TBR Challenge for February

The Theme: New to You Author                                                                                               

The Book: My Reckless Valentine by Olivia Dade

Why it was in my TBR pile: I’m cheating a bit this month. I’ve read Olivia Dade before – the first in this series was a novella I really enjoyed. I picked the second up when it was on sale. It’s languished in my TBR pile and, since this month is February, I thought it was time to dust it off.

The Review:

Library manager Angie Burrowes is in trouble again. Her superiors have never approved of her unconventional methods, but the latest warning is serious—another complaint from the administration or a patron, and she’s fired. With a steamy Valentine’s Day contest to conceal and her career on the line, the last thing Angie needs is a near-accident while driving home. At least, until she meets the tall, dark, and sexy stranger responsible for her very own spicy plot twist…

Straight-laced Grant Peterson has only one thing on his mind: making a good impression as the new Director of Branch Services at the Nice County Public Library. On the eve of his first day, however, a lusty encounter with Angie unleashes a desire unlike any he’s ever known. Their tryst may be one for the record books, but when he learns he’s Angie’s new boss, will Grant need to check out on love?

Full disclosure: I am friendly with Olivia Dade on Twitter and she is represented by the same literary agency I am. She has a great sense of humor – one that shines in her books. With everything going on in the world right now, I needed a pick-me-up, lighthearted and fun romance. Having read the novella in this series, I had a sense this book would be exactly what I was looking for. I was right.

Angie Peterson is a great heroine. She’s fun-loving, a bit spontaneous and bold. Her management of the local library branch has gotten her in trouble a time or two. She knows she should scale back but internal fears, created by her childhood, won’t let her. She is searching for someone who will accept and admire her more free-wheeling way of doing things. When Grant enters the picture, with his labeled closet drawers, she worries he won’t like her – both professionally and personally.

Grant was a hero I identified with – maybe because he was essentially the male version of myself. Cautious, organized, reliable. He’s attracted to Angie, not just because of her physical attributes, but because of her outspokenness. Part of him, perhaps, longs to be a bit like her and, as a result, he feels comfortable being more free with his own thoughts and desires when around her.

Angie and Grant have a unique and fun meet cute. It involves a suitcase and a whole lotta condoms. The attraction between them is instantaneous and they end up having a sleep over. What should have been a one-night stand isn’t because both of them recognize something really special in the other. It’s one of those moments when insta-lust turns into, hey, there might be something more here. Both of them want to explore it but are crushed to learn, in front of the entire library staff, that Grant is Angie’s new boss. They decide to stop the relationship but fate – and a required trust building exercise – keep throwing them together. As they learn more about each other, the attraction between them only grows.

I really loved this book. It was funny and smart, with laugh out-loud-moments and steamy sex scenes. Angie and Grant were the perfect ying and yang for me. I could clearly see how both of them had attributes the other respected and secretly wished they had more of. Angie wants to be more responsible but she’s scared it will mean she can’t live life to the fullest. Grant desires to be more outspoken and spontaneous but his cautious nature prevents it. With each other, they find a balance neither could achieve on their own. Being along for their romance was a joy.

If you are in the mood to escape, I can’t recommend this series enough. Two books in and I’m loving it. I won’t let the next one linger so long on my TBR pile.

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