She’s the grump. He’s the sunshine. Well… at least he is once he starts chasing his girl, lol. I loved the absolutely hysterical, banter-filled dynamic between this couple and the nonstop comedy that follows them on their adventures. This hero is a reformed playboy who openly admits that he used to be a tool – but he’s not that guy anymore. It took one life-changing event for him to change his ways, so when the one woman he saw potential with comes strolling back into his life, he’s not going to let her get away again. I’m usually not a fan of playboys or second chance-adjacent romances, but this one worked for me on so many levels. It made me laugh from start to finish, the easygoing vibes brightened my day, and the hidden depth to the story made it an even richer read.
The story follows Harley, a former cop-turned-animal detective whose life is a hot mess. She’s too busy trying to wrangle her family members to have any time for herself, so she’s grumpy and a little intense. When Harley’s newest case leads her to Dax, the playboy who *almost* charmed her into bed once, she isn’t sure what to think. Dax is nothing like the charming and carefree guy she remembers, and he seems to have completely changed his ways. As the two spend time on the case together, Dax remembers why he always thought of Harley as the girl who got away. Now that she’s back in his life, Dax is determined to win her over this time.
I was a little nervous when I read the prologue and Dax was a shameless manhoe, but my concerns were quickly put to rest when we meet him again in present day. He is ADORABLE, and I mean that in a sexy way. He does everything he can to make Harley’s life easier, and I loved how persistent he was. Harley doesn’t make things easy on him, and Dax proves again and again that he thinks she’s worth the effort. The vibe is just so upbeat and lighthearted, with as many swoons as there are laughs. The outlandish plot paired with truly memorable characters gives this such effortless charm. It’s only loosely related to the other books in the series, and is easy to read as a standlone. I loved being back in this world, and the unpredictable storyline kept me on my toes in the best of ways. A definite win for me.
The audio is great! Dual narration with CJ Bloom and James Cavenaugh, two very solid narrators. They infuse plenty of humor and emotion into their performances, and I was completely sold on the audio in the first chapter. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you get there, lol. The runtime is perfect for a one-day listen (under 9 hours), and the low angst vibes are ideal for this format. It’s also a slow burn romance with only a couple of steamy scenes, so it works for the office as well. Though… you might find yourself snort-laughing or getting too wrapped up in the story to fully concentrate on work. I definitely recommend this on audio.
It’s been a lot of years and another lifetime since Dax Trevino was a playboy detective for the Franklin Police Department. He’s been through hell and back, and now he just wants to be left alone, so he can cuddle his otters.
When two of his babies are kidnapped in the middle of the night, and Claws and Effect Pet Detectives are called to the rescue, quiet, broody Dax never expects to be tackled and handcuffed by the only woman he ever regretted being a douchebag to all those years ago.
Harley Blake has spent her entire life taking care of her accident-prone father with a fondness for dead animals, and her forty-year-old brother who refuses to grow up. The last thing she needs is another complication in her life, and Detective Douchebag is at the top of the list.
Dax might not be a cop anymore, and he might have outgrown his one-and-done player status, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to get burned a second time and fall for his charms. The infuriating man already branded a mark on her heart years ago, making sure she’d never forget him. Besides, she has a case to solve for the guy, and this is just business.
But the sarcasm starts flying, there are a gaggle of adorable otters who need to be cuddled, a Bandit Von Trash Panda who just wants to play poker, pot brownies, and squirrels dressed for a wedding… at a funeral. Things are heating up—and not just from the small tree fire after the grenade went off—and this man is suddenly simplifying her life instead of making it worse.
Harley knows she won’t escape this time without being Otterly Scorched.
About the Author:
Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when all three of them become adults and move out.
After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. She writes in a wide range of genres including Romantic Comedy, Romantic Comedy/Mystery, Romantic Suspense, New Adult Drama, Contemporary Romance and Psychological Thriller. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book and she was voted Best Indie Author in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2014.
In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she’ll do and naps she’ll take when she ever gets spare time.
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