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Bad Angels #1, The real reason I picked this book... the dog. How could I say no to that face! I love mastiffs, I wish I could have one. New author for me and usually not much for a billionaire romance but I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is a opposites attract/rags to riches romance which I enjoyed. Third person POV that switches focus from Mason to Tess so you get both sides of the story.
Tess came from a rough environment with a flaky mother who was constantly on the lookout for a new boyfriend or a new high. After making some poor life decisions as a teenager Tess moved in with her grandmother and started to take care of her. Now at the age of 26 she's finally getting her life in order she got her GED and is taking online college courses while working three jobs.
Mason came from a loving home and succeeded at everything he did, except relationships. Good grades in high school, football star, went to Harvard and MIT and earned billions in investing in other people. His relationships on the other hand don't seem to last after the fourth date. Mason's sister, Alli, guilts him into taking care of her 200lbs mastiff, Wick, who just had surgery and is taking medication that's makes him pee, a lot. Unable to give the dog the constant supervision he needs Mason hires a dogsitter. Seeing how adept Tess is with other dogs he begs her to take this job and even offers an outrageous sum of money for her.
Mason is completely taken with Tess, he's never met anyone like her before. She's a hard worker, great with animals, she calls him out whenever he starts flirting, she doesn't want anything from him except to work and get paid, and underneath her ill fitting baggy clothes he knows she's beautiful inside and out. Mason understands that Tess is as afraid of relationships as he is and after they start their non-relationship he's constantly worried that she'll bolt. Tess' past has taught her not to rely on anyone and she's afraid to let her guard down with Mason because his track record with staying with a woman is practically nil she's afraid he'll leave.
Overall, it was an entertaining read. I loved seeing their relationship grow into something more despite all the avoidance in communication with each other when it came to the really important stuff. The chemistry was great, it was obvious from the moment they set their eyes on each other it was going to be hot. I liked the side characters as well, and establishing the friendship and how deep it goes between Mason and the other Bad Angels and Tess and Cece. I look forward to the rest of the series.
Federal K-9 #2, Missed the first book, but that's okay because this is fine as a standalone. This was a great read, with O'Fallon being in law enforcement herself it came off as very realistic. Nick and Andi try as they might to stay professional and not get involved with each other in the middle of a case. A case where Andi Hardt is suspected of being involved in a money laundering and black market gun distribution. Andi will do whatever it takes to clear her name and unfreeze her bank accounts even if that means pretending to hire the annoyingly sexy Nick Houston as her new bartender.
Mass. State Police Sgt. Nick Houston and his K-9, Saxon, are working in junction with the AFT, IRS, and the FBI to try and track down and stop a black market guns dealer so far they have found the accountant who helps with the money laundering. Unfortunately it's Andi's ex-boyfriend who is still a friend and Andi was staying at his house when they executed the warrant. Nick figures that the guy still has some attachment to Andi so he pitches the idea to stay close to her incase the ex calls her everyone likes the idea so Nick goes to work for her at the Dog Park Cafe.
It took something major to get Andi out of the financial world but when she was betrayed by a person who claimed to love her she found a new love in a dog friendly restaurant, it took all the money she had to open it up and now because of yet another betrayal she might lose this too. Andi can't open her heart again not even to the too sexy for his own good Nick. Nick has been so career oriented since his wife died five years ago he was taken by surprise by how much he likes Andi and by how right it feels being with her. But no matter how much he likes her the job must come first.
Overall, I really liked this book. I loved the characters and the dogs. It's a bit of a slow burn because the try to keep their hands off of each other because of the case, heck for a portion of the book Andi does not like Nick because of what they are doing but her attraction to him wins out the more she gets to know him. Nick is more than what he seems and Andi is a headstrong woman and both have pasts that have molded them into who they are now and keep them hesitant from jumping in to quickly.
It's been a while since The Thorn and the Sinking Stone was added to my shelves, so the details of the blurb were a bit blurry at the start but it became clear very quickly it was based on Romeo and Juliet. Now, I like Shakespeare, but have always been unable to like that insta-romance between two teenagers.
The book has a dystopian setting, but it's good you're reminded about it every now and then, since the world building is so sparse that you would completely forget. Apparently a Final War has raged and the survivors go about as warring gangs. What happened with the rest of the world remains unclear, though they would have enough means of transportation to figure it out. Another consequence of this war, at least that was what was claimed by the dystopian government, was the introduction of the Cursed, people with enhanced abilities. Which you can test for with a blood sample and which, as good old dystopian governments are wont to do with everything they don't fully understand/control, needs to be exterminated. It is a shame, because I for one would have liked to read more about the world and how it came to be.
Instead, the book is filled with the (blooming) romance between the children of two of the warring gangs, who immediately feel, after a kind of Peeta-and-the-bread moment, that the other is so special that they would die for each other. Luckily both are both Cursed with some useful abilities, or they wouldn't have lasted long. It was insta-love, and overall I felt the romance played too big a role in the story.
With a bit more world building and a lot less insta-love, I think I really would have liked the story. Now, unfortunately, it wasn't for me.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
This was my read for square 1 of Snakes and Ladders, since the author is female, I get to roll two dice:
This brings me to square 12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z. I'm currently reading Vivatera by Candace J. Thomas, so that fits.