on September 5th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Last call! At the end of the night, a clean-cut hunk and a rebellious bartender act on their unlikely chemistry in this frisky standalone novel from the author of Eye Candy.
I’ve had my eye on Grace Buchanan for a while now. Unlike the bubbly blondes I usually date, the feisty, flame-haired bartender both intrigues and bewilders me. Something about Grace—the tattoos? the nose ring?—makes every part of me sit up and beg. There’s only one problem: She hates me. Trading insults and one-liners has become our M.O. But when Grace bets me that I can’t get a date with a non-blonde if my life depends on it, I’m determined to prove her wrong by landing the ultimate non-blonde: her.
I’m used to regulars hitting on me, and I’ve turned them all down, except for one: Davis Price. I like giving him a hard time, and he’s kind of cute in his suit and tie—if you’re into that kind of thing. Anyway, I don’t care how many blondes he takes home . . . until one of them sidles up to him in my bar. Nuh-uh. But after my little bet with Davis backfires, our first date lands us in the sack. So does the second. And the third. Neither of us wants more than the best sex of our lives. The trouble is, it’s not a question of what I want. It’s what I need. And what I need is Davis.
~~Reviewed by Jen~~
Bartender Grace Buchanan’s personality is as brash as her red hair and tattoos. Not many can fluster or hold their own against her until she comes across Davis Price a devastatingly handsome Stock Analyst and bar regular with a wicked wit and bucket loads of self-confidence. Grace interacts with Davis as if he is the last man on earth she would take seriously, forget about going on a date with, and Davis’ penchant for enthusiastic blondes would seemingly put her out of the running with him. But when the barely suppressed sexual tension between the two comes to a head one night which results in Grace challenging Davis to date a non-blonde, things get complicated when the non-blonde he pursues is Grace.
Looks can be deceiving and Grace and Davis were a perfect example of this as their outer appearances and habits labelled them as a rebel and a corporate playboy. While Grace was edgy in appearance and shunned a nine to five lifestyle, Davis dressed in suits, despite working from home, and rigidly stuck to his schedule. But digging a little deeper and as the story expanded it became obvious that Davis was the more flexible and open minded one of this couple, in fact, he was the real communicator of the two. When this dynamic came into play is when this work really took off. While this pairing showed all the signs of potentially being a perfect match their unresolved imperfect pasts was a huge stumbling point for them. Grace’s growing up in a home where her parent’s dysfunctional relationship colored all of hers and Davis’s being left at the altar by his ex-fiance represented serious impediments to these two finding and more importantly keeping love. Grace’s tough exterior hid her insecurities while Davis had a quiet strength that his wisecracking banter veiled. In the end, it was the exposure of these traits that spurred their complex feelings and opened up a world of possibilities.
Jessica Lemmon shows in book two of her Real Love series, Arm Candy, that she not only knows her characters but her audience! This author uses humor liberally in her work but that by no means lessens the serious feelings that are explored in her writing. There is nothing typical about Ms. Lemmon’s portrayals even as she breaks them down to their most rudimental going to a place that her audience can emotionally find in common with her cast. The inclusion of seemingly innocent moments such as holding hands and cuddling while binging on Netflix made Grace and Davis you or I or any other couple in their familiarity. Her stories are personal and she speaks the universal language of love fluently leaving readers crying on one page and laughing on the next because real love survives the good, bad and everything in between in life. Don’t expect fairy tales from Jessica Lemmon, even better she offers wonderful Lemmon tales going to places we can all wrap our heads and hearts around. Arm Candy will make you feel like a reader in a bookstore, you don’t want to miss out on this one!
*I was given an advanced copy. All opinions expressed are my own.*
*While part of a series this work can be read as a stand alone.*