Smart Tass by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Posted in Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ New Adult/ Reviews/ Sports 19th April 2017
Smart Tass by Mimi Jean PamfiloffSmart Tass by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Series: OHellNo #1
on April 11th 2017
Pages: 157
Buy on Amazon

He’s the hot quarterback all the girls want. She’s the smart girl he loves to pick on.And now that they’re all grown up, things are about to get geekin’ ugly…
My name is Tass. I’m smart, I’m driven, and I am determined not to let prankster Hunter Johnson continue raining on my parade. When we were little, he’d pull my hair and call me names. When we were teenagers, he’d throw food and tease me for being a flat-chested virgin.
But now that we’ve ended up at the same college, he’s out of his hot head if he thinks he can keep messing with my life. It’s like he’s fixated on me or something. Well, guess what, Mr. Amazefootball? I’m not that geeky little girl anymore and you do not screw with a smart woman.
So what’s my plan?
It’s definitely wild, and he’s about to find out…

I’d initially assumed that ‘Smart Tass’ was in fact, a good ol’ enemies-to-lovers thing in college, between two people who’d known each other the whole time but hadn’t gotten along. But it’s so much more than that.

Written wholly in Tass’s POV though, I went from hating Hunter to warming to him, just as she did. Objectively speaking, there is really something quite smart about the way the narrative is set up that got me going. There’s the power of the unreliable narrator here (even though I loved the smart-ass, cocky, biased and very distinctive nerdy but alpha girl voice of Tass), given the very skewed perspective that makes us see what we’re supposed to see and assume before it gets turned on its head and the age-old lesson of not believing everything as it looks.

I wasn’t comfortable about how much of commodification of Tass’s virginity there was by the frat boys, yet it’s also waved proudly about like it’s nothing to be ashamed of from Tass’s side, which was quite a contradiction for me. Yet that was part of the conflict that I could sniff a mile away, which was resolved in a mere few pages at the end which stuttered to a stop in the form of a cliffhanger. I guess I wanted to see more than just a kiss-and-make-up scene or at least some more of a resolute ending before the next book kicks in…after all, there was barely enough of Tass and Hunter on good terms, as much as the antagonism was fun. It was over before I knew it and without an epilogue or anything, ‘Smart Tass’ felt more incomplete than it was a standalone.


Tailored for Trouble by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Netgalley/ Reviews 2nd July 2016
Tailored for Trouble by Mimi Jean PamfiloffTailored for Trouble by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Series: Happy Pants, #1
Published by Ballantine Books on August 9th 2016
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon

Taylor Reed is no stranger to selfish, uncaring CEOs. She was fired by one, which is why she has created her own executive training program—helping heartless bosses become more human. So Taylor shocks even herself when she agrees to coach Bennett Wade, the cutthroat exec who got her unceremoniously canned. She’d love to slam the door in his annoying but very handsome face, but the customers aren’t exactly lining up at her door. Plus, this extreme makeover will give Taylor the golden opportunity to prove that her program works like a charm.
Bennett Wade is many things—arrogant, smug, brusque—but trusting isn’t one of them. Women just seem to be after his billions. So when he hires Taylor Reed, he has no desire to change. Bennett is trying to win over the feminist owner of a company he desperately wants to buy, but something about the fiery Taylor thaws the ice around his heart, making Bennett feel things he never quite planned on. And if there’s one thing Bennett can’t stand, it’s when things don’t go according to plan.
They are a match tailor-made for trouble.

‘Tailored for Trouble’ starts out as delicious antagonism which I thoroughly enjoyed. Hilarious even, because I really loved the no-holding-back arguments that both Bennett and Taylor immediately got into. The tension between them is ugly and almost repulsive, without too much of a sexual undercurrent that makes you rub your hands in glee when they finally fall into each other’s arms by the end of the book. Yet what followed pretty much stumped me: a crazy traipse around the globe, filled with weirdness rather than building tension and so much pretence/evasion on both sides that I found myself as jet-lagged, exhausted and frustrated as the characters who seemed to be operating on a level beyond rational logic.

By the time I was halfway through, I didn’t have any clearer perspective of how that was going to happen, apart from a bewildering kiss when neither of them seemed to like each other much still, carried along as I was by Taylor’s voice that flitted from time to time towards hysterical.

I never felt though, as if I had a grasp on these characters at all, which is the primary reason for my lukewarm rating. Bennett’s behaviour particularly confusing and exasperating and near bi-polar: flirty yet domineering, crude yet supposedly protective, just to begin with. But he’s also blunt and an arse for a lot of the book, dragging Taylor around for business that no one really is quite clear about, and we’re only given hints given of Bennett’s ‘true self’ by his rather insane mother who never quite says directly. I also found myself wondering why Taylor pretty much let herself be taken along for the crazy ride – apart from the bouts of lust that she feels each time she glimpses what Bennet is like under the clothes – when there didn’t seem to be head nor tail of anything I could make sense of. The sudden realisation that she’d fallen in love with Bennett after 4-5 days made it too much of an instant-love case, rendered more unbelievable because I was never really convinced by Bennett’s (as tortured by his past as he may be) sudden personality switch in the last 2 chapters of the book.

Yet ‘Tailored for Trouble’ isn’t a bad read however; not really, not when it does have the elements of a rom-com that isn’t meant to be taken seriously and is good for a fun, laid-back afternoon.

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