Release Date: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
He'll make her an offer she can't refuse...
Actress Tess McKenzie is performing in the Tenth Circle of Showbiz Hell-dinner theater. All she really wants is to start a theater of her own. Then Tess receives an offer she can't refuse. She'll get her funding...if she pretends to be the fiancée to her nemesis, Texan property tycoon Hunter Dade. If she's going to pull this off, she'll need all the luck she can get. Break a leg, indeed.
On the verge of a big business deal, Hunter needs to hire a fiancée. He hasn't quite forgiven Tess for ruining his wedding, but when their chemistry goes from combative to straight-up lust, the "no sex" clause in their mutually beneficial arrangement is tested. Which is a serious problem, because if Tess isn't careful, she'll go from breaking a leg to breaking her heart.
Why I Love EVEN THE SCORE
- EVEN THE SCORE is a short novel that's paced well and reads easy. It started in the thick of things, with a proposition, a foot rub, ice cream, and heavy petting. You'd think it'll slow down somewhere but it didn't. It continued to build and heat up which resulted to a very intense and passionate love affair.
- I'm wary of rich dudes and their propositions, which is EVEN THE SCORE's plot. Well Hunter's not the usual bored millionaire, he's still rough around the edges and not afraid to get his hands dirty, yet still a gentleman, and a very lovable hero. Sure, he asked Tess to be his fake-fiancee for the weekend, but Hunter didn't play games with Tess, and the novel didn't piggy-back on the business proposal to create a well orchestrated conflict.
- EVEN THE SCORE's conflict was unexpected in that it didn't stem from the deal. By this time, Tess and Hunter's relationship has grown enough that it became personal. And no, it's not a miscommunication either.
- The romance might have developed fast but it wasn't insta-love. Tess and Hunter have history, in fact they dislike each other. Time might have dulled the animosity, but it sure sharpened their attraction for each other. I do love the frenemies trope, the extra sass makes the story extra spicy.
- Reading a lot romance novels have desensitized my appreciation for its sexier side to the point where I skip the succeding sex scenes after the first time. Tess and Hunter kept me interested though and I was far from bored by their encounters. I guess it's because both were very straightforward with their desires and gave in fully to their attraction to each other. There's also no slut-shaming here, Tess was surprisingly very sexual and owned it without coming across as cheap. Also, Hunter was a very indulging lover and didn't push his needs on Tess.
- Though EVEN THE SCORE is esentially a role-playing story, ironically Tess and Hunter never played games. They might have pretended in front of other people, but things were very real and sincere between them. There are no convenient plot devices and resolutions to usher their HEA either so it was a different "regular" for me.
Kate Meader is fast becoming a favorite. I can't quite articulate or specify why, but there's something about her romance novels that totally works for me. EVEN THE SCORE is a perfect example of this phenomenon, I mean it took me a while to think of the reasons why I love it without things sounding like "the usual". I hope I succeeded, if not then you just have to try KMeader and her books to find out for yourself. It's always best that way anyway.