Tools of Engagement (Hot & Hammered, #3)
Hair, makeup, clothing, decor... everything in Bethany Castle's world is organized, planned, and styled to perfection. Which is why the homes she designs for her family's real estate business are the most coveted in town. The only thing not perfect? Her track record with men. She's on a dating hiatus and after helping her friends achieve their dreams, Bethany finally has time to focus on her own: flip a house, from framework to furnishings, all by herself. Except her older brother runs the company and refuses to take her seriously.When a television producer gets wind of the Castle sibling rivalry, they’re invited on Flip Off, a competition to see who can do the best renovation. Bethany wants bragging rights, but she needs a crew and the only member of her brother's construction team willing to jump ship is Wes Daniels, the new guy in town. His Texas drawl and handsome face got under Bethany's skin on day one, but the last thing she needs is some cocky young cowboy in her way.As the race to renovate heats up, Wes and Bethany are forced into close quarters, trading barbs and biting banter as they remodel the ugliest house on the block. It's a labor of love, hate, and everything in between, and soon sparks are flying. But Bethany's perfectly structured life is one kiss away from going up in smoke and she knows falling for a guy like Wes would be a flipping disaster.In Tessa Bailey’s latest rom-com, two enemies team up to flip a house... and the sparks between them might burn the place down or ignite a passion that neither can ignore!

Tools of Engagement (Hot & Hammered, #3) Details

TitleTools of Engagement (Hot & Hammered, #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 22nd, 2020
PublisherAvon
ISBN-139780062872937
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Adult, Fiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Adult Fiction, New Adult, Erotica

Tools of Engagement (Hot & Hammered, #3) Review

  • Cristina | CristiinaReads
    January 1, 1970
    Two opposite individuals whom have expressed nothing more then fondness and a powerful, true chemistry... This is the one book in this series in which I was truly hesitant to dive into because of one thing... I am not the biggest fan of younger guys, and older woman tropes. I know, I know, I wish I weren't saying that but that seemed to be the one thing in the back of my mind in which had stuck there when I was reading this novel. BUT, with that being said I still loved this story! I can neve Two opposite individuals whom have expressed nothing more then fondness and a powerful, true chemistry... This is the one book in this series in which I was truly hesitant to dive into because of one thing... I am not the biggest fan of younger guys, and older woman tropes. I know, I know, I wish I weren't saying that but that seemed to be the one thing in the back of my mind in which had stuck there when I was reading this novel. BUT, with that being said I still loved this story! I can never turn away from a book by Tessa Bailey anymore. Let alone, with a synopsis and cover such as this one. Wes and Brittany are this over couple that had me catapulting for more! She is a force to be reckoned with, while he is this power oozing cowboy that knows how to sweet talk her, but also dirty talk the shit out of her. This combination is what makes them mesh together in the best of ways. Especially with the additional improntu of a semi "single parents" trope due to Wes taking care of his niece. Wes and Brittany know how to push each other's buttons, and they both also know how to properly take care of each other in a way in which romanticizes every word Tessa has written; "In the glory of the moonlight, he looked older, more worldly and wether. Or maybe it was the words coming out of his mouth. She didn't know what it was, but all of it, everything, drew her closer..." I am not sure if this is the final book in this series. I am hoping it's not, but if it is then what a way to go! ARC kindly provided by Avon Books in exchange for an honest review...Follow Me On:Instagram ❁ Twitter
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Confession: I was a little disappointed after reading Georgie and Travis’ story and first book of the series was three starred, mediocre starting for me. But at the second book, possessive, passionate Alpha-dog Dominic and his fight to win his wife Rosie back stole my heart. And at that book: I already introduced Bethany and charming Wes including their fiery-smart-entertaining banters as a first start of their enemies to lovers story so I was so excited to read their own book. Well: I have to a Confession: I was a little disappointed after reading Georgie and Travis’ story and first book of the series was three starred, mediocre starting for me. But at the second book, possessive, passionate Alpha-dog Dominic and his fight to win his wife Rosie back stole my heart. And at that book: I already introduced Bethany and charming Wes including their fiery-smart-entertaining banters as a first start of their enemies to lovers story so I was so excited to read their own book. Well: I have to admit: I didn’t like this one as much as I enjoyed Dominic and Rosie’s love story because: Bethany is quirky, perfectionist: everything in her world should be organized, polished, in order, sophisticated. She loves to design houses and working on details. It all works well for me and I actually enjoy reading the characters with their own antics, flaws but Bethany’s extreme insecurities, judging herself so harshly made me frustrated. This hot-sex chemistry between she and Wes start to turn into something angsty- ultra slow burn romance between charming cowboy and annoying insecure woman. The other thing I didn’t like was the reality TV concept. In my opinion it slowly kills the true romance parts between characters and turning them into something unrealistic and artificial. Without the TV concept, Wes may still Rene Zellweger’d Bethany (it means he quits his job just because following Bethany because he believed in her cause just like Zellweger did at Jerry Maguire , joining her to support her against rivalry between she and her brother. (At the end: if their partnership doesn’t work, he may Cuba Gooding Jr’d her any time by requesting: SHOW HIM THE MONEY as well!) And of course: I wanted to scream at the author when I didn’t see any intimacy between the characters till the last third of the book. But I truly loved Wes and his connection with his niece Laura. And Bethany is also more secure and relaxed when she is around Laura. And the sweet-sour rivalry between Bethany and her brother, the conclusion of their fight were the sweetest part of the book. So I went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars and I decided another 3,5 stars and rounding them up to 4. Because I still enjoyed the story more than the first book. Wes definitely stole my heart with his sweetness, smartass comments and his patience to earn Bethany’s heart.Special thanks to NetGalley and Avon/Harper Collins Publishers for sharing this feel-good ARC with me in exchange my honest review.Fascinating, invigorating, raw, harsh, adrenaline pumping, one of the greatest reads of the year highly recommended to the lovers of tasty crime novels and noir genre. Nope, I cannot give anything less than five gazillion stars because from the first pages, breathtaking, action packed, truly dramatic Beauregard Montage’s story enhances you. You feel the several harsh slaps of reality against cheek throughout your reading journey. Beauregard a.k.a. Bug loses the fight with his inner demons, hearing whispers to his father who introduced him to the criminal life when he was younger boy. He wanted to be a good husband, a good father who is capable to provide his own children’s needs. He wants to keep the roof over their heads and conduct a successful business but he fails: he is behind the mortgage payment of his car shop and he gets a call from his mother’s nursing home inform him they’re so close to kick his mother out. It’s simple and clear: He cannot make his ends meet. He needs to find ANOTHER SOURCE TO GET OUT OF HIS GROWING DEPTH PROBLEM ASAP!He hears the sound of screaming tires, smelling the dust of asphalt, shivering with adrenaline pumping. He is not Dominic Toretto! Nope, he’s incarcerated Steve McQueen. The passion of racing is in his blood, soul. It helps him to stay alive. He cannot deny the dark side’s calling: he enjoys the speed, adrenaline rush, facing the danger like a sea breeze brushing his cheeks. He is still a good man who is dealt a very bad hand. So he needs to cheat for winning this game. He has too at stake so one more driving job won’t make things worse, right? But as you may imagine, things can get more complicated than he expected! I’m not giving more spoilers. You just have to learn what’s gonna happen next by yourself but I’m so sure for one thing: as soon as you get this book into your hands, you will be captivated by the high skilled, mesmerizing writing and well-developed characters, getting lost in dark, intense, realistic crime world. It was more effective than watching an action packed, exciting thriller. There is no cliche, no pretense, no exaggeration. Everything is so real, shocking, soul crushing.I cannot thank enough to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for sharing this fantastic Arc with me in exchange my honest review.
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars I’ve enjoyed Tessa Bailey’s ‘Hot and Hammered’ series so much! I’m sad this is the last book of the series, but I really enjoyed it. A bit of enemies to lovers as well as the age gap… what’s not to love! Bethany Castle is doing her own flip and she’s doing it without the help or support of her family’s business. She is sick of not being taken seriously and being made to feel like she’s only good for decorating. When she makes her stand, Wes follows along to help her. You can tell Wes 4 stars I’ve enjoyed Tessa Bailey’s ‘Hot and Hammered’ series so much! I’m sad this is the last book of the series, but I really enjoyed it. A bit of enemies to lovers as well as the age gap… what’s not to love! Bethany Castle is doing her own flip and she’s doing it without the help or support of her family’s business. She is sick of not being taken seriously and being made to feel like she’s only good for decorating. When she makes her stand, Wes follows along to help her. You can tell Wes has it bad for Bethany and she’s attracted to him too, but she’s older and doesn’t want to be interested in him. 
 “We can still pretend to hate each other, if it makes you feel better about accepting my help.” She brushed her hair back. “Who’s pretending?” 
Wes may be in his early twenties, but he grew up a lot over the last year. He has temporary custody of his niece who’s in kindergarten and his pace of life has changed. He and Bethany have such a connection and so much chemistry but there is something holding her back. He just has to break through that barrier. I loved the reality tv part of this book and the end left me with a giant smile. Bethany is a relatable character and I loved when she finally gave into Wes. He brought her out of her perfect facade and helped her to be her real and authentic self. That person is pretty great. Wes was fantastic and I adored him and the way he was with his niece. Also, with this being written by Tessa Bailey you know it was smoking hot!If you’re looking for an enemies to lovers/rom-com that is funny, sexy, and has just enough feels, pick up Tools of Engagement. “You’re my first home, Bethany, and my last”
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  • Cindy ✩☽♔
    January 1, 1970
    Currently reading Love Her or Lose Her, and I knew these two would be getting their own book from the moment they were introduced. Can’t wait! Hate to love here we come 😘
  • Hollis
    January 1, 1970
    Possibly my favourite of the series?We love a hate-to-love in this house, or at least a somewhat antagonistic dynamic hiding attraction, particularly when the pair are opposites, but throw in an age gap and a single dad-situation, too? I mean, c'mon. Catnip.If you've enjoyed the books in this series, I think you'll definitely like this one, too.Full review to come.** I received an ARC from Edelweiss+ and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
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  • Lacey (laceybooklovers)
    January 1, 1970
    Cannot wait for Bethany & Wes' enemies to lovers romance!! Cannot wait for Bethany & Wes' enemies to lovers romance!!
  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    Normally I don't have a problem jumping into the middle of series having not read the previous books. I struggled with this book as a standalone as it constantly felt like I was a beat behind while I read. Even by the time I finished this book I still didn't feel like I completely understood one of the characters. This is a simple romance novel, it should have been an easy read but it turned into a frustrating one.Bethany Castle has put her dating life on hold as she attempts to strike out on he Normally I don't have a problem jumping into the middle of series having not read the previous books. I struggled with this book as a standalone as it constantly felt like I was a beat behind while I read. Even by the time I finished this book I still didn't feel like I completely understood one of the characters. This is a simple romance novel, it should have been an easy read but it turned into a frustrating one.Bethany Castle has put her dating life on hold as she attempts to strike out on her own in the real estate business and flip a house. Wes Daniels is new in town and gets on Bethany's nerves but he knows how to use a hammer so he will be helping Bethany out with the house. They will also be competing against Bethany's brother on a competitive reality show called Flip Off to see which team can do the best renovation. Again, Bethany has put her dating life on hold. Hmm... this is a romance novel, let's see how long that lasts.Bethany and Wes had good chemistry. If you are looking for a steamy read, look no further as I consider myself a seasoned romance reader and a couple of their scenes made me blush. So the romance elements of the story worked well in my opinion.The character I had a hard time with was Bethany. I didn't really get her personality and it seemed like most of her character development happened in previous books. If you are a fan of the other books in the series, I would imagine this would be a good read for you. But coming in without having any background info, was a challenge and that shouldn't have been the case. Needed a little more setup so both old and new readers could fully enjoy the story.With that being said, I would like to go back and read the first two books as good chemistry is my number one requirement in a romance novel and the author definitely demonstrated in this novel that is one of her writing strengths.Thank you to Avon Romance newsletter and Netgalley for providing me with an advance digital copy!
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  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a big Tessa Bailey fan and I've liked the entire Hot & Hammered series, so I'm happy to report that Tools of Engagement was no different. Though, if I'm being honest, I wanted a bit more from the story. Tessa Bailey writes sexy, fun contemporary romance, and I enjoyed the banter-y dynamic between Wes and Bethany. I like an opposites attract romance, and you throw in an age gap and I'm pretty much sold. I thought the relationship was a bit too "tease-y" for a bit too long, but I liked how it I'm a big Tessa Bailey fan and I've liked the entire Hot & Hammered series, so I'm happy to report that Tools of Engagement was no different. Though, if I'm being honest, I wanted a bit more from the story. Tessa Bailey writes sexy, fun contemporary romance, and I enjoyed the banter-y dynamic between Wes and Bethany. I like an opposites attract romance, and you throw in an age gap and I'm pretty much sold. I thought the relationship was a bit too "tease-y" for a bit too long, but I liked how it evolved over time. The plotline with Wes's sister was a bit muddled, but I liked how he had to take responsibility for a child and the emotion that brought to the story. I wish we saw more of Wes's southern side as I kept forgetting that he wasn't from the North East constantly. I few y'alls would have been nice. I also related to Bethany's insecurities and the desire to be perfect all the time, though they got to be a bit much for me, as a reader. Also, something about the ending felt off to me. Hot sex, as usual for Tessa Bailey, especially if you like alpha-types, and an engaging plotline, but not my favorite book in the series. *Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*goodreads|instagram|twitter|blog
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  • Melanie (mells_view)
    January 1, 1970
    ”Maybe I could be the one thing you don’t overthink, all right?”Bethany, Bethany, Bethany. I’ve pretty much loved her bossy butt since book one, and I still loved her in Tools of Engagement. Sparring with Wes and just peeling back her layers while falling in love. Wes is a cowboy type guy who is stepping up to take care of his 5 year old niece, and it’s just a duo you don’t expect to be so perfect for each other, but they are exactly what each other needs. Bethany is striving for perfection, str ”Maybe I could be the one thing you don’t overthink, all right?”Bethany, Bethany, Bethany. I’ve pretty much loved her bossy butt since book one, and I still loved her in Tools of Engagement. Sparring with Wes and just peeling back her layers while falling in love. Wes is a cowboy type guy who is stepping up to take care of his 5 year old niece, and it’s just a duo you don’t expect to be so perfect for each other, but they are exactly what each other needs. Bethany is striving for perfection, stressed to let any flaws show and Wes is just winging it and hoping things go right. They just work well together.So in this book we’ve got a slow-burn romance, a heroine learning to live and breath despite life’s imperfections, a hero who is figuring out how to plant roots and be for others what he’s never had, and throw in a reality show house flip competition. So essentially it’s emotional, sweet, a bit funny, hot and tense at times, and just a great contemporary read. I think it was a great end to the Hot & Hammered series, and though I’m sad it’s over I’m glad it finished so well!AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 22ND!*ARC
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  • Warda
    January 1, 1970
    Pre-ordered!These two had the one of the most hilarious 'meet-cutes' in Love Her or Lose Her and I can't wait for all the banter and snippy remarks that is about to ensue in this one.Also, forced close proximity anyone?
  • b.andherbooks
    January 1, 1970
    So Tools of Engagement popped up when I was lurking on Edelweiss+ in the late hours of the night and um, oops I read the whole thing already? Readers, I laughed and I loved it. Full review to come closer to the publication date (September 2020 sounds like a lifetime away). Wes is a smitten kitten and a sexy stud all rolled up in a hunky cowboy wrapping and I felt very seen reading about overthinking Bethany.Thank you to Avon for the advanced reading copy!
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  • Lily Herman
    January 1, 1970
    It's no secret that I really struggled with the first two books in Tessa Bailey's Hot & Hammered series. (See my ongoing exasperation here and here.) Unsurprisingly, a "quiet but sexually domineering man overtakes a strong woman with his LARGE QUIVERING MEMBER" storyline isn't a favorite of mine. A shocker, I know.What I loved about both previous novels, however, was how well they set up the relationships for each upcoming book. Wes and Bethany's banter was one of the best parts of Love Her or L It's no secret that I really struggled with the first two books in Tessa Bailey's Hot & Hammered series. (See my ongoing exasperation here and here.) Unsurprisingly, a "quiet but sexually domineering man overtakes a strong woman with his LARGE QUIVERING MEMBER" storyline isn't a favorite of mine. A shocker, I know.What I loved about both previous novels, however, was how well they set up the relationships for each upcoming book. Wes and Bethany's banter was one of the best parts of Love Her or Lose Her (which, hell, wasn't even about them), and it really pumped me up for Tools of Engagement. Because I seem to inhale any enemies-to-lovers romance in a single sitting without fail, it's no surprise that this book was a highlight of the series for me.Tropes aside, this novel just felt more even-keeled to me. Wes and Bethany were a strong match. Their barbs were equally scorching. Both had realistic issues that were larger than simple miscommunications. The reality show storyline was a tad goofy, but I could forgive it. After three books, I've concluded that Bailey's sex scenes (while steamy AF) aren't really my vibe, but these ones worked much better for the most part. (I'd never refer to anyone as having a "smart mouth" in the throes of passion, but eh, to each their own.)This series is ending on a higher note for me, because this one's 3.5 stars.
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  • Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
    January 1, 1970
    Real rating: 3.5! I just got tired of Bethany's insecurities a lot and i just never saw much growth towards the end. I also wasn't a fan of the whole perfect ending but it had to be done. However, I cried and laughed and loved how real they were with each other.
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  • Jaimie
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite of the series! Loved the hate to love elements, the premise of the HGTV style reality show/ competition element, and this couple has ON FIRE chemistry. Many of the issues I had with the previous books were solved in Tools of Engagement. Both Wes and Bethany were well developed, complex characters with believable backstories and issues and I so enjoyed watching them navigate these issues first as reluctant partners, then as friends, then as more. My faith in Tessa Bailey is redeemed!- My favorite of the series! Loved the hate to love elements, the premise of the HGTV style reality show/ competition element, and this couple has ON FIRE chemistry. Many of the issues I had with the previous books were solved in Tools of Engagement. Both Wes and Bethany were well developed, complex characters with believable backstories and issues and I so enjoyed watching them navigate these issues first as reluctant partners, then as friends, then as more. My faith in Tessa Bailey is redeemed!---- ---- ----Favorite of the series, hands down. I looooove me a good hate to love romance. Full review to come closer to the release date.---- ---- ----Thanks to netgalley and Avon for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!
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  • TheBibliotheque ♡
    January 1, 1970
    If you think Wes Daniels is not going to melt you into a puddle of sticky feels, think again.Dang, here I came looking for banter and got much more than that in exchange.Take this as a warning folks, Wes is probably the sweetest Bailey hero to date.
  • JenReadsRomance
    January 1, 1970
    I like Tessa Bailey a lot so this was still an enjoyable read, but this felt more like...loosely strung together scenes or vignettes about two people rather than a fully developed romance. Wes and Bethany are each on their own journey, but I found their development as a couple just wasn't as satisfying.There were a lot of plot developments that just didn't make much sense to me. The reality TV show plot just didn't add much? The entire plot about Wes's sister barely made any sense. I just don't I like Tessa Bailey a lot so this was still an enjoyable read, but this felt more like...loosely strung together scenes or vignettes about two people rather than a fully developed romance. Wes and Bethany are each on their own journey, but I found their development as a couple just wasn't as satisfying.There were a lot of plot developments that just didn't make much sense to me. The reality TV show plot just didn't add much? The entire plot about Wes's sister barely made any sense. I just don't understand how someone who is that much of a mess owns a house in this suburb. The entire way the guardianship goes down was inexplicable. All of it just felt like filler when I wanted was more of Wes and Bethany together. And, honestly, I guess this was supposed to read as a slow burn, but it mostly just felt like unnecessary cock-blocking rather than an organic development of their relationship. I guess in these new trade paperback romance times, people aren't allowed to have sex until after the 2/3 mark and therefore a bunch of random interruptions are going to keep that from happening. Meh.
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  • Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
    January 1, 1970
    Is there anything better than a great steamy Rom-Com to put a smile on a reader's face? Tools of Engagement is hilarious with chemistry that sizzles and pops. Bethany and Wes are almost exact opposites - perfect meets chaos - and when they start working together on a reality show about flipping houses . . . well, let's just say there's more than the competition heating up! Bethany is out to prove herself to her brother and family and Wes - Wes is out to prove he's more than a gorgeous cowboy. To Is there anything better than a great steamy Rom-Com to put a smile on a reader's face? Tools of Engagement is hilarious with chemistry that sizzles and pops. Bethany and Wes are almost exact opposites - perfect meets chaos - and when they start working together on a reality show about flipping houses . . . well, let's just say there's more than the competition heating up! Bethany is out to prove herself to her brother and family and Wes - Wes is out to prove he's more than a gorgeous cowboy. Tools of Engagement is witty, electric with great chemistry. A brisk pace keeps the plot moving forward and the banter between these two is hilarious. I love the soft side of Wes brought out with the scenes between him and his niece Laura. I haven't read the first two books in this series, but the author includes enough background information that I was never lost. Having said that, it would have been nice to have known more about the other couples/characters. If you love witty, snarky, opposites attract romances, grab Tools of Engagement and swoon and laugh! One other thing - Narrator Charlotte North does a fantastic job bringing these characters to life. She nails these characters making them authentic and adorable. I highly recommend the audiobook.*Thanks to Avon/Harper Collins Publ. and Libro.fm and Hatchette Audio for arcs of this book.**Reviewed at: Cross My Heart Reviews
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Well, then. I didn't expect to like this AT ALL. I thought I was out on Tessa Bailey. I had hit my limit on her insistence on writing male characters who are silent except when they're telling women how they know how to make it better... with their dicks. I really had hit my wall with her one relationship dynamic: stubborn, filthy-talking men and the women who could be strong as hell in their day to day lives and immediately turned into simpering weaklings in bed. BUT I'm a completist, and I was Well, then. I didn't expect to like this AT ALL. I thought I was out on Tessa Bailey. I had hit my limit on her insistence on writing male characters who are silent except when they're telling women how they know how to make it better... with their dicks. I really had hit my wall with her one relationship dynamic: stubborn, filthy-talking men and the women who could be strong as hell in their day to day lives and immediately turned into simpering weaklings in bed. BUT I'm a completist, and I wasn't going to skip out on the last of this series, and I'll be damned if this isn't my favorite Tessa Bailey book of ALLLLLLL the damn Tessa Bailey I've read. Why?1. The characters talk to one another.2. They actually bring out the best in one another.3. Wes is funny and open, not sullen and brooding.4. Bethany is realistically broken, but she doesn't need him to fix her.5. They fix each other.6. And the filthy sex talk isn't so filthy as to be problematic.So huh. Maybe I'm back in. Who knew?
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  • Rian *fire and books*
    January 1, 1970
    Gosh what a book!Absolutely a perfect ending to the trilogy BUT I WANT MORE. Give me all the novellas about other Just Us League members, Laura, hell even a book about a family vacation in 5 years. I. Need. More. God I really loved this.
  • Malene
    January 1, 1970
    Tools of Engagement is a cute and funny enemies/friends to lovers romance. It can easily be read as a stand-alone. Wes is just the sexiest cowboy who pursues Bethany with a passion. He doesn’t give up and believes in her and the work she does when she flips houses.So much that he switches teams, from her brother to her, even though they but heads numerous times. Their chemistry is terrific and together they’re so much fun.Wes and his niece Laura is the story’s highlight. He’s a bachelor and has Tools of Engagement is a cute and funny enemies/friends to lovers romance. It can easily be read as a stand-alone. Wes is just the sexiest cowboy who pursues Bethany with a passion. He doesn’t give up and believes in her and the work she does when she flips houses.So much that he switches teams, from her brother to her, even though they but heads numerous times. Their chemistry is terrific and together they’re so much fun.Wes and his niece Laura is the story’s highlight. He’s a bachelor and has no experience with kids but he does an amazing job at taking care of her. They slowly get to learn and love each other. The other characters from the previous books appear as well and it was great to be back with them.The main issue for me was Bethany. She was just so insecure and didn’t believe in herself and what she was capable of. Work wise and also when it came to relationships. She was very focused on the age gap between her and Wes. So much that it just became annoying every time she mentioned it. The conflict was predictable and I could’ve done without it.I enjoyed Tools of Engagement despite my issues and struggles. It wasn’t as good as Love Her or Lose Her but it was a great ending to the series.3 Cowboy Stars*ARC received from publisher via Edelweiss*
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  • Bookphenomena (Micky)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI really liked the characters, but there was just something about this one that didn't hit the spot for me like the previous book. It's still a good read, but I kept putting it down.Full review to come for the blog.
  • Jules ✨
    January 1, 1970
    we finally have a cover: many thoughts, head full *wails in enemies to lovers rom com*
  • Amy Imogene Reads
    January 1, 1970
    4 starsThe last of a trilogy, and it feels like it—this was a nostalgic run through of this series' highlights and a long-awaited romance from two opposing characters. Bring on the tension, the drama, and the steam! (And a house-flip reality TV show?? I should probably mention that first.)Plot/Pacing: ★★★★Standalone factor: ★Romance: ★★★Overall Enjoyment: ★★★★ 1/2Tools of Engagement comes out on September 22!So, real quick - NO, this is not a standalone despite what the marketing says. This is t 4 starsThe last of a trilogy, and it feels like it—this was a nostalgic run through of this series' highlights and a long-awaited romance from two opposing characters. Bring on the tension, the drama, and the steam! (And a house-flip reality TV show?? I should probably mention that first.)Plot/Pacing: ★★★★Standalone factor: ★Romance: ★★★Overall Enjoyment: ★★★★ 1/2Tools of Engagement comes out on September 22!So, real quick - NO, this is not a standalone despite what the marketing says. This is the third book in a trilogy of related characters in a small town and it feels like it. This was SO not a bad thing for me, a devoted reader to the series, but might be for you so please keep that in mind. Bethany Castle lives a flawless life. No really, she totally does. Ignore the fact that she's hyperventilating in the corner and has a stress rash on her neck and is incapable of letting anyone know the crushing level of perfectionism that keeps her awake at night. Everything is fine, life is perfect, and she is a flawless 30 year old. The only in Bethany's "perfect" life that upends her image is Wes Daniels. A cowboy hat wearing, 23-year-old freewheeling guy who lived a spontaneous life until his half sister dumped her 5 year old niece in his lap, Wes Daniels works for Stephen Castle (Bethany's older brother) and flips houses. Wes has been circling Bethany for months and he thinks he's got her number: one day the tension will snap, and they're going to settle things in the sheets. But then Wes sees the Perfect Life™ of Bethany's dreams is actually just a flimsy sheet in the wind and he realizes that this isn't a game—it's something bigger.Now let's add in the fact that Bethany and her brother Stephen are asked to compete in a "Flip Off" HGTV reality show of epic sibling rivalry proportions and we've got ourselves some DRAMA. Will Bethany and Wes get to the good stuff, or will Bethany's need for perfection collapse on top of them under the pressure of the film lights? Ready, set, ACTION. My thoughts: What an ending to this trilogy! This installment takes the characters' careers (house building and flipping) to its most literal interpretation: an HGTV competition show. As someone who normally doesn't like the "movie set" life depicted in books, I could handle this one because it really didn't matter to the plot. This was very much a story about Bethany and Wes, and barely involved the "movie" element at all. This was also the least steamy of the three books, which was interesting. Given the crackling dialogue between Wes and Bethany in the first books, I was ready for some serious steam. There was steam... but I'd almost call it tame compared to Fix Her Up and Love Her or Lose Her. Something to note for those who really enjoyed that element of Bailey's other books.Like I said at the beginning, if you're new to this series this is NOT the book to start on. Wes and Bethany's plot line relies heavily on prior knowledge of their interactions in the previous books, and their side plots with the other characters are absolutely meaningless without that added background. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.Blog | Instagram
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  • Readaholic Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Bethany Castle is always in her element. She is calm, collected and cool. After all, she is the interior decorator for her family's business and that's exactly what she does best. Put everyone else at ease and make them feel welcome. But what about her, who is going to be there for her when she doesn't have the energy to always be "perfect"?Wes Daniels, isn't used to sticking around in one place for a long time. He's used to jumping from one place or another; hence his career at being a bull rid Bethany Castle is always in her element. She is calm, collected and cool. After all, she is the interior decorator for her family's business and that's exactly what she does best. Put everyone else at ease and make them feel welcome. But what about her, who is going to be there for her when she doesn't have the energy to always be "perfect"?Wes Daniels, isn't used to sticking around in one place for a long time. He's used to jumping from one place or another; hence his career at being a bull rider. Life throws Wes a curve ball and he soon finds himself in Port Jefferson taking care of his five year old niece for the unforeseeable future. I really enjoyed Fix Her Up (book #1 in the series), but Love Her or Lose Her (book #2 in the series) wasn't one I connected with as much. Tools of Engagement might be my favorite of the series. I love a sweet (and dirty) talking, sexy cowboy and Wes was all of those things. The banter between Wes and Bethany was so perfect and the sexual tension was always simmering between these two. But more than that, I loved how Wes seemed to completely get Bethany. He pushed her when she needed it and backed off when she needed her space. He was affectionate and attentive and always so damn sweet. His sweetness and desire to protect both this niece and Bethany was definitely what made me fall for Wes. The interactions between Wes and his niece were some of my favorites. They were so sweet together and I ended up falling for both of them. A lot of times the single parent trope doesn't hold that much appeal to me, but these two were so perfect in this book! I loved the interactions between Bethany and the Just Us League. I enjoyed revisiting with Georgie, Rosie and the rest of the gang. Watching Bethany transform and let go of her insecurities was perhaps my favorite part of this book. As Tessa states in her acknowledgements - we don't always have to be that perfect person that's thrown across our social media. It's okay to just be who we are.Tools of Engagement releases September 22, 2020 - add this to your TBR list! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
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  • Ginger at GReadsBooks
    January 1, 1970
    I think this is my favorite in the series. I really liked the character arch between Wes & Bethany. Both of them had solid, fleshed out stories that molded together into one. You knew they would always end up together & it was nice to see that journey they made in getting there.Bethany’s character overanalyzes everything & some may call her a perfectionist. But I knew right away they were signs of deeper emotional anxieties. It felt real and authentic & I found myself wanting to better understan I think this is my favorite in the series. I really liked the character arch between Wes & Bethany. Both of them had solid, fleshed out stories that molded together into one. You knew they would always end up together & it was nice to see that journey they made in getting there.Bethany’s character overanalyzes everything & some may call her a perfectionist. But I knew right away they were signs of deeper emotional anxieties. It felt real and authentic & I found myself wanting to better understand her character.Wes, oh Wes. What a delicious cowboy with a heart of gold. Can we discuss his guardianship with his niece? So sweet. He’s your typical guy to live by the moment, where ever it will take him; while still harboring some deep cuts from his childhood. He steps up to the plate & then some. I really appreciated the growth his character made.There is a lot of heart, a lot of swoon, & a whole lot of heat in this one! Definitely add it to your reading lists.
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  • mindful.librarian ☀️
    January 1, 1970
    (free review copy) Just as satisfying as the first 2 in the series!
  • Tracy C
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Tessa Bailey's dirty talking alpha heroes are THE best. Wes was absolutely delicious. Bethany was so uptight and getting to see him unravel her was great. As was seeing her wrap him up. Their mutual love and caring for Laura was heart warming and a wonderful was to bring them onto the same page. I have yet to have Tessa Bailey disappoint me!
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  • Jessica Marsh
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this couple in Love Her or Lose Her but in this book, it didn't flow as well for me. The hate to love felt rushed, the entire relationship felt rushed. Also, they dirty talk literally made me cringe in this one. Something just felt off. I still enjoyed the book and characters. Laura was the little shining star. I am going to miss this whole cast of characters in this series though.
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  • Wendy ⏃: ✦Cheeky Chicks Blogger✦
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 STARS!REVIEW TO COME.*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Avon through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
  • Isabelle (izzybeereads)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the ARC!Tools of Engagement is a classic enemies to lovers romance. It was full of banter and steamy exchanges between an anxious-perfectionist home stager, Bethany, and an overly confident, cowboy constructionist, Wes. The overarching plot consists of these two having to accomplish the goal of a successful house-flip that’ll outshine our leading female’s brother.This novel was the first Tessa Baily book I’d ever read, and there were some elements I e Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the ARC!Tools of Engagement is a classic enemies to lovers romance. It was full of banter and steamy exchanges between an anxious-perfectionist home stager, Bethany, and an overly confident, cowboy constructionist, Wes. The overarching plot consists of these two having to accomplish the goal of a successful house-flip that’ll outshine our leading female’s brother.This novel was the first Tessa Baily book I’d ever read, and there were some elements I enjoyed. For instance, I was very intrigued about Wes’ character and his backstory. I truly enjoyed scenes from his point of view where we learned more of his background, his sister, and his niece who’d been placed under his care. I believe his character was very strong, although I would have enjoyed his “southern cowboy” personality to be better represented. I had to keep reminding myself he was southern. Having grown up in the south, I would’ve expected at least one or two “aint’s” or “yall’s” to be spoken. This man is supposed to be a bull-riding cowboy from Texas, but the most southern he got was occasionally calling Bethany, “Darlin’.” I would’ve appreciated this aspect of his character been more representative of reality.When it comes to Bethany’s character, I have to say I did not care very much for her. Her tendency for overthinking was very relatable, but I had a hard time understanding it. I felt that her character could have been given more depth so the readers could understand more on why she grew to be such an insecure and anxious individual, beyond just sibling rivalry for a parent’s attention.While I cannot deny the steaminess of the novel, I have to admit I felt the romance between Bethany and Wes to be lacking. We can tell Wes cares deeply for Bethany, but I honestly do not understand why. The novel felt more of a story of lust than it did love. The tender moments, when they occurred, were sweet! But those moments were too few and it made the romance between them a bit unbelievable. Had the author toned down the sexual thoughts and added a few more moments of honest vulnerability, it likely would’ve been a better love story. Wes’ possessiveness over Bethany was also very off-putting (and honestly a warning sign if this was real life) for me. It came of as a bit creepy, annoying, and more old-fashioned than I would prefer. This may be a bit more of a personal preference, but I felt it worth mentioning. Overall, I felt this story has a lot of potential. There were most definitely entertaining moments where I didn’t want to put the novel down, particularly in Wes’ story. However, as a whole I felt it was lacking a decent amount of depth. Depth to the overarching plot, Bethany’s character, and the romance. However, this book will be perfect if you are looking for a quick and steamy read and depth isn’t a major concern.
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