brazen
Release Date: August 1, 2016

Factory mechanic Duke Crawford just wants to watch SportsCenter in peace. Unfortunately, living with four divorcee sisters doesn’t provide much silence, nor does it change his stance on relationships. But when a fellow commitment-phobe stumbles into his life, getting him good and worked up, he can’t deny his protective instincts.

Samantha Waverly’s brother just put her in an impossible situation. The only way out? Marry huge, gruff, gladiator look-alike Duke—for show, of course. She doesn’t make promises—she knows too well how easily they can be broken—and this is no exception.

As the blistering attraction between them grows, the lines around the no-strings relationship blur. But Duke and Samantha’s marriage is only for show…or is it?

What’s it About? Commitment-phobe Duke has his hands and house full with four sisters and people who constantly need his help with something. The poor guy just wants a moment's peace to watch SportsCenter. Meanwhile fellow commitment-phobe Sam needs to get married in order to be able to start her own business, and when she meets Duke the two decide to marry, because Duke can't seem to stop helping people and Sam feels that Duke won't expect anything real from their marriage. Except there's A LOT of physical chemistry between them.

Overall reaction to the story? Worked Up had a number of things going for it, at the top of the list was a hero who *gasp* wasn't chiseled to physical perfection. This modern day take on a marriage of convenience was believable for the most part but at the same time I had a hard time believing the timeline in which all of this takes place. Aaaand there was a few moments where the characters kind of got to me. But in the end, this book wasn't a bad way to spend a few hours.

Describe the hero in five words: Normal. Grouchy. Sweet. Protective. Dedicated.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Duke doesn't have six pack abs, he isn't cover model gorgeous, and he isn't a panty dropper. In fact, he's a touch grouchy and will use one word when it would be better to use complete sentences. He's a giant man-bear with a kind heart. He can't help but step in to offer assistance whenever someone needs it which is how he ends up married to Sam. I loved this guy! He was the total package with his gruff exterior and fierce need to protect those he perceives as needing protection. He was a keeper!

Describe the heroine in five words: Funny. Flighty. Smart.
Did you like her? Yes and no.
Why? Sam's best trait in my opinion was her ability to make bad puns and jokes come off as the funniest things ever. I loved that off beat humor that made her special but that was all she had going for her aside from typical traits. She has a good heart and really wants to make her business a success but at the same time she didn't take responsibility for her mistakes in her relationship with Duke. She was flighty and instead of her being an adult and saying "I screwed up now I have to fix it," she let Duke believe that he messed up. Not cool Sam, not cool at all. Aside from her bad puns, she wasn't all that remarkable to me.

Let’s talk about the romance: Insta-lust I can get behind, Duke and Sam had that going for them from the beginning but the insta-love? Nope, it wasn't convincing, I had a hard time believing this relationship was going from fake to real with how unbalanced the pacing was. These two went from fast to slow to fast to almost like a crawl and then bam, it's the end. I wanted a bit more development from them as a couple that didn't involve sex or their instant love. That's where this book really stumbled for me, the lack of believable development from their first meeting to the end when they realize that they love the heck out of each other.

How about that supporting cast? Duke has four sisters, his best friend, his best friend's wife, and their daughter living with him so there is no endless supply of secondary characters. Sam comes with a step-brother that caught a bit of my attention. I'd love to see more of him.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. Worked Up has it's good points but it also has it's "Huh?" moments. I think fans of Tessa Bailey will like this one but while I'd recommend it solely because of Duke, I would say not to expect a great tale of romance either.

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