August 10, 2016

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Worked Up (Made in Jersey #3)

This series... GAH, I love it. And I really loved Duke and Samantha. Check out my review and enter the giveaway!

Worked Up (Made in Jersey #3), by Tessa Bailey
Publish Date:
August 1, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author and Indiesage PR
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) 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?

Worked Up proves that two wrongs most definitely can make a right. Not that Duke and Samantha were “wrong” or anything, but their views on relationships and commitments were a bit skewed. If you put two commitment-phobes together, you would expect a whole lot of wham-bam-thank-you-maam, but Duke would never presume to be so predictable. And, thank goodness for that.

Samantha’s only supposed to be in town for a short while. Her overbearing brother delivered an ultimatum that gave me all kinds of rage tendencies – he would fund her children’s art project if she married. Have I mentioned Samantha’s aversion to commitment? So, she ran and ended up in Hooks, New Jersey in the same bar that Duke goes to to escape from his sisters.

Duke is a fixer. He fixes machines at the factory in town, but he also can’t help but help people when he sees a need. So, when he meets Samantha, initially he sees another project, and maybe a hot piece on the side. But, between her job as a children’s book illustrator and her ridiculous tendency to insert corny puns into conversation at every turn, she ends up getting under his skin in only one night. She’s no longer someone he feels compelled to fix out of a misplaced sense of duty, but rather, someone he wants to help simply because it would make her happier. Duke’s transformation is the best part of Worked Up.

Admittedly, Samantha was much more difficult to bring to his way of thinking. Duke enjoyed trying to convince her, though. As I’ve come to expect and LOVE from Tessa Bailey, that man has one heck of a dirty mouth on him, and he uses it in so many delicious ways. I loved that Duke was imperfectly perfect. He wasn’t all washboard abs and slick skin. He’s a beast of a man with hair on his chest and face and a trim, but not quite perfect body. I loved seeing him through Samantha’s artistic and quirky eyes.

There are quite a few surprising twists and turns in Samantha and Duke’s story, and of course, things don’t always go smoothly for them. But, as they work through their differences, they get help from Duke’s crazy sisters, as well as River and Vaughn and their adorable daughter. Things are set up toward the end for the next Made in Jersey book, and – brace yourself. Because it’s between Samantha’s brother Renner and his factory security officer Milo. Oh yeah – Tessa Bailey is writing m/m.

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

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