Series: Tall Dark and Texan

One Week to Score by Kate Meader

One Week to Score by Kate MeaderOne Week to Score by Kate Meader
Series: ,
Published by Entangled: Brazen on July 11th 2016
Pages: 154
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two-stars

He’s the man she loves to hate…
Olivia Kane’s wedding day has just imploded spectacularly. Shots lined up at the bar? Bring it. Hot stranger on the hook? Come on down. What this party does not need is six feet and change of home-grown Texas cockiness in the form of her brother’s best friend, the man who broke her heart seven years ago.She’s the woman he has to have…
Flynn Cross won’t stand by while Liv finds sensual solace in the arms of a stranger, not when his own hard-for-her body is more than up for the task. For one week, he’ll make her honeymoon-for-one a sizzling party for two.
Breaking the rules, one steamy night at a time…
But the taboo they’re breaking is only the beginning…and Flynn’s part in Liv’s wedding debacle could bring about their end.

Manwhore alert: the only factor I hadn’t expected in my impatient wait for Olivia and Flynn’s story and that unfortunately, proved a huge stumbling block in my overall enjoyment of the story. But when I spent more time grimacing than feeling the tingles going through the pages, I thought that I really had a problem here, both with my own personal gripes as well with a questionable male lead character who’ve accomplished nothing to convince me of his ability to be what the female lead deserves after all he’d done to her.

‘One Week to Score’ is Olivia’s and Flynn’s story, a brother’s best friend trope that I still salivate over despite the numerous incarnations of it I’ve torn through. There’s sizzling tension, hot sex, and Kate Meader doesn’t waste any time getting down and dirty the moment – courtesy of the Brazen imprint – as Olivia and Flynn shrug off the shackles of family and a fiasco of a wedding that never happened for a week in Mexico.

I’m beyond disappointed to say this one tried my patience sorely because I was all the more so, after the previous book, eagerly waiting for their story. It was near impossible to like Flynn, who, for all his proclamations about always wanting Olivia, did everything otherwise to show it. Selfish and cowardly with a penchant for going off the bend and screwing everything that moves each time some obstacle is thrown in his way, I found very little redeeming qualities in him – especially the one where he just can’t man up – when he finally decides to proposition Olivia under the pretense of being her blatant sex-rebound toy. That he’d thrown his history with Olivia away for seven years somehow made it even more unforgivable. And perhaps this is an issue with pacing, but I thought the speed at which Olivia/Flynn reconciled was way too fast for me as though shrugging off their complicated past by the end of the book was nothing more than a flick away of lint from the shoulder.

Dissatisfied, I went to bed, tossed around a little and tried to see if morning would give me some perspective. I’m sad to say it hasn’t. Just typing this review is difficult, made even more so because I actually like Meader’s smart-alecky writing and the quirky way her characters think and behave. This one’s simply a blip that I’m already trying to forget.

two-stars

Taking the Score by Kate Meader

Taking the Score by Kate MeaderTaking the Score by Kate Meader
Series: , Dark, , #2
Published by Entangled: Brazen on February 15th 2016
Pages: 262
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three-stars

His office temptation is now his full-blown fantasy…
Paying down her sister’s debts has left personal assistant Emma Strickland with little more than the thrift store suit on her back. And as if the suckfest couldn’t get worse, she’s forced to get a second job as a waitress to support herself and her cat. At a strip club. Her uptight, sexy-as-hell boss Brody Kane can never find out.
Texas property tycoon Brody Kane hired Emma for her spreadsheet skills, but her prim and proper demeanor sealed the deal. There’s no room in his life for a sexy distraction…and yet, he can’t stop lusting after the delicious Ms. Strickland.
But then he takes an important client to a Chicago strip club and gets the worst lap dance in adult entertainment history. From Emma.
Now that he knows his office good girl has a naughty streak, Brody makes it his mission to uncover her secrets, one illicit, over-the-desk encounter at a time. But Emma is hiding more than her side job, and her final secret could end up destroying them both.

The double-life Brody Kane’s PA is leading is way more up his alley than anyone can ever imagine, after his fantasies burst into life in a seedy back room of a strip club. Emma Strickland, as he finds out, is a chameleon running from her past, working hard to keep out of debt and failing miserably at all of it. Temporarily putting her up in his apartment, Brody and Emma eventually work their lustful way through a strange relationship so full of emotional tugs-of war that the growing connection between the both of them is nearly severed before it can be strengthened.

‘Taking the Score’ is one of those books where I really liked a character and disliked the other, which leaves me in a fix when it comes to rating this. Brody’s gruff openness and his (in)ability to take care of things the only way he knows how won me over immediately. Unfortunately, I found it hard to reconcile all the various pieces of Emma’s personality, especially after the initial showing of enviable independence turned into mule-headed stubbornness and unreasoning distrust that ultimately made Brody pay (literally and emotionally) for her own insecurities. Emma takes more than she gives – at least where Brody is concerned – and dishing out her affection rather measly only after she is convinced of his own felt like the last selfish act that I couldn’t tolerate, especially in the epilogue.

That being said, Kate Meader’s snappy dialogue and buoyant storytelling make this story engaging and at times, lough-out-loud funny. The continual subtext involving the issues of control and allowing burdens to be shared is so eloquently put out that I can’t help but want the next installment immediately – even if it’s just to read Ms. Meader’s special way with words.

three-stars

Even the Score by Kate Meader

Even the Score by Kate MeaderEven The Score by Kate Meader
Series: , Dark,
Published by Entangled: Brazen on July 21st 2015
Pages: 253
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three-stars

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...

Texas magnate Hunter Dade and failing theatre actress Tess McKenzie follow a well-trodden, if rocky, path to happiness – a path that began on the wrong footing a year ago – helped along by a huge dose of combustible chemistry. No major surprises here even if it got a little frustrating at times but the predictability of events and characters is offset by Kate Meader’s confident and witty writing. I particularly liked the peripheral characters more than Hunter and Tess (even if it might sound like a travesty to say that here) and if Kate Meader decides to work her magic on them, I most certainly wouldn’t mind.

three-stars