Book Review: Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

fix her upFix Her Up

Author: Tessa Bailey
Series: Hot and Hammered, book 1
Publisher: Avon (June 11, 2019)
Paperback, 400 pages
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Summary
New York Times bestseller Tessa Bailey launches a super sexy new series featuring the blue collar men who work for a HGTV-esq house flipping business.

After an injury ends Travis Ford’s major league baseball career, he returns home to start over. He just wants to hammer out his frustrations at his new construction gig and forget all about his glory days. But he can’t even walk through town without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there’s Georgie, his buddy’s little sister, who is definitely not a kid anymore.

Georgette Castle has crushed on her older brother’s best friend for years. The grumpy, bear of a man working for her family’s house flipping business is a far cry from the charming sports star she used to know. But a moody scowl doesn’t scare her and Georgie’s determined to show Travis he’s more than a pretty face and a batting average, even if it means putting her feelings aside to be “just friends.”

Travis wants to brood in peace. But the girl he used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman who makes him feel whole again. And he wants her. So damn bad. Except Georgie’s off limits and he knows he can’t give her what she deserves. But she’s becoming the air he breathes and Travis can’t stay away, no matter how hard he tries…

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Rating: 5 stars

Review
I ADORE this book. I read a *lot* of romance novels; most of them I read and then pass on to the next one, enjoying them in the moment but not letting them get any deeper than a fling. And then there are books like Fix Her Up which leave a lasting imprint on your soul. With characters you want to put in a little box in your heart and keep them there to take out and cuddle when you need them. Georgie Castle and Travis Ford definitely made a home in my heart with this one.

I forget I was reading a book, I was so deeply immersed in Fix Her Up. Georgie and Travis became two of my best friends, and if you’ve read my reviews you know that main characters you want to be friends with are my #1 sign of a truly GREAT book. (Maybe it’s the Hufflepuff in me, I don’t know.) Tessa Bailey does a phenomenal job of writing characters that are very REAL – multi-dimensional characters that you want to root for, with flaws that not only make them relatable but also make you love them even more.

Georgie’s struggle to be seen as an adult rather than just the baby of her family isn’t something I’ve struggled with, but I still empathized and identified with her. I love her joy and that she is just HAPPY being a clown for kids’ birthday parties, while at the same time feeling a drive to succeed on a bigger scale and expand her business. Her sense of humor is so refreshing, and at the same time she’s not just this fluffy silly character but instead has insecurities, as well as being a FIERCE lioness with a spine of steel when it comes to defending and supporting the people who loves. , as well as being a FIERCE lioness with a spine of steel when it comes to defending and supporting the people she loves. Georgie is whimsy and wonder, sass and strength. I want to both BE her, and be best friends with her.

And then there’s Travis. *swoony sigh* I love characters who struggle with insecurities, who are a little bit broken or damaged. Travis feels like he is disposable, and he works so hard to not make any real connections because they put him at risk of being thrown away again.

The dynamic between Georgie and Travis is SO AMAZING. Georgie has been in love with Travis since she was 14 and he was 17, and it’s great to see her love of this vision of him grow into something that about who he really is. And then Travis has always seen Georgie as his best friend’s little sister. They both have a long history of caring about the other, which is such a great base on which to perch this precarious, sexually charged fake relationship. It’s like a powder keg, and it’s glorious to watch it blow. 😉 Then they each defend the other so fiercely, it sets off all those golden sparks in my heart and just makes me melt.

I LOVE that Georgie and her sister Bethany and their friend Rosie start a women’s club to support each other and push each other to reach for their dreams. I love love LOVE seeing strong female friendships in books. Georgie uses her (fake) relationship with Travis to try to get her family and community to see her as an adult, but really she’s started the work of being taken seriously herself by having a frank conversation with her sister.

Fix Her Up is the first book in the Hot and Hammered series, and can be read as a stand-alone. At the time of writing this review, there’s no info about the other books in the series, but I’m assuming the next book will be about Rosie and Dom, with another book about Georgie’s sister Bethany.

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

 

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