ROMANCE

Tools of Engagement

Avon. (Hot & Hammered, Bk. 3). Sept. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9780062872937. pap. $15.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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Rodeo rider Wes Daniels has recently moved to Port Jefferson, NY, to care for his five-year-old niece after his sister decides she needs a break from parenthood. Wes adapts to a lifestyle of responsibility, which includes working construction at Brick & Morty, the leading local house-flipping company. It’s also Bethany Castle’s family business. Bethany has helped Wes with meals and organizing child care, but she seems uninterested in anything else. Bethany is on a self-imposed break from men, and while presenting the picture of poise and polish, she struggles with fierce insecurity. She enjoys staging homes for her family’s company, but longs to flip a house on her own. When Wes joins her in this venture the attraction between the two intensifies. Quirky secondary characters, inviting small-town setting, and sensual scenes are highlights of this charming and funny novel.
VERDICT Fans of the “Hot and Hammered” series (Fix Her Up; Love Her or Lose Her) will delight in visiting with familiar characters, but this can certainly be read as a stand-alone. Fans of Christina Lauren and Helena Hunting should add Bailey to their list of go-to rom-com authors.

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