Release Review: Worked Up: Tessa Bailey

WORKED UP - cover
Worked Up (Made in Jersey #3)
Tessa Bailey
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Expected August 1, 2016

Factory mechanic Duke Crawford just wants to watch SportsCenter in peace. Unfortunately, living with four divorcee sisters doesn’t provide much silence, nor does it change his stance on relationships. But when a fellow commitment-phobe stumbles into his life, getting him good and worked up, he can’t deny his protective instincts.

Samantha Waverly’s brother just put her in an impossible situation. The only way out? Marry huge, gruff, gladiator look-alike Duke—for show, of course. She doesn’t make promises—she knows too well how easily they can be broken—and this is no exception.

As the blistering attraction between them grows, the lines around the no-strings relationship blur. But Duke and Samantha’s marriage is only for show…or is it? 

Graphics from Author's Facebook page

Samantha Waverly is only visiting Hook, New Jersey to deal with some business with her step-brother, Renner, who now owns the factory there. She's looking for some fun, but nothing permanent.

Duke Crawford is ex-military and a factory worker. He is a gentle giant who does not want or need a relationship. He already has taken in his four divorced sisters and has friends in his guest house. He's a fixer, a giver, dependable, and is selfless. But he just wants some peace and to watch sports. But the appearance of a new girl in town who seems to need a bit of protection and is strangely entertaining, draws him in.

They find an oddly flirty and funny rapport. And share one earth-shattering-climb-him-like-a-monkey-in-a-tree kiss that is hard to forget.

I freaking adored pouty man bear Duke. He's big, burly, hot, powerful, and dominant. But he's also vulnerable, sweet, caring, and protective, A big soft teddy bear with a bossy edge. His opinions of what he wants change pretty fast, but I loved seeing his feelings and single-minded determination. Sam knocks him totally out of his head and brings chaos into his previously planned existence.

Sam is sweet, goofy, imaginative, talented, and a good match for him. But her fears and insecurities definitely lead to negative thoughts and believing the worst. She has a history of not being emotionally invested, but then starts feeling so much so soon that it begins to overwhelm her.

Both are adamant commitment-phobes due to their pasts, but feel the intense attraction. Their chemistry is off the charts...like can't stop touching and can't stop thinking about each other crazy. Duke begins to develop a possessive streak that he cannot seem to control. She's got a problem to deal with in regards to her brother. And Duke comes up with a surprising plan to fix it. Before they know it, they are in deep.

This is fast-paced, insta-lust, rapid claiming, and an intense connection all sandwiched in with two people's fears and insecurities from their pasts. She's afraid of letting down her guard and being hurt. He wants to help her, but is also motivated by a really strong possessiveness and a fear of losing her. But he is also worried about not being good enough and failing. She's got defenses, he's determined to to mow them down. But communication is another big issue and they have to be willing to take a leap and fess up to their true feelings. For these two commitment-phobes there is a bit of hope, but it is tempered by fear. There are some outside roadblocks in their way as well.

This can be read as a stand alone. But I enjoyed getting more with River, Vaughn, and Marcy and Duke's four sassy sisters that we have met in previous books. Sam's brother, Renner was also featured as well as the plant security guard, Milo.

This book sucked me in and kept me totally engaged. I adored these endearing characters. I liked getting dual points of view and especially being in the big guy's head. I loved their banter, rapport, silly puns, and hot chemistry. They had flaws and were awkward and goofy at times. They were combustible and so raw and primal together. Duke was like a powerful love machine...Whoa! But these two fit despite their opposite sizes and dispositions This was a great pairing of an alpha male and a woman who could bring out his inner softie, but could also handle him. I am so excited for the couple in the next book!

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Jasmine Taveras is the reason Sarge Purcell grabbed his six-string and bailed the hell out of New Jersey four years ago. She's the fuel for every song he's ever written—each one laced with bitter, hard-edged, hungry lust. Now, with his hugely successful band on temporary hiatus, Sarge is determined to prove to Jasmine that this “kid” turned into every inch the man she's always needed...
Men are slim pickings for a single factory girl in Hook, New Jersey…until tall, broad-shouldered hotness walks—or rather storms—into Jasmine's life. Sarge's return shouldn't affect her this way. He's her best friend's much younger kid brother, and the kind of rough, gritty, sexiness Jasmine has no right to taste for herself. Even if he lets her.
But lust is a blinding, insatiable force. And when it crashes, it will take both Sarge and Jasmine down with it...  

Rough Rhythm (Made in Jersey #1.5)
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God help the woman I take home tonight. 

Band manager James Brandon never expected to find the elusive satisfaction he’d been chasing, let alone stumble upon it in some sleezy Hollywood meat market. Yet the girl’s quiet pride spoke to him from across the bar, louder than a shout. Troubled, hungry and homeless, she’d placed her trust in him. But after losing the grip on his dark desires that one fateful night, James has spent the last four years atoning for letting her down.

This time I’ll finally crack him. 

Rock band drummer Lita Regina has had enough of James’s guilt. She wants the explosive man she met that night in Hollywood. The man who held nothing back and took no prisoners—save Lita. And she’ll stop at nothing to revive him. Even if it means throwing herself into peril at every turn, just to get a reaction from her stoic manager. But when Lita takes her quest one step too far, James disappears from her life, thinking his absence will keep her safe.

Now it’s up to Lita to bring James back…and ignite an inferno of passion in the process.

Reader Advisory: ROUGH RHYTHM contains fantasies of nonconsensual sex, acted upon by consenting characters. Readers with sensitivity to portrayals of nonconsensual sex should be advised. 

Thrown Down (Made in Jersey #2)
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He has one last chance to deserve the girl of his dreams...

Overachiever River Purcell was never supposed to be a struggling single mom, working double shifts just to make ends meet. Nor was she supposed to be abandoned by her high school sweetheart, breaking her heart into a thousand jagged pieces. Now Vaughn De Matteo is back in town, his sights set on her...and River is in danger of drowning a second time.

No one believed Hook's resident bad boy was good enough for River. Not even Vaughn himself. But he'll fight like hell to win back the woman he never stopped loving, to keep the daughter he never expected, and convince himself he's worth their love in the process--even if he has to rely on their fierce and undeniable sexual chemistry.

But even as River's body arches under his hungered touch, the demons of the past lurk in the shadows. Waiting for Vaughn to repeat his mistakes one last time... 

tessa bailey bio.jpg
Tessa Bailey
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 Brooklyn, New York with her husband of seven years and three-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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