Tuesday, February 21, 2017

To the Studs by Roxanne Smith

Designed for love…

No one says no to fiery but talented home designer Neve Harper—which is how she convinces her elusive neighbor, Duke Kennicot, to help out with her latest renovation job. Not only is Duke a design aficionado, he’s got the inside scoop on the cabin’s owner. And since Neve’s ulterior motive is a romance with the boss, Duke is her ideal wingman. Except from the moment they’re alone in the remote Ozark mountain location, Neve discovers Duke is just as headstrong—and a whole lot sexier—than she ever realized. Duke has always made it clear she’s not his type. Yet the simmering tension between them says otherwise…

Duke had been warned to steer clear of hot-tempered Neve, but his resolve is lessening with every heated exchange—and every smoldering touch. By the time Neve unearths a dangerous, age-old mystery buried on the property, Duke is ready to do just about anything to keep the brazen beauty safe…

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a solid 3 – 3.5 star read for me. I plan on following the series, as it held my interest, but I did take some time to get engaged with the story.

I love do-it-yourself, design, etc., romance and a good mystery, so on the whole, this was a good fit. I just had a real problem connecting with Neve in any way whatsoever. I get being short, living in a male dominated world, etc., but she was truly nasty, and by all accounts even Duke, who was attracted to her, found her to be shrew-like – I think this was due to her attitude more than looks, but it did not endear her to me at all. And so I did struggle to care about her snagging Duke, who sounded pretty perfect. I read on though, prepared to understand the background to her snarkiness. And to see how she could be redeemed enough in my eyes to deserve Duke!

I can't spoil the story for you, but it didn't pan out how I expected, but I enjoyed the read. There was some humour there, and definitely some questionable judgement calls which were entertaining. Curiously mixed feelings, but glad I read it.

This book had a lot of potential, but it just fell short in the end for me. I really liked Neve even though she drove me crazy at the same time. I like that she isn't willing to allow people to walk over her and will stand her ground, but I also felt like this was her protection because the more we get to know her, the more we see she isn't really that prickly.

There were some twists and turns that I didn't see coming and at one point, I was simply disappointed in the behavior of one of the main characters, but that character tried to redeem themself a bit.

At times, the renovation work was a bit tedious since there were quite a few details (down to some very small ones), but I have to give props for the author getting so deep into the background story even if it did take away from the actual plot at times.

I have to say the surprises were what made the book to me. The writing was fairly well done and I would be willing to read more from this author.

A Florida native, Roxanne Smith has called everywhere from Houston to Cheyenne home. Currently residing in Roswell, New Mexico, she’s an avid reader of every genre, a cat lover, pit bull advocate, and semi-geek. She loves video games, Doctor Who, and her dashing husband. Her two kids are the light of her life and provide ample material for her writing.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of To the Studs (Bound by Design #1) by Roxanne Smith to read and review.

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