Still reeling from a nasty divorce, Melanie Cruz’s pride takes another beating when she loses her enviable job at an upscale resort. After a flurry of unsuccessful interviews, she finally—desperately—accepts a job managing a small chain of family-owned pizzerias in a quaint downtown Phoenix neighborhood. The job also comes with Dominic Esposito, her overbearing but ridiculously handsome boss. Falling for him might be the last thing she expects, but maybe it’s the one thing she needs.
As hard as they try to resist, Melanie and Dominic embark on a romance as hot as a brick oven, and Melanie has every reason to believe that maybe, this time, she’s finally found “the one.”
But Dominic has a secret—one even his family doesn’t know. And the scandal could threaten everything he and Melanie have worked for…in business and in love.
Author: Cora Brent
Series: Worked Up #1
Published by Montlake Romance Source: Publisher
Published: October 31, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Purchase your copy: Amazon
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Told in alternating first person POV, I was excited to read this one because I love getting inside of a character’s head, and feeling the feels right alongside them. Unfortunately, this book fell a bit flat for me in that regard.
First, the premise was a good one: Our heroine, Melanie, is fired from her job for screwing up a reality star’s wedding. Only she didn’t really screw it up, and, well…to be honest, I didn’t really follow what happened, but there was a lot of screaming and flower-throwing. She eventually gets hired at a family pizza restaurant as they try to open a second restaurant in Phoenix, AZ. Our hero, Dominic, is a brooding type. He’s a hard worker, working (of course) all hours of the day and night so that was his brother, who is married with a family, can stay home with them.
My main problem wasn’t so much the chemistry between the characters. The author missed a huge opportunity to show me vs. tell me. For example, instead of smoldering glances or accidental touches, I got, “Whenever we were in the room together, I was always so aware of him.” But she never goes on to tell me how, or why. And this is how the whole book is written. Also, there’s a lot of strange wording that made me pause and go, “Huh?” For example, after they’d had mad sex all night long all over Melanie’s apartment, Dominic “smiled like a demented thing throughout the entire fifteen-minute drive home.”
Overall, I enjoyed the premise of the book more than the book itself. The writing felt a bit stilted, and the execution of the alternating POVs missed the mark. However, the plot was strong, and I would read the next in the series, if only to see if the author grows in her craft.