I'm Ivy Clarke. Bartender, best friend, and disbeliever in love.
And now I'm in over my head, trying to flip a house all by myself.
I'm not too proud to admit I need some help. Too bad the only one who can help me is the same man I want to throw out this house's second-story window.
Jackson Gamble and I can't be in the same room together for more than a minute without devolving into a sparring match.
Except for that one time…
But enough about that. Jackson's looking for forever, and I don't believe in love, remember?
Get in. Renovate. Get out. Keep my heart firmly in tact.
Because it's much easier to fix up a house than a broken heart.
Full of humor and dripping with delicious tension, Nailed It proves that every heart can be ready for a little rehabilitation, if only you're willing to open it up.
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||1 MB|
About the Author
Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adultnovels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.
You can visit Cindi at: www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books.
Follow her on Twitter @cindimadsen.
Read an Excerpt
"How could you not want to fall in love?"
I clenched my fruity, embellished-with-a-heart-swizzle-stick drink tighter, wishing I'd mixed it myself so it'd have more than a splash of alcohol. Damn. My plan to be invisible has failed.
Without looking, I knew Aunt Velma would be to my right, basking in the success of the engagement party she'd set up on the sprawling lawn behind her house. She wasn't technically my aunt, but once Savannah introduced you to her family, you were kind of part of it. No matter how hard you tried to resist it happening.
The Gambles were nosy and opinionated, which was one reason I'd tried to resist so hard. It was also why my attempts to keep them at a distance were futile.
I steeled myself for what would inevitably come next — something about how amazing love and marriage was, naturally.
Velma gestured to the betrothed couple. "I mean, how could you not want someone to look at you like that?"
I glanced at Velma, then followed the crisscrossing strings of light overhead. They cast a soft glow on the tables and chairs overflowing with well-wishers and hung lower over the merry couple, leaving them in the spotlight.
My cousin Linc and my best friend Savanna were freshly engaged and disgustingly in love. Since I adored both of them, and they truly were perfect for each other, I was happy for them. Considering I'd introduced them to each other in college, I was taking credit for the match, even if it took a few extra years for them to get their happy ending.
Just call me Cupid.
Was it a prerequisite for Cupid to believe in love?
Technically, I didn't not not believe in it. It just didn't have any place in my life. I'd seen the havoc and destruction love left in its wake. I'd witnessed the unsteadiness of it, the self-reliance on another person, and the sharp, slicing words fired at will by people who claimed to love each other.
I liked my feet on the ground and my head in the logical cloud-free space it belonged in.
As a dating guru and creator of the 12 Steps to Mr. Right program, my best friend didn't understand my commitment aversion and possibly even believed that someday I'd meet my very own Mr. Right and change my mind.
But I had my own set of rules that I lived and died by. Well, there'd been no dying in the literal sense, obviously, but before I'd started following them, I'd had days where I definitely didn't feel alive, and I was never going back.
I referred to them as 13 Ways to Avoid a Broken Heart (and other loveborne illnesses). One more step than Savannah's program totally meant mine was better. For me anyway. Plus, I'd always liked the number thirteen, black cats, walking under ladders, and anything else people were superstitious about. It made people nervous, and I liked making people a little nervous.
I flashed Velma my best grin. "Girl, I have guys looking at me like that every night in the bar." Honestly, the looks I received while bartending at Azure didn't have that my-world-revolves-around-you edge Savannah's and Link's did, but the unabashed lust, I got plenty of.
A scandalized gasp escaped Velma, turning the tables right back in my favor.
Way #1:Always be in control. In life, with people, and most of all, when it comes to love. Once you fall in love, you surrender control, and safety is most definitely not guaranteed.
And that's how it's done. I tipped back my drink. "This might not be the strongest, but it is super yummy. I think I'll go grab another. You want me to get you one?"
Velma lifted the drink in her hand. "Thank you, but I'm still working on my first."
I ignored the implication that one drink was plenty and headed to the punchbowl for a refill. My skeptical side expected this party to be difficult to get through, not because I was sad that Savannah was getting married — because again, super happy, totally responsible for their meeting and giving her a push when she'd needed it a few months ago — but because I knew things would change.
Savannah was already so busy with her successful program, and Linc's sports reporting career was taking off, and everyone was moving on, and I was still tending bar. I'd always meant for it to be a temporary gig, but I made a killing in tips, and every time I went to apply for another job, I thought of the steady hours and sitting at a desk and then it felt like my skin was getting too tight.
I didn't want to be predictable. Didn't want to be boring. But I didn't want to be stuck, either, and for the past few months, I'd been in a rut.
No thinking about that. I'm in control and rocking this party ...
Only when I turned away from the table, I accidentally caught sight of Jackson.
Jackson, brother of the bride-to-be, guy who drove me crazy — both in the irritated and turned-on way — and, well, there might've been an incident where I'd slipped and had a one-week stand with him.
No, incident wasn't strong enough. I'd broken girl code, crossed lines with my bestie's brother, and momentarily let myself forget that sex would only complicate already-complicated things.
My sense of control had spiraled out of my grasp then, and as Jackson leveled his green-eyed gaze on me now, my grip slipped the tiniest bit. A shiver that I forced myself to cover traveled down my spine, and my sleeveless navy cocktail dress did little to conceal the goose bumps covering my arms. At least I knew the dark lace contrasted nicely with my pale blond hair, and my smoky eye was on pointe tonight. If a simple look was going to give me goose bumps, I needed the rest of me to be on its game.
It'd be so much easier to share the same space if I didn't remember what his lips felt like against mine, that mix of soft and scruff from his whiskers. If I didn't remember those big hands, callused from his contractor work, dragging across my skin.
Being in his arms.
I wasn't usually a girl who hung around. I left as fast as humanly possible or politely showed my gentleman caller to the door so I could be in charge of the leaving instead of waiting around for it to happen. Jackson was the only guy I'd let hold me afterward, and it killed me that I'd been so vulnerable in front of him because it made me feel vulnerable in front of him all the freaking time. Even more devastating, I hated how much I'd liked it there and occasionally longed to be there again.
Like when I lost my mind for a couple of seconds. Or before he went and opened his mouth.
Speaking of usually, I usually held back the memories better — my nights with Jackson were shoved away to the far corners of my mind. Unfortunately, they kept bobbing up, unbidden, to torture me. What I needed to do was remind myself of how ugly things turned afterward.
I lifted my chin, readying myself for a cool conversation peppered with verbal jabs, and he crossed the arms I'd just been reliving having around me, those damn muscles he got from all that manual labor popping out to taunt me.
He had this stupidly perfect hair, too. Nice and thick and longer on top, brown with a hint of copper that you only could see in the sun. It was styled as if he'd simply raked his fingers through it and let it do whatever it wanted, which was apparently to always fall flawlessly in place.
He gave me a tight nod. "Ivy."
"Jackson." Pre–blurred lines, we'd volleyed between passionately arguing and flirting with a daring, challenging edge, but afterward it was all animosity, and he'd been pretty clear that he wasn't starting a fan club for me anytime soon. I told myself that loathing was easier — his or mine, there was plenty to go around whenever our paths crossed. If I focused on that, I could keep hold of my control.
"I was thinking that for Savannah's sake, we could" — he dragged his fingers across his clenched jaw, looking like he was having trouble grinding out the words — "put aside our differences and play nice."
The phrase "play nice" brought on a barrage of images that were more dirty than nice and definitely not something I should be thinking about in the company of his family members, who were more on the proper debutante and southern gentlemen side of the fence. It was a side I didn't belong in, not by a long shot. Luckily, Savannah never cared about that kind of thing.
"I suppose I can manage to play nice. But with you ...?" A smile tugged at my lips, and I went ahead and let it free, steering it into syrupy sweet range. "Only for an hour or so. Two tops."
An evil gleam lit his eyes. "As I recall, there's only one way to ensure you're saying more yeses than nos, and it was usually closer to two hours."
My jaw dropped as the blood in my veins boiled with a mixture of anger and desire that I never could properly sort out around him. I quickly snapped my mouth closed and muttered through gritted teeth, "You wish, you cocky jackass."
He clicked his tongue. "Is that any way to start our temporary truce?"
I glared at him. He glared right back. Then he had the audacity to grin.
I wanted to hold my drop-dead stare for longer, but no place was safe for my eyes. The guy always filled out his jeans and T-shirts nicely, the rugged look making it nearly impossible for my hormones to behave themselves. But the button-down shirt, casually open at his chest, and sports jacket combo was equally hot-flash inducing.
I'd scold myself for ogling him — a habit I'd tried really hard to quit — but his eyes dipped to take in my mid-thigh skirt before traveling back up to my face, so I wasn't alone. Fighting off a wave of heat that had little to do with the warm September evening, I reached up and twisted a strand of hair around my finger, doing my best not to remember the way he'd once driven his fingers through it and told me he liked it wavy and wild, the way it was right now.
Jeez. What's with me tonight? It didn't take a sex scientist (a job I was far more qualified for than the Cupid one, FYI) to figure it out. I was sexually frustrated. While I used to be onboard with mutual adult fun, lately when I met guys, I just couldn't get into it. Not the flirting and definitely not trying to turn the flirting into more. Sometimes it was because talking with them for more than a few minutes revealed the beer bottle in their hands had a higher IQ than they did, but I used to not need conversation.
Ugh, why did my brain have to function all the time?
Because that's how you stay in control. Now get it together and say something to Jackson, and don't you dare do the flirty voice thing. This is a temporary truce for Savannah's sake, that's all. It's not like it's admitting defeat or anything.
"So, did you do the big brother thing and tell Linc that he better take care of your sister or else?"
"While I do love a good threatening, I didn't bother. Velma already did it, and I'm man enough to admit that she's scarier than I'll ever be."
I snorted a laugh, which made Jackson laugh. I think both of us were a tad tipsy. Although I wasn't tipsy enough to keep from noticing the deep timbre of his laugh or how he shifted closer to me.
If I drank more, staying in control would be slightly more difficult, but for some reason, I was having a hard time remembering why I needed control so badly. Some of my best times with Jackson involved being totally and utterly out of control. All passion, no thinking ...
Until it caught up with me.
Which was why I schooled my hormones and shoved away all thoughts of going down that painful, land-mine-filled path again. "Has Velma given you the 'don't you want someone to look at you like that' line yet?"
"I actually got the 'isn't it about time you find your other half and settle down' one." Jackson tugged at the sleeves of his jacket — clearly he wasn't used to wearing one, in spite of looking like he could model for Lumberjacks Gone GQ monthly, a catalog I'd absolutely subscribe to if it didn't only exist in my imagination.
"Ah, classic," I said. "As if you've just been walking around as half a person until now. I thought you looked lopsided."
"Hey." He ran a hand down his shirt. "I look sexy as hell."
"I'd like to argue, but ..." I bit my lip. Damn it. That crossed into flirty territory, didn't it?
He leaned closer, his hand going to my lower back and his breath skating across my neck. "You don't have to freak out. I know better than to read more into comments like that from you."
It should reassure me, but instead my heart splatted in my chest. "I —"
"Do my eyes deceive me, or are you two actually having a civil conversation?" Savannah stepped up to us and eyed us with a healthy dose of skepticism, like it might all be a big ruse where we shouted "psych" and then went to town on each other.
Since my brain hated me, it flooded with images of kissing rather than punching.
"Consider it an early wedding present," Jackson said. "Don't expect anything else, though."
Savannah shoved him, and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her in for a side hug. "Congrats, little sister."
"Thanks. Maybe now Mom and Aunt Velma will finally stop giving me crap about being a single dating expert."
Jackson nodded. "Probably. Next up, questions about when you'll be popping out a few kids."
Savannah groaned. "The hint about grandchildren has already been dropped. I just want to focus on how I'm finally getting married to my very own Mr. Right." She turned to me, and an embarrassingly strong wave of emotion hit me. I liked to keep that all bottled up, but it was dangerously close to exploding out of me. I lunged forward and hugged her tight.
Very little was constant in my life. I spent my entire childhood moving more times than people on the run from the mob did and had enough stepdads or almost-stepdads to create my own dysfunctional army of men I mostly couldn't trust. Life had been one big merry-go-round until I'd met Savannah.
She was my person and had been since we'd first met. I'd even tried to keep my guard up, simply because I'd learned to never get attached, but she charged right through like the Kool-Aid man.
I heard her sniff.
"Don't start crying, or I'll start," I said, choking back the tears clogging my throat. "And you know I'd rather eat worms than cry in public."
Savannah laughed. "I'd hate for people to think you were an actual human girl with feelings."
"Me too. That's exactly what I'm saying." I couldn't help but glance over her shoulder at Jackson, worried that I was giving him ammo to later use against me.
He'd taken a step back, allowing us some space, but he gave me a consoling smile when our eyes met, and then it was all I could do to stifle the urge to cry. If even he was taking pity on me, it was worse than I thought.
"If an engagement party makes me this damn emotional, I'm not coming to your wedding," I teased.
"I'm pretty sure it's required for the maid of honor to be at the wedding." Savannah pulled back to shoot me a serious look. "So don't even talk like that."
"Oh, great. You're going to be one of those bridezillas, aren't you?"
"Oh, for sure. Isn't that the point of a wedding? Forget happily ever after. I want to strike fear into everyone around me."
"Here, here," I said, lifting my palm so she could slap it.
We broke into laughter, and then Linc came over, also looking dashing but slightly uncomfortable in a button-up shirt and jacket. I gave him a hug for good measure. He was one of the other constants in my life, even though he'd gone and left me for minor league baseball for a handful of years before returning to Atlanta.
My two constants were about to marry each other and form two halves of one whole or whatever, and I told myself that I'd be okay. I was a grown up. I had years and years of experience in basically being on my own.
But I was afraid the past several years with my makeshift family might've made me soft.
Before we could get a decent conversation going, Velma called over Savannah and Linc, insisting they pose for more pictures.
Jackson stepped up next to me. "You okay?"
I exhaled a shallow breath and glanced at him. "Of course." He raised an eyebrow as if he wanted to challenge me on that, and I raised one right back. "You're not going to mess up our truce already, are you? The hour's not even done yet."
He held up his hands as if he were surrendering, a little too much amusement for my liking curving his lips.
A flicker of hope sparked — maybe we could go back to how it was before. We'd never really agreed on much of anything, but our exchanges used to be more like good-natured verbal sparring matches that sometimes ventured into fiery passion, each of us waving our red flags, taunting the other to charge like a bull.
These days, if and when our paths crossed, there was only arguing with barbed words meant to slice. Muttered insults like "succubus" — him about me, and "jackass" — me about him. I racked my brain for a neutral subject, but I wasn't very good at small talk, and he and I could manage to get into a fight over the weather.
Excerpted from "Nailed It"
Copyright © 2017 Cindi Madsen.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Enjoy reading it...!!!!!!!
It was an enjoyable happily ever after love story. The characters were great!
Ivy and Jackson's story--finally! In many ways, this book was absolutely worth the wait--I loved Ivy and Jackson together. When they were getting along and even when they weren't, it was a lot of fun to read their back-and-forth banter. (Jackson's morning coffee messages were some of my favorite bits! So adorable.) Ivy had some major issues to work through, though (and Jackson has the patience of a saint, fortunately) which made the romance of this book move at about the same pace as Savannah and Linc's ( 12 Steps to Mr. Right ); in other words, agonizingly slow at times, because did I mention Ivy's issues? Once again. I really think being able to see Jackson's side of things would have alleviated some of the frustration of reading--over and over again--about how Ivy just doesn't believe in love all the while she's (wait for it!) falling in love with Jackson. So, yeah. Parts toward the middle had me feeling a bit stabby toward our heroine, but like in Savannah's book, a fabulous ending made up for so much of what had come before. I almost don't remember the aggravating bits ;) Plus, Black Widow and Loki. And a reading nook not always used for reading. There's pretty much nothing else I need. Well, maybe some man glitter... Rating: 4 stars / B+ I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Sexy handy man?? Yes please!!! Lets start off with the fact that the writing was excellent, you got so sucked into the book that you could practically feel what the character felt. Will Ivy get out of her own way and get over her commitment fear, so she and Jackson can be happy?? I loved this book, I hope you do also!! Happy reading!!!!
Received an ARC at no cost to author, for my voluntary review. So this was a cute, funny, sexy book. The heroine had a commitment phobia , so the relationship was slow going. I enjoyed Jackson, he qas lovingly pafient. funny, sexy and sweet slow-burn about a commitment phobe heroine and a delicious and determined yet incredibly patient hero. He was boyfriend material I would graphics him. Ivy could annoy you, with her flip flop attitude, make a decision and stick with it, and enjoy and have fun.
3.5stars So in this book, we see just Ivys POV which is a little bit frustrating. Why because we see like all breakups not just here, but a few of her mother breakups. And from time to time she was annoying with her rules and for me was like she is touring herself. Jackson was an ok guy, likable for him hat down because he finds a way to break the walls Ivy had built. It doesn't show him like he is some alfa male but in the end, he does get a girl. They are some funny interaction while rebuilding the house. The chemistry between Ivy and Jackson is hot and I was satisfied that Ivy changed her mind and left love in her life. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
My first thought after finishing this book was, "why are all the Jackson's I read perfect?" This one especially. I know he has all flaws as we all do, but he takes the cake on this. He is funny, sarcastic, extremely sexy and good with his hands, gentlemanly, caveman (in the best of times (, supportive, encouraging, and can see what Ivy needs along with not giving up on her. How is a girl to resist??? Thankfully our heroine, Ivy, realizes all he is to her and her true feelings. But man my heart went out to her. Her nomadic past mixed in with lack of family support and her growing up a whole lot faster than needed. I could sympathize and be compassionate to her plight and wish her a life of happiness. This was a great story that I couldn't put down and was very happy with the way it turned out. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Cindi Madsen rocks it again!! Cindi is becoming one of my favorite new authors. Her books are hands down some of the wittiest and entertaining books I've read. From the beginning - you know it's going to be fun reading Ivy and Jackson's story. Ivy's ways are just meant to be broken. They share a brief past and then Jackson comes to Ivy's rescue when she takes on a HGTV-like project where she's in way over her head. "He and I had two settings - crazy attraction and crazy irritation." You know this is going to be good!! Succubus slams and all. Ivy's a commitment phobe, but Jackson is one determined guy. It makes for a raucous relationship that you don't want to miss. I submitted a request to the publisher to read and voluntarily review an advance copy of this book via Net Galley.
3.5 stars-sweet, endearing romance 3.5 stars--NAILED IT by Cindi Madsen is a stand alone, contemporary, adult romance story line focusing on building contractor Jackson Gamble, and bartender Ivy Clarke. We were first introduced to our couple in the author’s 12 Steps to Mr. Right. Ivy is Lincoln Wells’ cousin; Jackson is Savannah’s brother. Told from first person point of view (Ivy Clarke) NAILED IT follows the acrimonious relationship between bartender Ivy Clarke, and building contractor Jackson Gamble. Ivy is hoping to ‘rehab’ and flip the house where her fondest memories of childhood began but our heroine struggles with the overwhelming amount of work, and a lack of funds to complete the job. Enter carpenter and contractor Jackson Gamble, Ivy’s ‘one week stand’, and her best friend’s brother. What ensues is the building relationship and love between Ivy and Jackson, and the fall out as Ivy struggles with her inability to trust, and her mother’s history of broken relationships. Ivy Clark wants nothing to do with relationships, love or a long term commitment. Her mother’s history of different men, in and out of our heroine’s life, leaves Ivy struggling with an inability to trust or ever fall in love. Ivy has her own ’12 Step’ program she follows to ensure that her own happily ever after never occurs but she battles the loneliness of an empty bed, and a series of hopeless one-night stands. Jackson Gamble is hoping to settle down but the woman that calls to his heart refuses to acknowledge her attraction to, and the palpable sexual energy between them. As Jackson slowly works his way into our heroine’s heart, Ivy believes their time together expires with the sale of the house. The relationship between Ivy and Jackson is a second chance romance. Years before Ivy pushed Jackson out of her life when their relationship began to take on something more permanent. Months of caustic back and forth banter would lead to a temporary truce as the couple battle their attraction working together. The $ex scenes are mostly implied or fade to black. NAILED IT is a sweet story of romance; of one woman’s struggle to rise above her mother’s past; and one man’s battle with his attraction to a woman too jaded to give love a chance. The premise is cute and endearing; the characters are lively; the romance is delightful and charming.
Ivy Clarke is kind of coasting through life having not really found what she wants to do with her life. She finds out that the only 'home' she knew growing up is for sale. She gets in over her head attempting to fix up the house to flip it. Her best friend, Savannah, send over her brother, Jackson to help her out. These two are awesome together. Their banter is too great! Jackson knows just what to do and say to get Ivy fired up. You just know that underneath all that banter that there is chemistry. It's explosive! Ivy doesn't do relationships. Her mother has fallen in and out of love with an ongoing string of men all through Ivy's life. Ivy has always been the grown up in their relationship. Always having to pick up the pieces when another one of her mother's relationships fails. Jackson does his best to show Ivy that love is real and that they can have a future together. Ivy doesn't trust love and ends up hurting Jackson in the process. Her #1 rule now is-Love fully, no matter what. It's totally worth it. She now has prove it to Jackson and hope it's not too late. I loved that my emotions were all over the place with this book. I felt sorry for Ivy for her lack of a childhood. I felt sorrow for Jackson when he was hurt by Ivy. I laughed several times during their banter. I absolutely loved this book! It is so well written that it grabbed my interest right from the start and kept me hooked all the way till the end.
Ivy Clarke has a secret, she slept with her best friend Savanna's brother Jackson a while back - seven days of wonderful carnality until she realised she as developing feelings and broke it off. Brutal words were said on both sides and now their legendary sniping at each other has taken a nasty turn. Ivy's mother Cora was the poster-child for women who only feel completed by a man. Ivy's childhood was a revolving door of new step-dads and dubious father figures as her mother latched on to one man after another. Why get a job when a man can provide? All too soon Cora would fall out of love, or the man would, and Ivy and her mother would be back with Cora's best friend Dixie, until she had the audacity to fall in love with one of Ivy's mother's cast-offs. Ivy has learned from her mother's failures and her own experience that the Clarke women can't do love, can't do commitment, can't do relationships. If her best friend Savanna is a relationship guru, Ivy is an anti-relationship guru. When Ivy drives past Dixie's old house, the most constant 'home' in her childhood, and sees it up for sale she is hit by a wave of nostalgia and, in a fit of enthusiasm fuelled by to much HGTV, persuades Dixie to let her 'flip' the house by renovating and splitting the profits. Unfortunately, DIY isn't quite as simple as they make it look on TV and soon the house is looking worse than ever. Savanna calls Jackson behind Ivy's back and suddenly Ivy and Jackson are working together renovating the house, arguing about tiles and paint colours and, Ivy at least, resisting the chemistry that sparks between them. I do love TV renovation programmes and I love a woman who has hardened her heart against love with a hero who's not afraid to keep trying to make connection. For me this was light-hearted, flirty, DIY heaven. I haven't read what I assume is the previous book in this series and TBH I didn't warm to Savanna so I'm not devastated, you certainly don't need to have read her story to enjoy this one. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return fro an honest review.
I’ve been dying to get my hands on Ivy and Jackson’s story ever since they verbally sparred in “12 Steps to Finding Mr. Right”. Cindi Madsen nailed it once again by giving us a sassy, feisty heroine on the outside but conflicted, broken, and looking for love even though she doesn’t realize it on the inside. Her hilarious internal monologues often had me giggling aloud, and I absolutely loved both character’s quick comebacks to their back and forth banter. Jackson, the good guy/construction worker hero, has just the right tools to mend her broken soul, folks. I’m talking about his heart and determination to get this girl to see the light and possibilities of a meaningful relationship with him. Well, his lips, hands, and other body parts came in pretty handy, too, of course. He took quite a few emotional punches to the heart as he let Ivy work through her fears and insecurities until she fully surrendered her heart and soul to him. Yeah, there is some brief OW drama, because the main couple are not dating at the beginning, but he only went on a few dates with her. Details of some important events that happened after the end of book 1 but before this storyline began are eventually revealed. We are left with a surprising role reversal from your stereotypical romantic read, folks. This time around it is the heroine who tries to keep the hero at arms length, because she is afraid of getting hurt by committing to a relationship. The hero patiently struggles through on and off again rejection determined to be there for her when she is finally ready to let love conquer those deeply embedded fears. Title: Nailed It, Author: Cindi Madsen, Pages: 331, stand-alone but part of a series, lots of relationship angst, great back and forth banter, heroine’s POV, celibate during separation, afraid to love/sassy/feisty bartender heroine, wants to commit good guy, patient hero, very steamy scenes, briefly dates OW but not intimate with her, no OM drama. Book 1 - 12 Steps to Mr. Right (Savannah & Linc), 9/26/16, Pages: 350 Book 2 - Nailed It (Jackson & Ivy), 10/23/17, Pages: 331 (I received a free advanced reader copy provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No type of compensation was given to this reviewer. There is no relationship/affiliation between the reviewer and the author/publisher/NetGalley.)
Heartwarming With All the Feels! Great, fun and an engaging romance, that was so enjoyable to read. As well as a mixture of a couple of my favorite tropes Best Friend’s Big Brother and Enemies to Lovers Romance. A great mix of everything I adore in a story, humor, heart, animosity and heat. Ivy Clarke tends bar, to make ends meet, and doesn’t believe in Love. How can she, after she has seen, the havoc and destruction love left in its wake, her whole life. Vulnerable and dysfunctional when it comes to relationships, unable to rely on others, she goes through her life keeping herself closed off. Her best friend Savannah, is disgustingly in love and engaged to Linc, and since she is going to be the maid of honor in their wedding, Ivy must try to get along with Savannah’s brother Jackson Gamble till the wedding is over. As long as she can stay away from him, she just might be able to ignore the way that Jackson’s drives her crazy in both irritation and turning her on. Seeing him at the engagement party with a date, they decide on a temporary truce. But when Ivy comes across a for sale sign, at the only place that had felt like home, her mother’s best friend, Dixies’, Victorian house, she comes up with a plan and convinces Dixie to let her renovate it and split the profits. But soon, Ivy is over her head, and Savannah surprises Ivy by sending her brother, Jackson to her rescue. As these two work closely together to renovate, will they be able to resist their attraction to one another? Will Jackson break down Ivy’s walls? You will need to read to find out. Great heartwarming read! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
I loved this book, such a fun read! Because her mother always sought out a new relationship once the previous one fell apart, Ivy has been through more changes than a person should, and it's made her commitment-phobic in terms of everything. The one constant in Ivy's life has been her best friend, Savannah. Savannah's older brother is hot, fun, smart, dependable, and definitely interested in Ivy. But there was that one time they tried to be together and it ended in an epic failure, so now they're enemies, until they end up renovating a house together. Told from Ivy's point of view, this is a great story about confronting the things that scare you and figuring out what you want and what you're willing to risk to get it. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
I loved Ivy and Jackson in 12 Steps to Mr. Right so I was so excited to read their story!! Ivy and Jackson seem to not get along at all. The secret is that they had a short fling and haven't been able to be in the same room together since. When Ivy learns that the woman who helped raise her is selling her home and it needs a lot of renovations, she decides to take on the project herself. Watching home improvement shows on HGTV means that you can renovate an entire house right? When she realizes that she's bitten off way more than she can chew, her best friend enlists Jackson to help. Ivy and Jackson have off the charts chemistry and I was rooting for them from the very first page. Jackson is patient and so committed to changing Ivy's mind about having a full relationship. Ivy is fiercely independent and I loved getting to know her better. This story was quick, fun, and insanely entertaining. I couldn't put it down but I never wanted it to end. *This is my voluntary review of an advanced reader copy*
ivy clarke has rules against falling in love. 13 of them actually. her best friend savannah might be a dating coach with 12 ways to love, but ivy knows that her rules are better. they are meant to keep her heart safe in nailed it. if only she hadn't gotten in way over her head in a house-flipping project. if only her only source of salvation weren't jackson gamble. if only her stupid body and heart wouldn't react every time jackson was in the same room with her. she tries to mask all her attraction with antagonism. but it's just an act. and the more closely they work together it's inevitable that they'll end up in bed together. but jackson wants the real thing—love, commitment, and a happily ever after. and ivy knows that she'll never be able to give jackson what he wants. she's a mess. she has no idea what to do with her career. her mother continues to be an emotional timesuck. she's that girl from the wrong side of the tracks and there is no way that jackson's family would ever be happy with her pairing up with him. jackson has to be the bigger man here. he has to have the faith for both of them. because ivy is just a little too broken, a little too afraid to admit that her heart is engaged. but will time be enough for ivy to realize that she's got everything backwards? that even if you try to avoid feelings, humans are built to have them? the chemistry between jackson and ivy is off the charts, and there are some really sweet emotional beats between the two leads as they figure out their way to a happy ending. there's ups and downs, but it's a relationship that is worth sticking out, even when ivy is being super stubborn. **nailed it will publish on october 23, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (amara) in exchange for my honest review.
LOVED this book! It's light, sexy, and fun. In true HGTV fashion renovations lead to a fantastic happily ever after. Ivy and Jackson were such fun characters and the chemistry jumped from the pages. Most people would think they hated each other seeing as they can't be in the same room without snapping at each other. Yet when Ivy takes on a project that is well over her head she knows the only person she can turn to is Jackson. Who knew working together to renovate an old Victorian was a great way to work through your frustrations with a person! Definitely a fun read and a book I highly recommend.
I have an affinity for cheeky and entertaining. Cindi Madsen hit the nail on the head (pun intended) with Ivy and Jackson. Nailed It combines two of my worst addictions: HGTV and hilarious, steamy, heartwarming romance to create an irresistibly tempting renovation of the heart. The ultimate fixer upper has arrived and left a lasting impression on my heart.