Mistakes? She’s made a few…
Dropped out of high school? Check. Ran away with loser boyfriend at age sixteen? Check. Fell for every line from every guy? Sadly, check. But now, Tess Papion has started over. Juggling multiple part-time jobs while finishing her college degree, she’s not letting anything get in her way. Especially not a sexy angel investor with “one-night disaster” written all over him.
Mason Coleman just inherited a 200-pound invalid Mastiff—and an intriguing, unusual, and thoroughly infuriating dog nanny who turns his life upside down the moment she steps through his front door. No matter how she makes him feel Mason doesn’t do commitment—so what happens when he falls for her? And worse, what happens when she wants nothing to do with him?
Not many love stories start with a 200 pound Mastiff with a bum leg 😊 Mason Coleman doesn’t actually own the lazy beast he currently has possession of, but he is going to care for him until his sister can reclaim her slobbery monster. Unfortunately, Mason can’t be there 24/7 for the beast as he so clearly needs which leads Mason to an embarrassing bit of begging which results in Tess Papion becoming the beast’s caretaker.
Tess’s background has brought her to the point in her life where she has learned to rely on only herself. In Tess’s experience, relying on others only brings you heartbreak, disappointment, and debt. Tess may have next to nothing now, but she doesn’t have any debt and she sure isn’t looking for a man to cause her anymore heartbreak. With many jobs, a house that’s falling apart but hers, and a goal of vet school, Tess only accepts Mason Coleman’s offer because of the beautiful beast who clearly needs her, and the ridiculous amount of money Mason is offering. Sure, Mason is smoking hot and certainly knows how to turn on the charm, but he has “love ‘em and leave ‘em” written all over him. Yeah, it’s best to avoid temptation like that.
Mason just can’t understand Tess. He can clearly see she wants him, but she is startingly stubborn and insistent on keeping their relationship strictly professional. Because he’s a gentleman, Mason agrees to most of Tess’s terms, but doesn’t agree to ignoring her and letting her be to just complete her job and go home. In fact, Mason makes it his mission to get to know Tess, understand her, and with luck, that effort will be rewarded with some sexy times. Because of his own past, Mason naturally assumes he will be successful, but he hasn’t ever met anyone like Tess. In short order, Mason realizes he hasn’t ever met anyone like Tess and that changes everything for Mason. In fact, meeting Tess and getting to know her causes Mason to reevaluate nearly every aspect of his life.
The days go by quickly for both Tess and Mason and as they get to know one another, over coffee and long walks with the slobbery beast, each begins to question some their most basic life choices. Mason makes Tess want to consider trying and trust someone other than herself, and Tess causes Mason to consider seeing the same woman beyond his normal four dates. Their lives begin to blend beyond the care of the hulking beast, and both find it harder and harder to ignore the growing feelings and palpable chemistry. That is, until the unthinkable happens and Tess completely melts down!
The Bottom Line: This was my first Inara Scott read and I’m feeling pretty good about coming back for some more! With the exception of one thing – Tess’s constant whining about not relying on anyone other than herself – I quite enjoyed this book! I have a hard time resisting a hot guy caring for a fur baby in need so this one really started off quite right for me. As the book wore on I found I very much liked the entire cast of characters, especially Mason’s two best friends. The expanded cast of characters very much adds to the overall depth of the read and clearly sets up the next two books in the series. To be sure, this one has a bit of everything including good dialogue, appropriate sexy times (nothing gratuitous!), some fine humor, and just enough drama to be a properly emotional read. I’m ready for book two and sincerely hoping it’s Connor’s story; what a wonderfully oblivious nerd he is 😊