I’ve been reading a LOT of romance novels this summer and I have got to say that Tawna Fenske‘s latest release in her Front and Center series, Fiancee for Hire, has wowed me so much that it’s throwing elbows in the top three novels of the summer to date.
It was easy to love former Marine MacArthur Patton when Mac was busy hiring a friend to look after his sister and her new twins in the first of the series, Marine for Hire, but this overbearing brother has fully lived up to my expectations of his hotness. I loved not only the incredibly tender moments in the first novel of the series but also Fenske’s trademark brand of humor, which has me coming back to her novels again and again. Fiancee for Hire is her best novel to date, with a combustable couple, side stitch-inducing funny scenes and two protagonists you can’t help but love.
When Mac’s sister Sheri (of Marine for Hire) is tasked with finding him a demure, biddable fake fiancee for his latest covert op in Mexico, she feels a little payback for his interference in her life is in order. Enter her longtime friend, Kelli Landers, a blond pixie of a veterinarian whose knockout good looks bely her take-no-prisoners attitude and ability to wrestle mastiffs into submission. Kelli has had the hots for Mac since puberty but he’s never noticed her except as part of the furniture in the Patton household. Helping him broker an arms deal that will help fight terrorism while possibly tapping the hottie who has played a large role in her fantasies sounds like her patriotic duty. There’s no danger of Kelli’s heart coming into play because she’s actually an even worse commitmentphobe than Mac.
Mac vaguely remembers seeing Kelli but he’s never really taken much notice and he’s wondering how the hell that’s been the case. One look at her blond curls and blue eyes and he feels like he’s taken a punch to the gut. Her sweet looks are in direct opposition to her appealing intelligence and devilish sense of play and Mac quickly realizes she’s not only a huge asset but a woman who matches him in the bedroom to a T. That T might stand for trouble however, as Mac begins to feel emotions that he’s closed off his entire life since having something to live for means having something to lose.
Oh. My. God. Kelli and Mac both have a decent amount of damage and guilt in their past, hence their almost identical outlooks on keeping relationships at bay, but the two of them together might very well short out your e-reader as this is one smokin’ hot combination. Even better, straight-laced Mac is the perfect foil for Kelli, who is as hilarious as they come and both the lizard penis episode and the Williams Sonoma registry scene will permanently live in my memory as stellar examples of Tawna Fenske’s fantastic humor. As usual, her secondary characters are outstanding, and getting to meet Mac and Sheri’s mother as well as one of the Patton brothers (perhaps the two remaining Patton’s will be our future heroes in the series?) added dimension and perspective to the story. The veterinary medicine and animals were outstanding in the research accuracy and detail, so much so that I want to take my animals to Kelli’s clinic!
The only problem with Fiancee for Hire is that now I’m chomping at the bit for the next book in the series. With Entangled’s amazing $.99 deal for new books, I’d get this puppy now and give yourself the present of a great romance (and some serious laughter). I guarantee that you’ll find it on the top of your summer romance list.