Between A Rock and A Hot Mess
BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HOT MESS - Phyllis Bourne
Red Lipstick Press
BUY
April  2016
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
REVIEWER:  Brenda Larnell | RATING:  A
REVIEW: Riley Sinclair and Hudson Parker are competitors in the construction business, at softball and anywhere else that Sinclair Construction goes up against Parker Construction. Riley is not your usual demure, model-like, stunning beauty of a heroine we usually read about in contemporary romance. While she is an attractive woman, she comes equipped with an unfiltered mouth and a penchant for work boots, and hard hats, rather than stilettos and pencil skirts. She’s a construction boss, and she loves it. Hudson Parker is not fooled by that hard-as-nails persona that Riley displays. Oh, No! The brother sees right through it, and he is determined to have her as his woman. A challenge? I’ll say, but one that Hudson is up for. Nashville, Tennessee is the setting for this humorous story, but our heroine is far from your typical Southern belle.

Riley is somewhat of an enigma. While she gives off the aura of an independent, career driven, competitive woman who doesn’t need a man, she has a crush on a certain “Mr. Perfect” whom she practically stalks. No, it’s not Hudson, but a suit-wearing, messenger bag carrying executive by the name of Ian King whom Riley rescues from a mugger. She finally gets up close and personal with Mr. Perfect. So, where does that leave Hudson? He’s definitely not out! In an outrageously humorous twist of events that involve a television star by the name of Delilah Cole, her TV show Hot Mess, Riley’s best friend, Sugar Plum Watson (yes, that’s her government name), and the coup de grace, the official Delilah Cole app, Riley undergoes a metamorphosis. I’m going to leave this right here, because I don’t want to give too much away. However, I will say this, Hudson is the first one to benefit from this change that Riley undergoes. It’s a steamy sexy encounter that happens in his office, and he has his raggedy desk to thank for it. No further explanation will be given, but you’ll get this when you read the story.

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HOT MESS abounds with side characters who stand out. For example, Hope Sinclair, Riley’s sister is your typical Southern belle who eats everything with a knife and fork (pizza and chicken wings included), and Riley’s polar opposite. Sugar Plum Watson, who prefers to be called Plum, is the loyal friend who advises Riley to change so she can make an impression on ‘Mr. Perfect’. Even Mr Perfect, Ian King, stands out as Hudson’s worthy adversary. That being the case, is there an HEA in Hudson and Riley’s future? No spoilers, and you will thank me later.

The dialogue is crisp and contemporary and totally fits the style of the story. Both the side characters and dialogue help to advance the storyline.

Kudos to author Phyllis Bourne who has penned a laugh-out-loud entertaining and enjoyable story. I recommend it, and I absolutely look forward to reading the next book in this series.

18 June 2017 | romcol@caribsurf.com