My name is Kimberly and I'm the reader/reviewer behind Wit and Sin. Wit and Sin is a website that provides honest reviews and publicity. I primarily read and review Romance titles, but I also review Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult, Mystery, and Non-Fiction titles. In addition to Wit and Sin, I am a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed (pen name: Shayna) and Romance Junkies (pen name: Lily).
Worked Up is a sweet and spicy romance with endearing characters. Commitment-phobes and quickie marriages that become all-too-real aren’t new to romance, but author Tessa Bailey makes this story stand apart from the rest with her unique characters.
Sam is an artist with a big heart and a sunny disposition. She’s the queen of bad puns (which I adored) and is desperate to make her vision of Art on Wheels – a program that would benefit children – a reality. How could you not root for a heroine like her? Duke, in turn, is a giant pouty man bear who acts like all he wants to do with his free time is watch SportsCenter, when really he’s an incredibly generous, giving soul who worries about everyone. Both of them have hearts as big as Texas (or Jersey, as it were), so even though they may seem like an odd couple at first, Duke and Samantha work really well together. When Worked Up focuses on the characters, the humor, the romance, and the obstacles that threaten to derail Samantha and Duke’s burgeoning relationship, the story is really strong. For me, the story takes a bit of a hit when it comes to the erotic scenes. Duke’s a fan of dirty talk, and though I’m all for that in my romance, his brand of dirty talk felt awkward and pulled me out of the story. In general, there was something stilted about the sex scenes that took away from an otherwise solid (if lighting quick) romance. Chalk it up to personal preference, I suppose.
Worked Up is the third Made in Jersey book, and as I have not read Crashed Out or Thrown Down, I can safely say Duke and Samantha’s book can be read as a standalone. The world of Ms. Bailey’s Hook, New Jersey is appealing and its residents lively; the secondary characters added charm to the story. Yet for all the likeable characters there are in the story, it’s the one not-so-charming character – Samantha’s brother, Renner – who grabbed my attention. By the time I was finished with Worked Up, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Renner’s book. Even though there were a couple of elements to Samantha and Duke’s romance that didn’t appeal to me, I still enjoyed the story overall, so it’s safe to say I’ll be returning to Hook, New Jersey.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.