Review: My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey

MY KILLER VACATION
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date:
June 6, 2022

An all-new, spicy murder mystery from Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author of It Happened One Summer…

It was supposed to be a relaxing vacation in sweet, sunny Cape Cod—just me and my beloved brother—but discovering a corpse in our rental house really throws a wrench into our tanning schedule. Now a rude, crude bounty hunter has arrived on the back of his motorcycle to catch the killer and refuses to believe I can be helpful, despite countless hours of true crime podcast listening. Not to mention a fulfilling teaching career of wrangling second graders.

A brash bounty hunter and an energetic elementary schoolteacher: the murder-solving team no one asked for, but thanks to these pesky attempts on my life, we’re stuck together, come hell or high tide.

I’m just here to do a job, not babysit an amateur sleuth. Although…it is becoming less and less of a hardship to have her around. Sure, she’s stubborn, distracting and can’t stay out of harm’s way. She’s also brave and beautiful and reminds me of the home I left behind three years ago. In other words, the painful hunger and protectiveness she is waking up in me is a threat to my peace of mind. Before I sink any deeper into this dangerous attraction, I need to solve this murder and get back on the road. But will fate take her from me before I realize the road has been leading to her all along?

AMAZON | KOBO | IBOOKS | B&N 

And I’m done. I’m fucking done. I might be dominating her, but she’s owning me.

Tessa Bailey books are like a combination of your favorite ice cream mixed with your favorite alcoholic drink. They’re a comfort but with a kick. A nice little zing that’s just the perfect amount of heat for your palate. And this girl? I live for her books.

What I love most about Tessa is while she has her signature dirty talking alpha thing, her books never feel formulaic. And as a reader who has read every single one of her books, that’s saying something. But I digress.

First there was some kissing….
Then we broke up even though we were never dating in the first place. We’ve been ending our non-existent relationship since we met, actually. It’s kind of our thing.”

My Killer Vacation was the perfect campy romance read with a mix of humor, sizzling romance, and murder mystery. It has a dirty talking tatted bounty hunter who likes it rough and dirty and has a heart of gold and a sweet elementary school teacher who looks innocent but secretly wants it rough. God but I lived for this combo.

Go to your meeting. I’ll meet you afterward.” She grins at me. “We can get ice cream.”
I snort. “Do I look like the kind of guy who goes on ice cream dates, half pint?”
“No…I guess you don’t.”
We walk in silence for a few seconds. “What flavor are you getting?”

The last thing anyone wants to discover on the vacation that they’ve been saving for forever and are finally on…a dead body. Suffice it to say Taylor and her brother didn’t see that coming on their anticipated vacation in Cape Cod.

I haven’t met a Tessa heroine who I didn’t adore, and Taylor was no exception. I loved her quirky personality and curious nature, and I especially loved the relationship she has with her brother.

When the gruff and tatted bounty hunter comes roaring in on his bike to assist with the investigation of the murder, he doesn’t expect the tiny little school teacher to insert herself in the middle of it. But while he may act all grumpy and annoyed, he can’t stay away from her.

When I tell you that I adored this book, I mean I adored this book. The humor, the banter, the steam. Everything. Even Taylor’s penchant of getting into ridiculous trouble because she wants to solve the murder didn’t bother me. And I’d normally dub her as TSTL. Yet she was nothing short of perfectly endearing.

And the ending and that epilogue? All of the swoons! And if Tessa doesn’t immediately give us a story for the brother and his best friend? I’m starting a riot!

Review: Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey

WINDOW SHOPPING
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date:
October 19, 2021

A sizzling, standalone, feel-good holiday romance from Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author of It Happened One Summer.

Two weeks before Christmas and all through Manhattan, shop windows are decorated in red and green satin.

I’m standing alone in front of the famous Vivant department store, when a charming man named

Aiden asks my opinion of the décor.

It’s a tragedy in tinsel, I say, unable to lie.
He asks for a better idea with a twinkle in his eye.
Did I know he owned the place? No. He put me on the spot.

Now I’m working for that man, trying to ignore that he’s hot.
But as a down on her luck girl with a difficult past, I know an opportunity when I see one—and I have to make it last.

I’ll put my heart and soul into dressing his holiday windows.

I’ll work without stopping. And when we lose the battle with temptation, I’ll try and remember I’m just window shopping.

AMAZON

I’m not what one would refer to as approachable. In fact, I’m fluent in Fuck Off. Hopefully he speaks it, too. Or at least knows how to read body language.

This is the story I never knew I needed but now I have no idea how I lived without it.

A reverse sunshine/grump trope with a grumpy with an ex convict heroine and a sunshine, Christmas loving and bow tie wearing hero? I. Am. PUTTEH.

I really thought I had a read on this man. He’s a wholesome rule follower who believes the best in people. A man who has a few demons lurking but is innately good at his core. Now we’re throwing a dirty streak into the mix? Good grief.

Oh did I forget to mention that he still has Tessa’s signature dirty talking side? Because holy ovaries, batman! I’m obsessed!

This was one of the cutest holiday romances I’ve read and the perfect book to cuddle up on the couch with on a cold and snowy night. But we’re still in fall, and I made due with a nice cup of tea and a blanket that I enjoyed with a giant goofy grin on my face, because THIS BOOK.

Stella nods, letting her head tip back and hit the wall. “Yes. Anything. Yes.”
Anything.
Permission granted, I reach down and yank up her skirt.

Stella recently moved to NY after serving her sentence and stumbles upon an atrocious holiday window display. Naturally, she tells the bow tie wearing handsome stranger making idle small talk with her on the street how she feels. And naturally he invites her to interview for the window design job. Oh and he may have forgotten to mention that he happens to be the namesake and owner of the store. Whoopsy.

Aiden is the quintessential nice guy I never knew I wanted. I am not generally a reader that likes nice guys. Wow, that sounds bad. What I mean is I want a nice guy in real life, and I love them toxic in fiction. But Aiden? He was just impossible not to love. He’s a sweet man with a dirty streak who is already picking out china patterns in his head the minute he and Stella get together. It takes Stella a hot minute to come to terms of her feelings for her boss, but once she does, it’s all in.

This was one of those feel good type of romances that will put a smile on your face and keep it there. It wasn’t angsty. It wasn’t full of drama. It was opposites attract in the perfectly cute holiday romance with plenty of dirty talk thrown in and all of the warm and fuzzies. The warm blanket of romances that is cozy, comforting, and heart warming.

#DGRFave Review & Excerpt: It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER
Series: It Happened One Summer #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: July 13, 2021

Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong. 

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart.

AMAZON

Brendan Taggart was the first Westport resident to spot the women.He heard a car door slam out by the curb and slowly turned on the barrel that passed as a seat in No Name. His bottle of beer paused halfway to his mouth, the loud storytelling and music filling the bar fading away.

Through the grubby window, Brendan watched the pair exit on opposite sides of a taxi and immediately wrote them off as clueless tourists who obviously had the wrong address.

That is, until they started hauling suitcases out of the trunk. Seven, to be exact.

He grunted. Sipped his beer.

They were a ways off the beaten path. There wasn’t an inn for several blocks. On top of misjudging their destination, they were dressed for the beach at night, during a late-summer rain, no umbrella to speak of—and visibly confounded by their surroundings.

It was the one in the floppy hat who caught his eye right away, purely because she looked the most ridiculous, a lipstick-shaped purse dangling from her forearm, wrists limp and drawn up to her shoulders, as if she was afraid to touch something. She tilted her head back and gazed up at the building and laughed. And that laugh turned into what looked like a sob, though he couldn’t hear it through the music and pane of glass.

As soon as Brendan noticed the way the rain was molding the dress to Floppy Hat’s tits, he glanced away quickly, going back to what he’d been doing before. Pretending to be interested in Randy’s overboard story, even though he’d heard it eighty goddamn times.

“The sea was boiling that day,” Randy said, in a voice equivalent to scrap metal being crushed. “We’d already hit our quota and then some, thanks to the captain over here.” He saluted Brendan with his frothy pint. “And there I was, on a deck slipperier than a duck’s ass, picturing the bathtub full of cash I’d be swimming in when we got home. We’re hauling in the final pot, and there it was, the biggest crab in the damn sea, the motherfucking grandpappy of all crabs, and he tells me with his beady little eyes that he ain’t going down without a fight. Noooo, sir.”

Randy propped a leg up on the stool he’d been sitting on earlier, his craggy features arranged for maximum drama. He’d been working on Brendan’s boat longer than Brendan had been captaining it. Had seen more seasons than most of the crew combined. At the end of each one, he threw himself a retirement party. And then he showed up for the next season like clockwork, having spent every last dime of last year’s take.

“When I tell you that sucker wrapped a leg around the arm of my slicker, right through the pot, the mesh, all of it, I’m not lying. He was hell-bent for leather. Time froze, ladies and gentlemen. The captain is yelling at me to haul in the pot, but hear me now, I was bamboozled. That crab put a spell on me—I’m telling you. And that’s when the wave hit, conjured by the crab himself. Nobody saw it coming, and just like that, I was tossed into the drink.”

The man who was like a grandfather to Brendan took a pause to drain half his beer.

“When they pulled me in . . .” He exhaled. “That crab was nowhere to be found.”

The two people in the crowded bar who hadn’t already heard the legend laughed and applauded—and that was the moment Floppy Hat and the other one decided to make their entrance. Within seconds, it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop, and that didn’t surprise Brendan one bit. Westport was a tourist stop to be sure, but they didn’t get a lot of outsiders stumbling into No Name. It was an establishment that couldn’t be found on Yelp.

Mainly because it was illegal.

But it wasn’t only the shock of non-locals walking in and disrupting their Sunday-night bullshit session. No, it was the way they looked. Especially Floppy Hat, who walked in first, hitting the easy energy of the room with shock paddles. In her short, loose dress and sandals that wrapped around her calves, she could have stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine for all those . . . tight lines and smooth curves.

Brendan could be objective about that.

His brain could point out an attractive woman without him caring one way or the other.

He set his beer down on the windowsill and crossed his arms, feeling a flash of annoyance at everyone’s stupefied expressions. Randy had rolled out the red carpet in the form of his tongue lolling out of his mouth, and the rest of the men were mentally preparing marriage proposals, by the look of it.

“Little help with the luggage, Pipes?” called the second girl from the entrance, where she’d propped open the door with a hip, struggling under the weight of a suitcase.

“Oh!” Floppy Hat whirled around, pink climbing the sides of her face—and hell, that was some face. No denying it, now that there wasn’t a dirty windowpane distorting it. Those were the kind of baby blues that made men sign their life away, to say nothing of that wide, stubborn upper lip. The combination rendered her guileless and seductive at the same time, and that was trouble Brendan wanted no part of. “Sorry, Hanns.” She winced. “I’ll go get the rest—”

“I’ll get them,” at least nine men said at once, tripping over themselves to reach the door. One of them took the suitcase from Floppy Hat’s companion, while several others lunged into the rain, getting stuck side by side in the doorway. Half of those jackasses were on Brendan’s crew, and he almost disowned them right then and there. 

Within seconds—although not without some familiar bickering—all seven suitcases were piled in the middle of the bar, everyone standing around them expectantly. “What gentlemen! So polite and welcoming,” Floppy Hat crooned, hugging her bizarre handbag to her chest. “Thank you!”

“Yes, thanks,” said the second girl quietly, drying the rain off her face with the sleeve of a UCLA sweatshirt. Los Angeles. Of course. “Uh, Pipes?” She turned in a circle, taking in their surroundings. “Are you sure this is the right place?”

In response to her friend’s question, she seemed to notice where she was standing for the first time. Those eyes grew even bigger as she catalogued the interior of No Name and the people occupying it. Brendan knew what she was seeing, and already he resented the way she recoiled at the dust on the mismatched seats, the broken floorboards, the ancient fishing nets hanging from the rafters. The disappointment in the downturned corners of her mouth spoke volumes. Not good enough for you, baby? There’s the door.

With prim movements, Pipes—keeper of ridiculous names and purses—snapped the handbag open and drew out a jewel-crusted phone, tapping the screen with a square red nail. “Is this . . . sixty-two North Forrest Street?”

A chorus of yeses greeted the strangled question.

“Then . . .” She turned to her friend, chest expanding on quick breaths. “Yes.”

“Oh,” responded UCLA, before she cleared her throat, pasting a tense smile on a face that was pretty in a much subtler way than Pipes’s. “Um . . . sorry about the awkward entrance. We didn’t know anyone was going to be here.” She shifted her weight in boots that wouldn’t be good for anything but sitting down. “I’m Hannah Bellinger. This is my sister, Piper.”

Piper. Not Pipes.

Not that it was much of an improvement.

The floppy hat came off, and Piper shook out her hair, as if they were in the middle of a photo shoot. She gave everyone a sheepish smile. “We own this place. Isn’t that crazy?”

If Brendan thought their entrance had produced silence, it was nothing compared to this.

Owned this place?

From IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER by Tessa Bailey, published by Avon Books. Copyright © 2021 by Tessa Bailey. Reprinted courtesy of HarperCollinsPublishers.

He was a set-in-his-ways fisherman. She was a rich, adventurous socialite.

Y’all. I’m going to make a pretty extreme statement here and you may want to sit down for it. But this? This was, hands down, my favorite Tessa Bailey book to date. I’m on bookish cloud nine. I felt like I was floating just reading it. And the goofy grin on my face for the entire book? Couldn’t help it! I’m in love and his name is Brendan Taggart.
This book had everything; humor, steam, a slow burn, a small town setting, a quirky socialite, and a grumpy bear…err…fisherman.

It won’t let me just use my own name as my username.”
“Yeah, probably because about nine hundred Brendan Taggarts joined before you.”
“So what should I use?”
“CaptainCutie69,” Fox spat out.
“IGotCrabs4U,” Deke supplied.
“SlipperyWhenWet.” Brendan stared.
“You’re all fired. Go home.”

This story reminded me a little of It Had to Be You but in a totally unique way. Maybe it was just the feels that it brought out, but man, I just died.

Piper is a type of heroine that could easily be seen as a fluff, unless Tessa writes her. She’s a spoiled socialite who has never known hard work or trouble beyond no good parties around on the weekend. So when her stepfather finally has enough of her antics and inability to take anything serious, her and her sister find themselves in a small town running their late fathers dive bar in the middle of a fishing town. Suffice it to say they’re ill equipped for the task, but in the most hilarious of ways.

Piper followed, looking down at him from the top of the stairs. “Are we friends, Brendan?”
“No,” he called back, without missing a beat.
Her mouth hung open, a laugh huffing out of her as she closed the door. Hannah sat up and asked, “What the hell is going on there?”
Slowly, she shook her head. “I have no freaking idea.”

No one has ran the bar for years since the passing of their father. And the town just kind of took it as their own. So when Brendan meets who he assumes is an air headed socialite, suffice it to say they get off on the right foot. Add into the fact that no one knew of the long lost daughters and they do anything but fit in with the locals and well, it’s a catastrophe waiting to happen. But god was it good!

The slow burn of this romance was EVERYTHING. And I really mean everything. I loved watching Piper grow into her own and I loved watching Brendan fall for her. She was such a sweet, quirky, and endearing character. And the grumpy and broody fisherman captain? I LIVED FOR HIM.

Going to fuck the word ‘friend’ right out of your beautiful mouth. You’ll forget how to say anything but my name. Real quick, honey.”

I loved this book beyond words and beyond reason. It was funny, swoony, and with a sizzle of Tessa’s signature dirty talk and I was so here for it. If there’s one book you add to your TBR this summer, make it this one. The perfect beach read is here and I can’t recommend it enough. Now if Tessa can just write Hannah and Fox’s book faster because the level of need that I have for that one is UNREASONABLE.

 

Review: This Time Tomorrow by Tessa Bailey

THIS TIME TOMORROW
Series:
Phenomenal Fate #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: June 22, 2020

Roksana, heiress to the vampire slayer throne, has performance anxiety.

She’s supposed to kill Elias, but so far she’s only succeeded in maxing out his credit card. Now her failure to stake the brooding vampire has sent her back to Moscow in disgrace to face her mother’s wrath. Expecting punishment by death, she’s given a rare reprieve. She now has three tasks to complete, the last of which is to finally kill Elias. She will not fail this time.

If only the memories of one magical evening—back when Elias was human, would stop holding her back. He claims to have forgotten that night. Why can’t she? Three years ago, Elias was a SWAT team member on a guy’s weekend in Vegas. Playing poker and minding his own business, his life changed forever when a captivating blonde strolled past his table in a light-up bra. He followed Roksana as if compelled, his very bones demanding he do so, his soul resonating with the belief she would be important to him. Always. That turned out to be a vast understatement—and nothing has changed.

Roksana embarks on her mission, determined to win back her mother’s approval, but when an astonishing truth emerges in the eleventh hour, will her stake pierce the very heart that beats in her honor? Or will love triumph over duty?

AMAZON

I love you,” he whispered, shaken by the emotion expanding in his throat, cradling her in his arms and carrying her to bed.
“No matter what happens this time tomorrow, that will never change.”

You guys. YOU GUYS! I’m practically vibrating with glee as I write this review. Because OMG. I mean OH MY GOD. This was EVERYTHING.

I’m going to date myself a little here, but I have to say, that if you’re a die hard fan of Buffy and Angel like I was, this is the holy grail of romances here. I mean; a sassy and smart mouthed vampire slayer falls for the dark, brooding, and uber protective alpha vampire. HELLO?!!! This was my happy place for the few hours it took me to absolutely DEVOUR THIS BOOK.
Now I have a confession to make here, too….
*whispers* I didn’t love the first book in this series. *cringes* I KNOW! I felt awful. I love me some Tessa Bailey, so to not like a book of hers, I felt like I was broken. But everything that I wished the first book was, the second book turned out to be. I’m not even exaggerating when I tell you that I devoured it. It was quick paced, emotional, and full of Bailey’s signature dirty talk that’s a one two punch straight to the ovaries. I LOVED IT.

Roksana is impossible not to love. I loved her as a secondary character, and I absolutely adored her as a main one. She’s so much more than just a smart mouthed slayer threatening to kill the vampires that she’s somehow been working along side with. Though her threats to kill them tomorrow sort of soften the intent. I was immediately gravitated towards the magnetic pull between her and Elias in the first book. But in this one? I was absolutely obsessed with it.

The story takes us back to the beginning of how these two first met and brings us into the now. Though you don’t find everything out right away, and you’re told in delicious bits and pieces until the puzzle begins to click together.

Elias was…GOD. This man was EVERYTHING. He loves Roksana beyond reason, even if she’s non the wiser for it. He’d die for her and would do anything for her, even if it’s sparing her the truth of something that has cost them both everything. His yearning for his woman was a tangible thing that you can practically taste from the pages. I’m not even kidding. It was utterly delicious. Their chemistry was absolutely incendiary. I couldn’t get enough of them and their push and pull. Talk about opposites attracting. Roksana’s mission is to kill him while he’d die to protect her. SWOON.

The world building here just did it for me. I was riveted to the quick paced story and all the side action it brought to the romance. And can we talk about this cover? PERFECTION. You bet your ass I’ll be buying the hell out of this paperback. And not just because I have every intention of re-reading this book countless times. If you’re looking for a sizzling hot PNR with one of the BEST couples that you will love to root for, don’t miss this one. Seriously. DO IT. Thank me for it later.

Review: Reborn Yesterday by Tessa Bailey

REBORN YESTERDAY
Series: 
Phenomenal Fate #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: March 17, 2020

A timeless love story with bite.

It was a night like any other for funeral home director Ginny Lynn, until the exceptionally handsome—and unfortunately deceased—young man on her embalming table sat up, opened his emerald eyes and changed the course of her life
forever, making her feel quite fluttery while he was at it.

Humans aren’t supposed to know Jonas Cantrell, or any vampire, exists. It’s kind of a major rule. Despite his instantaneous bond with perfectly peculiar Ginny, he has no choice but to erase her memories of their one and only meeting.

That was the plan. Before a reluctant Jonas can wipe Ginny’s mind clean, she reveals a secret that brings their worlds crashing together. Human and vampire. Past and present. Darkness and light. And while their love is strictly forbidden, it might be the
only thing that can save them…

Reborn Yesterday is a standalone novel.

AMAZON 

I’ve been thinking on my rating for this book for weeks. And now as I’m posting my review, I’m still torn. Did I like it? Kind of.

Here’s the thing, guys. I love and I mean LOVE all things Tessa Bailey. When I see a new Tessa book, I don’t even bother to read the blurb. I know I’ll be reading it. And when I saw that she’s writing in a new genre for her? I was ALL over it. But here’s another thing. PNR is my first love. It was THE genre that got me into romance. So to say that I’m picky when it comes to it would be a mild understatement. Perhaps that’s what played a big role in my feelings for this story? What I’m saying here is take my review with a grain of salt. Many readers really loved this one and clearly I’m the anomaly.

So what worked for me? The characters. They were adorable. I love me a quirky heroine and Ginny was adorkably quirky. She’s a mortician with a goofball personality that enjoys making clothes on the side. It was impossible not to bond with her immediately. As much as I also wanted to love Jonas, I sort of waffled on two sides. A part of me loved his edgy and somewhat tortured side. Another part of me got frustrated by his purple prose-y side. The man is a dirty talking anomaly. He sounded like he belonged in a Victorian novel rather than a modern age PNR. I suppose he was too sweet for me in parts. God, that hurts to say. Don’t judge me. But he was.

The other thing is that the story itself felt campy. The world was difficult to fully wrap my mind around. The characters got a bit confusing. It was all mostly very…underwhelming. It just didn’t grab me. It took me almost a week to finish because I had to push myself to keep reading in the hopes that it would pick up soon, but it never did. The pacing was simply too slow.

I loved the idea of the series and the concept of the story. Unfortunately it just lacked something to truly grab me and connect me to the story. It did grab me enough to want to read the next book in the series. The set-up sounds delicious. Unfortunately no matter how much you love a certain author, you simply can’t love all of their books. This was that one for me. I still adore Tessa and can’t wait for the next one in this series.

#DGRFave & Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

LOVE HER OR LOSE HER 
Series: Hot & Hammered 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: January 14, 2020

New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey returns with a unique, sexy romantic comedy about a young married couple whose rocky relationship needs a serious renovation.

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

AMAZON

I’ll do anything you ask me to do,” he said in a gravelly voice. “Except walk away.”

*Flails happily*
Y’all. This book. I can’t even right now.
I think this may be my favorite Tessa Bailey book to date. And that’s something something considering I’ve devoured the woman’s entire backlist.

The second Rosie and Dom appeared on the pages of Fix Her Up as secondary characters, I could practically taste the tension between them. I was dying to get my hands on their book, so the very second this landed in my grabby little hands, I devoured it in one delicious sitting. I couldn’t bear to put it down for even a second.

This was…I don’t even have words. Perfection! Swoony, sexy, and brimming with feels. It was everything I wanted in their story and yet so much more.

Rosie and Dominic are high school sweethearts. They fell in love fast and hard when they were teenagers. But as adults, that love is no longer enough to hold the pieces of their marriage together. Lack of communication, too many things left unsaid, too many assumption have all come together to leave Rosie feeling empty. She misses the man her husband used to be. Their marriage is crumbling around them and she has no idea how to hold it together.

All Dom ever wanted was Rosie. This is an inevitable fact and something that’s a constant in his life that will never change. So when his beloved wife tells him he’s leaving, he knows that he’ll do absolutely anything to save their marriage, and he’s not above fighting dirty. Withhold their physical connection until she agrees to come back to him? Check! Agree to see a quirky and borderline crazy marriage counselor? Check! Take every opportunity to remind her just why the fell in love? Check and CHECK.

GOD. You guys. I don’t even know how to begin to describe this to you. Dom was easily one of my favorite Bailey heroes. He’s a little troubled and a lot obsessed with his wife. He’s a dirty talking god, even if he doesn’t have much to say in his day to day. He’s quite, broody and intense. But the man is captivating and practically sizzling with sexual chemistry.

Rosie was perfection, too. This is not a woman that blames their crumbling marriage on her husband only. She takes full accountability for her faults as they fight to work through their issues. Add into this a kooky counselor, favorites from the previous book, and a brand new hero introduced to drive Bethany insane and I was HOOKED. Line and sinker. I was glued to the pages. Riveted. Captivated. And utterly charmed. I loved this story from beginning to finish. With the glimpses of the hate lust between Wes and Bethany, I’m already gagging for the next book. But if you’re looking for a swoony, sexy, and totally charming second chance romance, look no further. SO GOOD.

Cover Reveal & Excerpt: Sink Or Swim by Tessa Bailey

Sink or Swim is the final installment of the Beach Kingdom Series (following Mouth to Mouth and Heat Stroke). Sink or Swim is Andrew and Jiya’s story (friends to lovers!) and can be read as a standalone title, although the characters are introduced in the two previous series books. Sink or Swim will release on August 20th on Kindle Unlimited.


SINK OR SWIN
Series: Beach Kingdom #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: August 20, 2019

Andrew Prince wakes up before everyone else. He schedules the bar shifts, demands perfection from Long Beach’s lifeguards—most of all himself—and makes sure the family debts are paid. His unfaltering worth ethic might leave him exhausted, but it comes with one advantage. It distracts him from the love he’s been harboring since childhood for the girl next door—who he cannot have.

 

Jiya Dalal has dreams. To fly a plane, see the world below…and prove irresistible to her best friend, Andrew. But she needs to be a good daughter first, which is becoming an increasingly difficult task, since her parents expect a good marriage and the man she loves with all her heart refuses to pursue the blistering connection between them. Just when she’s beginning to believe Andrew truly doesn’t want her, a moonlight tryst on the beach exposes his true feelings. But an echo from the past kept them apart before…and it’s only growing louder with every stolen kiss…

Jiya looked up and found Andrew watching her intently. “What is this, Andrew?”“We’re dancing,” he rasped, his gaze slightly unfocused.

“You’ve never danced with me like this before.”

His gaze strayed to her lips, before he resolutely dragged them away. “Do you want to stop?”

“No and that’s the problem.” Come on, Mrs. I Don’t Play Games Anymore, bring up the elephant in the room. It’s not going away. “You’ve been different with me lately. Is it…” She took two bracing breaths. “Is it because I’m dating?”

He started to deny it, then changed his mind. “Might be. Yeah. I know that’s fucked up,” he said. “You’ve always been min—my best friend. We won’t have this if you start dating someone seriously. If you…”

“Get married?” 
His complexion turned gray. “Mmm.”
 Cement caked her insides, but she was used to it by now. She’d loved Andrew since she was a child. She’d waited patiently for him to love her back—as more than a friend—and he hadn’t. He’d done nothing about it. So while she yearned to dissect his every word and rejoice in them, ached for what he was feeling, she couldn’t do it anymore without being a fool. “Ask me the question, Andrew. The one you ask me every night.”

A line formed between his brows. “Can I do anything for you, Jiya?”

“Yes.” She took his face in her hands. “You can stay my friend. No matter what happens. Fine, things are changing in my life. But I couldn’t bear it if I ever lost what we have. Just stay my friend. Promise me.”

His jaw bunched. “You know I’d cut my heart out before saying no to you, right?”

“Yes.”

“Then you have your answer.” He wet his lips. “But we’re finishing the dance.”

 

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 eleven years and six-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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Review: Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

FIX HER UP
Genre: Contemporary Romance, RomCom
Series: Hot & Hammered #2
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: June 11, 2019

A brand new romantic comedy from New York Times bestseller Tessa Bailey!

Georgette Castle’s family runs the best home renovation business in town, but she picked balloons instead of blueprints and they haven’t taken her seriously since. Frankly, she’s over it. Georgie loves planning children’s birthday parties and making people laugh, just not at her own expense. She’s determined to fix herself up into a Woman of the World… whatever that means.

Phase one: new framework for her business (a website from this decade, perhaps?)

Phase two: a gut-reno on her wardrobe (fyi, leggings are pants.)

Phase three: updates to her exterior (do people still wax?)

Phase four: put herself on the market (and stop crushing on Travis Ford!)

Living her best life means facing the truth: Georgie hasn’t been on a date since, well, ever. Nobody’s asking the town clown out for a night of hot sex, that’s for sure. Maybe if people think she’s having a steamy love affair, they’ll acknowledge she’s not just the “little sister” who paints faces for a living. And who better to help demolish that image than the resident sports star and tabloid favorite?

Travis Ford was major league baseball’s hottest rookie when an injury ended his career. Now he’s flipping houses to keep busy and trying to forget his glory days. But he can’t even cross the street without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there’s Georgie, his best friend’s sister, who is not a kid anymore. When she proposes a wild scheme—that they pretend to date, to shock her family and help him land a new job—he agrees. What’s the harm? It’s not like it’s real. But the girl Travis used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman and there’s nothing fake about how much he wants her…

AMAZON

One second, laughter kindled in his throat, and the next, it was tight. Just tight. Because flushed and looking up at him with her bright green eyes, Georgette Castle was the most beautiful thing on the planet.

This was so stinking cute! A lighthearted and steamy romance full of laughs and sizzle the likes of which only Bailey can write. I read it with a smile on my face from beginning to finish.

Georgette Castle is the perfect amount of quirky that I love in my heroines. She’s the youngest sibling in her successful siblings and a bit of a black sheep. Her older siblings have their careers and life together, and Georgie is a professional clown. I mean, c’mon! How often do you read that? She’s incredibly endearing and loves her job entertaining kids. But she also wants her family to finally see her as the woman that can do something right in their eyes.

There’s a dash of unrequited love when it comes to her and Travis. She’s always harbored a secret crush on her older brother’s best friend but she never had a hope in snagging his attention outside of being the annoying little sister that tagged along and mooned after her brother’s friend. Travis is a professional MBA player whose career comes to a crashing halt after a bad injury. Now he’s back in the small town he couldn’t wait to get away from and dealing with his new reality.

I loved the relationship development between Georgie and Travis. They start as unlikely friends and confidants that soon leads to something more when Travis finally sees the woman Georgie always was. I loved that it wasn’t about Georgie changing herself to be seen in a different light by him but rather just coming into her own and comfortable with it. I loved the way that Travis brought her strength and helped her bring out the best version of herself and have her family finally see her. I loved that Georgie was a strong heroine outside of everything too. She didn’t need Travis to help her, but she also brought out the best version of him.

This was such a cute, endearing, and sweet romance. I loved the women’s friendships and Georgie’s brother’s kooky wife. I loved the secondary characters and the dynamic they bring to this story and I seriously can’t wait for more in this series!

Review: Heat Stroke by Tessa Bailey

HEAT STROKE
Genre: Contemporary, MM Romance
Series: Beach Kingdom #2
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date:  March 16, 2019

Marcus “Diesel” O’Shaughnessy is a brash, oversized CrossFit enthusiast with a naked lady tattooed on his rippling forearm. Jamie Prince is a private school teacher with an extremely low tolerance for bullshit. The two men have zero in common. Well, except for three things.

They’re both moonlighting as lifeguards for the summer.
No matter how hard they try, they cannot stay away from each other.
And both of them have secrets they’re determined to keep.

But what happens in the shadows of the Long Beach boardwalk can only remain hidden for so long, before the July sunshine reveals the hot, unrelenting connection they never expected, forcing Marcus and Jamie to decide if they’re simply caught up in a temporary heat stroke or if they’ve found something worth rescuing…

AMAZON

Christ, he loved when Jamie ordered him around…

I will never, and I mean ever, get enough of Tessa Bailey’s brand of sexy. The woman can write a romance with sizzling chemistry, witty banter, humor and her signature dirty talk like no one’s business. And I’m currently on cloud 9 after finishing this book. I thought I loved Mouth to Mouth, but man oh man, I wasn’t prepared for the level of obsession I was about to get with this one. GAH!

Heat Stroke brings us the straight laced Prince brother who moonlights as a lifeguard in his family’s business when he’s not teaching at a private school. Jamie is reserved and private, and the exact opposite of resident loud mouth, Marcus “Diesel” O’Shaughnessy. They are polar opposites in every possible way. Jamie is studious and smart, where Marcus struggled with everything school related. Jamie is reserved, where Marcus is as in your face as they get. Jamie is straight laced, where Marcus is the gym hopping muscle guy who is constantly underestimated.

Marcus O’Shaughnessy wasn’t scared of anything. He was six foot four and he could probably bench press a medium-sized gorilla.

But most importantly, Jamie is gay, and Marcus is…confused.

First of all, while this is a standalone, there are some things that carry over from the first book. The main thing is the dynamic between the brothers and the events that led to his younger brother’s arrest and what inevitably changed everything for Jamie. The relationship between Jamie and Marcus all happens on the pages of this book. What I’m saying is, I highly recommend you read the first book for a truly enjoyable experience.

As for this book? I loved it, y’all. I loved that Marcus was essentially a big ole’ sweetheart that just needs someone to believe in him. And I loved that straight laced Jamie is the exact opposite in the bedroom. The man is BOSSY. Raaarrrrrr!

But beyond the obvious sexiness of the book, I adored Marcus and Jamie’s road to HEA. I loved watching Marcus come to understand his feelings for Jamie and what it means. I loved watching him come to terms with who he is and I loved the way he handles it all. But most of all, I loved seeing just how much this mountain of a man cares for Jamie. He’s an adorably bumbling goof at times, but he also has a heard of gold. And while he may be a loud mouth, he’s not all talk. Marcus was easily one of my favorite parts of this book. I couldn’t get enough of him.

I devoured this book in one delicious sitting and couldn’t put it down for even a second. I’m in love with the Prince brothers, and I’m already itching to get my hands on Andrew’s story.

Heat Stroke was everything I’ve come to expect from the queen of dirty talk, and so much more. It was emotional, humorous, and totally and completely addicting. I absolutely adored it!

Review: Mouth To Mouth by Tessa Bailey

MOUTH TO MOUTH
Series: Beach Kingdom #1
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: November 12, 2018

A man with a prison record has no place around a fresh faced college student.

Tell that to Rory Prince.

He should stay the hell away from Olive Cunningham.

There’s one small problem, though. She won’t stop almost getting killed—and with this too-smart, too-sweet girl holding his heart in her hands, Rory is powerless to do anything but keep saving her.

Homeschooled from a young age, Olive is now out on her own and discovering the world, one milkshake flavor at a time.

Until recently, she has experienced life through books.

She’s walked in a million sets of shoes while flipping pages—enough to know that Rory gives her once-in-a-lifetime feelings.

If only he would stop trying to protect her…from himself.

AMAZON

He was so fucking deep in love with her, he was never going to reach the bottom. The rest of his life would consist of sinking, down, down, down, further into love with this girl. Olive. His Olive. 

Two things that are typically a lady-boner killer for me in books:
1. Insta-love
2. Virginal, sweet and innocent heroine

Two things that this books had:
1. Insta-love
2. Virginal, sweet and innocent heroine

I’m pretty sure that only Tessa Bailey is capable of throwing that at me and making me love it. I’m questioning my entire existence right now because of how much I loved it. Not that I’m going to be binging on insta-anything immediately after. But, if Tessa Bailey writes it? You best believe I’ll be reading it.

Mouth to Mouth is a New Adult romance that’s a deliciously fast paced read. It’s your steryotypical bad boy falling for the good girl trope, but with a Tessa Bailey twist on it. What does that mean? It means that while the heroine is most definitely a good girl, she’s also quirky, spunky, and witty. And the bad boy? A dirty talking god. What else do you expect?

Olive and Rory come from two entirely different worlds. A home schooled book worm that’s out in the real world for the first time on her own meets a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks with a prison record under his belt doesn’t exactly make sense on paper. But when Rory saves the beauty with her nose stuck in her book from getting hit by a car, both their worlds get tilted on their axis. Olive is sweet and innocent. A college student out on her own for the first time ever. Rory is no good for her, but he also can’t keep away from her. He’s drawn into her orbit. And when he saves her life for the second time, all bets are off.

This was such a fun and sexy romance full of Tessa’s signature dirty talk and hot as sin scenes. It also have two incredibly endearing characters that you can’t help but fall for. Both Olive and Rory have their own demons of self worth that they’re fighting, but you root for the the entire way.

It also sets the scene for the other Prince brothers and man oh man does it sound delicious. Especially the MM one. I can’t wait!

If you enjoy a sweet and sexy light-hearted romance, this one is not to be missed!

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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