Tools of Engagement
Series: Hot & Hammered, #3
Author: Tessa Bailey
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
In Tessa Bailey’s latest rom-com, two enemies team up to flip a house… and the sparks between them might burn the place down or ignite a passion that neither can ignore!
Hair, makeup, clothing, decor… everything in Bethany Castle’s world is organized, planned, and styled to perfection. Which is why the homes she designs for her family’s real estate business are the most coveted in town. The only thing not perfect? Her track record with men. She’s on a dating hiatus and after helping her friends achieve their dreams, Bethany finally has time to focus on her own: flip a house, from framework to furnishings, all by herself. Except her older brother runs the company and refuses to take her seriously.
When a television producer gets wind of the Castle sibling rivalry, they’re invited on Flip Off, a competition to see who can do the best renovation. Bethany wants bragging rights, but she needs a crew and the only member of her brother’s construction team willing to jump ship is Wes Daniels, the new guy in town. His Texas drawl and handsome face got under Bethany’s skin on day one, but the last thing she needs is some cocky young cowboy in her way.
As the race to renovate heats up, Wes and Bethany are forced into close quarters, trading barbs and biting banter as they remodel the ugliest house on the block. It’s a labor of love, hate, and everything in between, and soon sparks are flying. But Bethany’s perfectly structured life is one kiss away from going up in smoke and she knows falling for a guy like Wes would be a flipping disaster.
I have been waiting for Tools of Engagement since the moment I finished Love Her or Lose Her. I got a glimpse of the dynamic between Wes and Bethany and was so excited for their story. It didn’t let me down. Tools of Engagement was my favorite in the Hot & Hammered series.
What made Hot & Hammered so good? Quite a few things. First, I LOVED the banter. There was a whole I’m going to be mean to you because I actually like you thing going on. It was childish, but totally worked. It made the banter super fun because I could appreciate how ridiculous Wes and Bethany were being. Bethany especially. The banter made their swoon worthy relationship that much more fun.
The next thing that stood out to me was Bethany’s character. I don’t have much in common with her, but I could see a lot of women in her. She strove for perfection to the point where she couldn’t let loose or be herself. She had everything the way she thought it should have been, but was missing the big picture. I loved how she figured out the perfection was required.
Then, there was Wes. He would definitely make my list of favorite male characters. He might have only been 23, but he came across much older and more mature. I loved how he antagonized Bethany. It wasn’t done to be mean, but to light a fire under her. I also loved how he was with his niece, Laura. That relationship showed what a good person he was.
I can’t leave out the group of women and how they come together to support each other. That’s been one of the coolest aspects of this series. It wasn’t quite as heavily featured in this book, but it was there to support Bethany when she needed it.
Finally, there was the whole competition between Bethany and her brother Stephen. I liked not only what it did for Bethany’s relationship with Wes, but with Stephen as well.
Tools of Engagement was truly a fun romantic read filled great banter, humor, the sweetest of romances. If you’re a fan of this series, you won’t want to miss out on it.