By LJ Scar
Genres: Contemporary / Romantic Comedy
Reviewed by Dottie
One skilled contractor. One novice real estate investor. One unrealistic time frame.
Beck’s business card motto is “Don’t worry; I’ll fix it.” He prides himself on his skills…especially with women. After filing permits for a new job, he becomes awestruck by an unusual beauty making a big mistake. When she has the highest bid on a sheriff’s auction foreclosure and becomes the new occupant of the house across the street from him, his abilities get put to the test.
Hayden’s job as the office lackey is less than gratifying. While filling in for the junior vice president on a property acquisition she gets outbid, and then finds herself the not so proud owner of fixer upper with a questionable past. Suddenly out of work, out of money, and down to her last candy bar, she must flip her first home in time to pay off a risky loan before interest starts accruing at a staggering rate.
She’s determined to do this on her own. He’s determined to help. As renovation turns into romance, things get fixed, things get broken, while hearts, heads and homes get flipped.
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Dottie’s Star Rating: 4 Stars
Jenn was asked if we’d like to review this book, Sweet Addiction, and she asked me, in turn, if I’d like to do the honors. The minute I saw it involved a hunky contractor and a gal who’s hooked on home-improvement television, I said absolutely yes!
When I’m not reading or going about my life, I love to do home-improvement and to me, reality t.v. is home improvement networks! Plus, in all actuality, I’ve read a few heavy books lately and I thought a romantic comedy would be just the thing for me. At first, as I began to read this one, I was a little concerned it would be too light – I wanted an interesting storyline after all. But then, as I got further into it, I found myself saying, “This is a delightful book!” The characters made me smile. The humor is dryer (as opposed to more of a slap-stick type) but this is the type of humor I enjoy.
Hayden is hooked on home-improvement shows and yet, works at a property acquisition company where she is completely taken advantage of by some pretty lazy-assed bosses and kinda hates her job. When one of them (her bosses) asks her to step in for him at a property auction, she very, very reluctantly agrees. And although she doesn’t win the property she was asked to bid on for her boss (he did give her a cap, after all), she noticed another property in a pretty desirable neighborhood going for cheap and no one was bidding on it. Rooky mistake – she decides it’s a steal and bids on it for herself and wins!
But Beck, a contractor, is there too; he and his buddy flip houses and sees Hayden making this rooky mistake – only to realize this adorable woman just bought the blight on the neighborhood across the street from his own house – sight unseen! But what an opportunity for him, he has a legitimate reason to meet her and talk with her now that they’ll be neighbors.
When Hayden sees her new place, she’s a bit horrified to see what she bought, but I’ve gotta hand it to her, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work. Too bad her boss fired her for missing out on the property one of the partners sent her to bid on (he doesn’t feel like she’s got what it takes for letting it fall through her fingers) and now she’s out of funds and without an income with a house that needs a lot of T.L.C!
These two skirted around each other for a bit – actually, Hayden has been on a three-year break from men and although she finds Beck completely attractive, she’s not completely convinced she wants to hop back into the dating pond quite yet. But…she isn’t counting on how charmingly persistent Beck can be. He pursues her, helping her with projects at her house and manages to sneak a kiss in from time to time. Hayden begins to find him difficult to resist…
…Water droplets hung from her dark lashes framing green irises worthy of songs. She smiled. “I like getting caught in the rain. It’s romantic.” On and on, the rain pounded the pavement. I leaned toward her. The kiss I offered was intended to be tender, but I couldn’t hold back and it turned to more quickly. Her moan, my groan, I stepped back and shook off the lust. She touched my jaw. “Beck, your kisses could melt a girl like a Hershey bar left in a car on a hot afternoon [the girl likes her candy]. “How long till you’re nothing but a chocolate puddle at my feet?”…
This guy knows a good thing when he sees it and never lets up. But he doesn’t do this in an annoying, starker-like manner. He does it by showing her consistently what a good guy he really is. He’s protective of her when she needs him to be, but doesn’t doubt her. He doesn’t act like he’s the guy and he knows what he’s talking about and bulldozing over her plans for her house. Instead, he listens to her and works to make her life easier. He’s sweet. He’s sexy. He’s the type of guy who I seriously wish would move into the house across the street from me!
I also really liked Hayden. She rolls up her sleeves and works. She’s smart enough to know she doesn’t know all she needs to know and asks for advice when she needs it, graciously (well, eventually) accepts help when Beck offers it, and never loses track of her goals; both in the house as well as in her private life. I like a girl who knows herself enough to know a woman can accomplish a lot, use her brain and her brawn, and yet still be feminine too. This gal and I could be friends if she wasn’t a fictional character!
I liked how this couple became a couple. It wasn’t too fast (although Beck did lay a wet one on her pretty quickly, but it was more like announcing his interest in her) and it wasn’t too slow. And the story developed without this couple hopping straight into bed together and experiencing the “insta-love” some books entail. I felt the pacing was just about perfect. And when Beck finally breaks through Hadley’s shell (put up to keep the men away), I liked how he moved in in just the right way and with the right amount of push to help her see that he really is all that he’s been showing her he is. He’s genuine and sweet. Yet, he’s manly too. I really liked this guy!
A word of warning about this book for all the sex-in-books fans out there – this book is a fade-to-black when it comes to the bedroom scenes. It’s clear what’s happening, but it’s also far from needing a strong sexual content rating. This being said, this is not a sweetsie, no one has sex before marriage type of book either. Hadley makes him wait. He has to work to get to the point of where she is willing to go there with him, which I liked because it allowed their relationship to develop and evolve into something pretty special before they did the deed…
“Just so you know, the fact that I agreed to go home with you [his sister is getting married] this weekend does not mean I agreed to sleep with you.” He winked. “You have to sleep with me but you don’t have to sleep with me.” “Come again?” I was confused. “While unbelievable sex with the likes of me is on the table, a restful sleep in my arms is part of the deal.” “Why?” “Because the main house is filled with relatives and I don’t think you want to share a bed with Aunt Ida or Uncle Joe. It’s a small town and every cabin, motel, and tent in fifty miles is booked. I’m staying in my house boat and since you are my date, so are you.” I relented. “Okay, but no funny business.” “Relax. This is going to be the best four day and night date you ever had….”
This is, as I mentioned above, a very delightful book. I found myself smiling and giggling several times (and at least one laugh out loud laugh too). This is one of those books that you could pick up if you just need your day to get better, curl up with it, and just enjoy it. It’s a story that’s deep enough that it’s got some meat on its bones and yet doesn’t put you through an emotional ringer either. For me, after reading some pretty heavy stuff lately, it was just the perfect book to settle in and read with a cup of tea and shut out the world for a while!
Purchase Sweet Addiction Here:
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About LJ Scar
LJ Scar is my pseudonym and alter-ego. I am a bit of a romance novel addict who believes in second chances, love that lasts, and taking the road less traveled. I also have an HGTV tiny house obsession and someday hope to build one near the ocean or in the mountains where all my family can visit, a place that will afford me the time to travel, read, and write to my heart’s content. For now, I read more than I write. Mostly while working out and during my lunch hour at my soul sucking job. Just kidding about the job…not really.
I live outside Louisville, Kentucky with my husband, a deceptively smart old border collie/husky mix, and a loving but troublemaking English Pointer/lab mix -both are rescues. My book settings are always place I’ve lived or vacationed, and the romances are pure fiction.
If you would like to see more please check out LJ Scar on Facebook (no spaces on LJ). On my page you will find photo albums of pics that inspired each of my books from the places depicted in each. https://www.facebook.com/lj.scar.7