“I’ve had to work so goddamn hard for those smiles, and now I’m fucking greedy for them. And nothing has changed, not really. I just want you worse. And it hurts.”
The tension snaps and crackles, sparking off the page in such a delicious way – I could FEEL the unresolved issues between these two, and I couldn’t wait for them to figure things out. As a certified second chance romance hater (but big fan of DeWitt’s work), I was both excited and nervous to dig into this one. And I ended up loving it! These two hurt each other in the past, and their present day interactions showcased the fact that neither one has let that hurt go. They’ve spent years building back up their defenses, so entering into a marriage of convenience AND trying to live together in a home under construction is… not ideal. The tension – sexual and otherwise – was palpable, and I loved peeling back the layers of what makes each character tick. I actually thought that the reasons why they separated the first time around made complete sense, so it was easy to empathize with both characters and not lament the time spent apart (too much). It was also clear that they both grew and matured in the years since, slowly changing into people who might just be capable of making it work this time around.
The story follows LaRynn, a woman who has been avoiding the property that she inherited after her grandmother passed away. While the house might be the fresh start LaRynn has been needing in her life, she also knows that it comes with a whole lot of baggage – most of it revolving around the man who broke her heart eight years ago. At 18, LaRynn and Deacon had a no-strings fling that went horribly wrong when she caught feelings. He snapped her heart in two, and it has never quite recovered. So going back to the town where it all happened is troublesome enough… and that’s not the worst of it. LaRynn and Deacon each inherited half of the property, so they’ll need to work together to move forward. And Deacon is not making things easy. Somehow, LaRynn finds herself entering into a marriage of convenience, moving in to a disaster of a construction zone, and working on a major renovation with the man who drives her crazy.
Typically, it’s the tangled history between characters that makes second chance romances difficult for me to get into. In this case, I understood why they didn’t work out at 18, and I thought that they shared equal blame for things going so awry. That made it easy to root for them to find their way back together, and the tension is one of the things that makes this story so engrossing. Having both perspectives also helped, and I could see the love buried beneath that mountain of hurt. I loved that they were slowly repairing their relationship as they worked on building a home together, and the parallels were so interesting. Their foundation was faulty to begin with, so it took rebuilding from the ground up to get them to a solid place. The forced proximity/roommates situation paired with the marriage of convenience tied them together as they fought against the bond, which just took everything up another notch. And, while I liked LaRynn, I was totally gone for Deacon. He is such a sweetheart, so much kinder and more vulnerable than he might appear on the surface. The intimate moments between them were incredibly impactful, and having such a slow burn made the emotional connection leap to the forefront. These two already know that they work in the bedroom, they just need to find a way to communicate out of it. Yet again, DeWitt navigates the complexities of a difficult relationship in an engaging and immersive way, seamlessly blending lighter moments with heavy shots of angst. I loved it!
The Co-op releases on October 25th!
They say love and construction don’t mix.
By that logic, hate and construction may as well be condemned.
LaRynn Lavigne and Deacon Leeds had one short and contentious summer fling when they were teens.
Certainly nothing to build a foundation on.
But a decade later, when their grandmothers have left them with shared ownership of their dilapidated Santa Cruz building, they’re thrust back together and have to figure out how to brace up the pieces.
LaRynn has the money, but to access her trust, she has to be married.
Deacon has the construction expertise, but lacks the funds.
A deal is struck: Marry for however long it takes to fix up the property, collect a profit, and cut ties.
Thrust into a home without walls, they quickly learn that it’s easy to hide behind emotional ones, even in a marriage. But, with all the exposure and pitfalls that come with living with the opposite sex (and none of the perks) they’ll also have to learn what it means to truly co-operate as a team.
The Co-op is a steamy story about restoration and renovation, and uncovering all the things that build character within ourselves. It’s about the never-ending construction project that partnership is, and finding enjoyment at every stage.
The Co-op releases on October 25th!
Have you read Funny Feelings yet? It’s one of my favorite books of the year (so far)!
When falling in love is the punchline…
Farley Jones is being forced to date Meyer Harrigan, the man she has come to love, in order to make all of her stand-up dreams come true.
It’s agony— a tragedy, even. In lieu of flowers, please send cash…
Meyer and his daughter Hazel have been everything to her since they came into her life three years ago. So, all joking aside, the stakes are especially high when it’s not only her career, but both of those relationships on the line.
A former stand-up star himself, Meyer has been vital to the trajectory of her career since he began managing her… Since he became her closest and most treasured friend, in the process.
This friendship is the only reason why, when the biggest opportunity of Farley’s career includes thrusting him back into the spotlight to stir up publicity, he agrees— in spite of his grumpiness, his protectiveness over Hazel, and his disdain for public attention.
It doesn’t take long for their act to bring all those other funny feelings out into the open, and, like most matters of the heart, it quickly begins to feel like anything but a joke.
Funny Feelings is a swoony story about friendship, love, and looking for the laugh in life. It touches on the creative spirit and all that comes with sharing that gift, and how oftentimes the comedians in our lives are the most sensitive, or struggling. It features two friends, one incredible little girl, and a kaleidoscope of feelings along the way.
Read the review here
About the Author:
Tarah DeWitt is an author, wife, and mama. When she felt like she devoured every romcom available in 2020, she indulged herself in writing bits and pieces of her own. Eventually, those ramblings from the Notes app on her phone turned into her debut novel.
Tarah loves stories centered around perfectly imperfect characters. Ones who may have just enough trauma to keep them funny, without being forcefully cavalier. She believes laughter is an essential part of romance, friendship, parenting, and life.
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