Published by Sarah O'Rourke Books on February 10th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The directive had been clear: Deeply embed himself in the fair town of Paradise, Tennessee, and keep one Melody Song Reardon from forgiving her fornicating ex-fianc├® and keep her safe by any means necessary.
Fortunately, Retired First Sergeant Callum Valentine had always been a man that got the job done. Unfortunately, nobody told him that while his ÔÇÿjobÔÇÖ might be as pretty as a picture, she could be ornery as a wet cat and had a stubborn streak a mile long. Now, he was battling baristas and dodging would-be assassins in an effort to keep one sultry southern minx safe.
HeÔÇÖd thought the Taliban would be the most dangerous force he ever face. Imagine his surprise when he realized that the radical extremists had nothing on one curvy little woman with a wicked edge to her tongueÔÇª. a woman that had somehow tangled herself around his cold heart.
Melody Song Reardon was done with men. After learning that the man sheÔÇÖd been going to marry was no better than a corporate Casanova in and out of the boardroom and bedroom, sheÔÇÖd decided that love just wasnÔÇÖt in the cards for her.
Which was fine.
She was young, smart, and capableÔÇª and better yet, she had a dream and a plan: Opening her very own book/yarn store ÔÇô Hooks & Books. She had the brains. She had the building. And now, she had a freaking bodyguard compliments of her interfering older brother?
She didnÔÇÖt care how mouthwateringly handsome her so-called savior was; she didnÔÇÖt need another controlling man in her life telling her what to do. At least, she hadnÔÇÖt needed oneÔÇª. until those nerve wracking hang-ups and strange notes took an ominous turn. Now, somebody wants her dead and the only thing standing between her and the Grim Reaper is one seriously gorgeous man named Callum Valentine.
Falling in love again in the middle of her own personal apocalypse hadnÔÇÖt been the plansÔÇªthen again, the great thing about a plan is that it can change on a dime!
I was drawn to this book after reading the synopsis.┬á Melody finally puts on her big girl panties and moves out of her comfort zone ÔÇô she opens her own store.┬á What she didnÔÇÖt expect is for her brother to send along someone to watch out for her just because she left her philandering fianc├®.┬á Well, itÔÇÖs a good thing he did because not only does trouble seems to find Melody, but she certainly needs someone to unearth the woman she lost to her ex, Brad.
Enter Cal. HeÔÇÖs alpha.┬á HeÔÇÖs ex-military.┬á HeÔÇÖs crass and has a dirty mouth.┬á And, he wants Melody.┬á The two of them together is a test of wills, a lot of snark, silliness, passion and lust.┬á Cal is often just as hard-headed as Melody, but they pair well together.
The only issue I had with this novel was the redundancy of details in the beginning.┬á I felt as though it made the story long-winded in areas which did not demand it.┬á Once I got past that, the story improved a lot for me.┬á I particularly enjoyed the twists and turns (super turds and sluts make for fun reading).┬á I LOVED the McKinnon sisters and their men, too.┬á Those women are a riot and a handful!┬á I seriously need to get all of their stories.
YouÔÇÖll get an entertaining and sexy story of second chances to find the life you really want.
~Review by Loredana
Cal watched her another minute.┬á ÔÇ£YouÔÇÖre a stubborn little ball of fury, arenÔÇÖt you?ÔÇØ he asked as he watched her try to attach the tool to the lug nut, wincing as the metal slipped for the second time in a row.
Melody took a deep breath before she slowly turned to face her tormenter.┬á ÔÇ£I was brought up believing that a girl should be able to take care of herself.┬á I forgot that lesson for a little while and almost made a mistake I could never undo with a man IÔÇÖd rather forget.┬á IÔÇÖm not ever going to repeat that experience again.┬á So, to answer your question, yes, IÔÇÖm a stubborn little ball of fury.┬á Now, will you please go on your merry way?ÔÇØ
Cal finally gave into the urge and laughed, earning himself a cold look from the woman currently on her knees.┬á ÔÇ£Careful, Princess.┬á IÔÇÖm gonna get a complex here because itÔÇÖs beginning to feel like you donÔÇÖt like me very much,ÔÇØ he taunted her with a wink.┬á Seeing her press her lips together tightly, he knew she was fighting the urge to scream bloody murder at him.┬á Squatting beside her, he met her fiery gaze.┬á ÔÇ£Cat got your tongue, Pretty Girl?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£No,ÔÇØ she declared with a shake of her head as she looked from him to his jacked up truck.┬á ÔÇ£Do you mind if I ask you a question?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Ask away, darlinÔÇÖ,ÔÇØ he invited silkily with a ready nod.┬á ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm an open book,ÔÇØ he declared, holding his muscular arms out to his sides.┬á And it was true.┬á The book on him was open; it just happened to be written in code, he thought to himself as he gave himself a mental pat on the back for his own wittiness.
Melody offered him a deceptively sweet smile.┬á ÔÇ£Is it true that men use big trucks to compensate for smaller endowments in, well,ÔÇª other more intimate areas?ÔÇØ she asked, dropping her voice to a conversational whisper as she gave his crotch a rather pointed look.┬á
Cal guffawed.┬á ÔÇ£Are you asking me if IÔÇÖve got a tiny dick, Princess?┬á Because I can tell you with a hundred percent honesty that the size of my cock and the size of my truck are very directly related.┬á TheyÔÇÖre both big and bad, but if you donÔÇÖt believe me, IÔÇÖd be pleased to give you a private showing.ÔÇØ
MelodyÔÇÖs jaw dropped at his audacity.┬á ÔÇ£YouÔÇª you just canÔÇÖt say things like that!ÔÇØ she blustered, blushing furiously as he laughed in her face.
ÔÇ£I just did.┬á Besides, you started it,ÔÇØ he accused, propping his hands on his narrow hips as he leaned forward and stared her down.┬á ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt dish it out if you canÔÇÖt handle having it spoon-fed back to you, Princess.ÔÇØ┬á Damn, Cal privately mused, he hadnÔÇÖt had this much fun with a woman with her clothes on in years.┬á He couldnÔÇÖt help wondering how exciting sheÔÇÖd be with her clothes off.┬á He definitely be making it a point to find that out as soon as humanly possible.
ÔÇ£I revert to my earlier statement.┬á You are a pig,ÔÇØ she reiterated with a disgusted shake of her head, her ponytail flying over one shoulder to smack him in the face as she moved.
ÔÇ£Maybe, but youÔÇÖre just mad that you canÔÇÖt seem to get one-up on me.┬á Not used to a man that will stand his ground and fight with you?ÔÇØ he asked, fishing for a response from her.┬á He wanted to know just how much sheÔÇÖd reveal about her ex-fianc├® in casual conversation.┬á Her brother didnÔÇÖt think thereÔÇÖd been any kind of physical abuse and based on her reactions to him, he tended to think RJ was right, but he wanted to be sure.┬á Because if he was wrong, she wouldnÔÇÖt need his protection because heÔÇÖd simply kill the motherfucker and be done with it.
ÔÇ£My former fianc├® didnÔÇÖt fight.┬á It was too low-class a thing for him to do.┬á He used to call our arguments spirited debates.┬á My ass, they were debates.┬á Freaking moron.┬á A fight is a fight, right?ÔÇØ she asked as she grunted with exertion while she tried to pry one of the lug nuts loose.┬á
ÔÇ£Right,ÔÇØ he agreed with a nod, sighing as her tool slipped again.┬á ÔÇ£Politicians haveÔÇª.what did you call ÔÇÿem?┬á Spirited debates?┬á Real men and women fight.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£See, thatÔÇÖs what I thought, too.┬á But maybe that was the problem,ÔÇØ Melody muttered as she twisted the tire iron sharply, silently cursing the tight bolt.┬á ÔÇ£I always did think Bradley had political ambitions.┬á God knows that itÔÇÖs what his dear old mommy and daddy wanted for him,ÔÇØ she continued to growl through gritted teeth as she twisted the tire iron violently.┬á ÔÇ£Eureka!ÔÇØ she shouted when the bolt moved a few millimeters.┬á ÔÇ£Did you see that?┬á It moved,ÔÇØ she yelped, as her body made a tiny celebratory shimmy.
Cal chuckled softly at her little dance.┬á ÔÇ£Sounds like this Bradley fella was kinda a douche,ÔÇØ he surmised, carefully watching MelodyÔÇÖs face.
ÔÇ£That is the understatement of the frickinÔÇÖ year.┬á Heck, maybe the decade, too,ÔÇØ Melody muttered, lifting one hand to take a swipe at her sweaty forehead.┬á
Edging toward her, Cal tried to make a grab for the tool in her hand.┬á ÔÇ£Seriously, babe.┬á Let me do that for you,ÔÇØ he demanded gruffly, afraid she was going to either damage the wheel well or herself with her rough use of the tool.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm about done warninÔÇÖ you, Stranger, so IÔÇÖll try and be real clear one last time.┬á You try to touch my tire iron again and IÔÇÖm gonna introduce it to the side of that hard head of yours.┬á Repeatedly,ÔÇØ she informed him grimly while she desperately tried to loosen the second lug nut.┬á ÔÇ£And, for the record, let me just state that I am most certainly NOT your babe,ÔÇØ she huffed, panting with exertion.
He could see her energy waning and shook his head.┬á ÔÇ£YouÔÇÖre completely right, you arenÔÇÖt my babe,ÔÇØ he agreed, covering MelodyÔÇÖs icy hands with his as she growled fiercely at the tire.┬á ÔÇ£Right now, youÔÇÖre more of my pain in the ass, woman,ÔÇØ he continued, his hands tightening on hers as he helped her turn the lug nut.┬á ÔÇ£ThisÔÇÖd be so much easier if youÔÇÖd just let me do it,ÔÇØ he stated again, afraid he was going to hurt her hand by squeezing it too hard.┬á ÔÇ£Honest to God, sassy, sweet and stubborn is not the sexy combination I thought it would be on you.ÔÇØ