Uncovering this sexy geek’s charm is easy. Keeping her hands off of him is impossible.
While he may look like the love child of a movie starlet and an NFL linebacker, Ben Langley has the people skills of a half-drowned porcupine. Why socialize when there are chemistry labs and bad sci-fi flicks? If he has any hope of taking the helm as CEO of the family business, Ben needs an image makeover. Pronto.
Enter Holly Colvin, owner of First Impressions public relations and branding firm, and the woman who just saved Ben from the clutches of an over-attentive sales clerk. Holly’s rebranded hundreds of companies in her career, but she’s never rebranded a person. The guy clearly needs help, though, and she’s just the woman for the job.
With the clock ticking for them both, Holly and Ben face off over wardrobe malfunctions and business jargon that sounds a lot sexier than it should. But can Holly make Ben into the man he thinks he should be without losing the man she’s starting to love?
REVIEW: THE FIX-UP BY TAWNA FENSKE
The Fix Up by Tawna Fenske
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ben Langley is such a genuine soul that it was hard not to fall in love. Adorably shy, socially awkward and with a genius that is unquestionable. However, somewhere along the way he allowed his insecurity to control him. Backhanded comments from family and friends made him aware that he was different and his tender heart started to break. Holly is a smart, ambitious business woman. On the verge of losing it all. Following her heart cost her dearly in the love department, wrecked her self-esteem and may cost her the business she loves. In order to save it she has to take a chance on a new client. Too bad he makes her want more than just a business relationship.
I received an ARC of The Fix-Up by Tawna Fenske in exchange for an honest review. I thought it was a cute read. Ms. Fenske tackled self-esteem issues in a sweet, yet subtle way. She did so with such class that the lesson did not come across preachy. She also centered that lesson around the male lead learning to listen to his heart. With a little help from fate, he snagged his angel on the first impression.
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Tawna Fenske is a romantic comedy author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Her offbeat brand of romance has been praised by Booklist as “A tame Carl Hiaasen on cupid juice,” and RT Book Reviews nominated her debut novel for contemporary romance of the year. Tawna is a fourth generation Oregonian who can peel a banana with her toes and who loses an average of 20 pairs of eyeglasses per year. She lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband, step kids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets.
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“Yes,” Holly said, surprised by the breathlessness in her own voice. “I want you, you want me, and I’m tired of fighting it. Take the next exit, please.”
“Where are we going?” His hand moved a fraction of an inch up her thigh, and Holly nearly moaned with pleasure.
“You don’t have a bed, and my place is too far away. There’s a hotel right up there and it seems like the surest way to have you inside me within five minutes.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Ben grinned and slid his hand further up her thigh. “And this is why you’re well-qualified to coach me on assertiveness. You’re a woman who knows what she wants.”
“I think you’ve mastered a few things yourself, Mr. CEO.” She watched his hand slide further up her thigh as he pushed her skirt up higher.
“Yes, but a little hands-on experience is always valuable if I’m really going to get behind the issue for some strategic interplay.”
She grinned, pretty sure this was the first time anyone had attempted to use business jargon as a seduction tool. “I think I can slot you in.”
“Excellent. I’d like to touch base on the liquidity of your assets as soon as possible.”
He shoved her skirt higher and Holly let her legs fall apart. Ben accepted the invitation, his fingers grazing the satin center of her panties, and Holly heard herself gasp.
“God yes!” she gasped, pressing against his fingertips. “Right there.”
The saleswoman turned and scurried away, leaving Ben to stare down at the wife now affixed to his arm. She tucked her hair behind her ear and glanced the direction the saleswoman had retreated.
“I hope I read that right.” The brunette scooted out from under his arm, and he instantly missed her softness. She looked up at him with those odd violet-gray eyes and smiled. “You looked like you were being eaten alive there, but too polite to tell her to back off.”
“Eaten alive,” he repeated, a little mesmerized by the woman’s eyes. “I’m not entirely sure.”
“Seemed like that’s what was going on. Salesgirl sees a big guy with a big budget and big—” she paused, then gave a small shrug. “Well, sometimes it brings out the worst in women.”
“Thank you,” he said, meaning it. “I’ve been flying back and forth between cities all week, so I’m a little jetlagged and distracted. I guess I wasn’t even a hundred percent sure I was being—uh—”
“Hit on? Ogled? Mentally undressed?”
“Right.” He cleared his throat. “Not until you pointed it out. Thanks for the rescue.”
“No problem. Pay it forward sometime.”
“Is that real? It’s huge.”
She blinked, then glanced down at the paperweight-sized rock adorning her ring finger. “Nah, I keep it in my purse for when I want to avoid getting hit on at ladies’ night.”
“Does it work?”
“Not with the real jackasses, which probably defeats the purpose, huh?”
He nodded, not sure what to say to that. “I’m sorry, what was your name again?”
“Holly. Holly Colvin. I’m the owner of First Impressions.”
“We’re a public relations and branding firm that specializes in creating and remaking corporate identities.” She fished into her purse to pull out a business card. She held it out to him and Ben started to reach for it, but Holly withdrew her hand.
“Shit. Vampira the Sales Queen is headed back here.”
Before he could say anything, Holly was sliding her hand around to cup his ass. For a few beats, he thought she was copping a feel, and he hoped like hell she kept doing it. Then he realized she was tucking her card into his back pocket. She grinned and tilted her head back to look up at him.
“Gotta commit to the role, right?”
“Right,” he murmured, staring down into those slate-speckled eyes. “We certainly do.”
“I suppose we could throw in a little something extra if you really want her to buy it.”
Her lips parted slightly, almost like she was braced for a kiss. Or was that his imagination? It seemed hot in here, and he was getting dizzy, and now all he could think about was claiming those perfect lips.
“I’m sure you’ll come up with something,” she murmured.
Her mouth looked so soft, so inviting, and he could have sworn her lashes fluttered low the way they might if she were waiting for him to make a move. A big move.
He knew what he needed to do. What he wanted to do.
And with that, he bent and kissed her.