What the hell is she thinking? He's the definition of off-limits. Not just because he's a client-he spends his free time risking his life mountain climbing. The same thing that got her father killed. She's not going to open her heart to a guy who could disappear at the drop of a...well, she'd rather not finish that thought.
She needs to leave complicated alone, but every time she sees Jason, something tells her it's her who might fall...
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The Hang Up
A First Impressions Story
By Tawna Fenske, Stephen Morgan
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Tawna Fenske
All rights reserved.
Miriam Ashley glanced at her Cartier wristwatch as she hurried out to the mailbox in front of her house. The heel on her Jimmy Choo stiletto caught on the edge of the sidewalk, but Miriam barely wobbled.
Bitch, please. She'd been maneuvering in heels since she was old enough to go to the mall without a grown-up. Even though Saturdays didn't require her to report for duty as co-owner of First Impressions Branding and PR, Miriam was still rockin' the uniform.
She was always rockin' the uniform.
Her watch read one fifteen, which gave her just enough time to grab the mail, fix herself a smoothie, then watch three TiVo-ed episodes of Project Runway before meeting up with her best friend for cocktails. Which of course meant work in a roundabout way, since her best friend was also her business partner. If she hurried, maybe she'd even have time to —
Miriam glanced up to see a homeless man standing in front of her. At least, she assumed he was homeless. He was filthy from head to toe, covered in mud like he'd been rolling around beneath an overpass. Poor guy.
"Yes?" She shoved one hand in her jacket pocket to fish for spare change, but didn't find any, so she slipped her keys between the knuckles of her other hand like she'd been taught in a women's self-defense class.
Miriam was always prepared.
But the guy didn't seem to be lunging for her wallet or her tits. In fact, he looked downright cheerful. His smile made cracks in the filth covering his face, and his eyes — startlingly bright blue — almost seemed to be laughing. He sure as hell didn't look like a serial killer, but she was hardly the best judge. It wasn't like serial killers routinely appeared on her doorstep seeking help with a marketing plan.
"I was wondering if you could help me," the man said. His voice was deep and smooth, like dark chocolate, and she felt her stomach ball up in a funny, fizzy little knot.
"Of course, I'm happy to help," she said. "There's a shelter a little less than a mile from here. I know they have a shower truck that drives around to some of the different parks, and they serve three meals a day, but I'm guessing you just missed lunch since it's after one."
"Wait!" she said, desperate to be helpful. "I just remembered I have some leftover sushi from dinner last night. If you want to hang on, I can go inside and grab it for you."
"That's very kind, but —"
"Sorry, what am I thinking?" She smacked her forehead with her palm, which hurt a lot more than it should have since she'd forgotten the damn keys between her fingers. "You'd probably prefer something a little more substantial, like a sandwich or a protein shake or —"
That stopped her. "Ma'am?" She frowned. "Do I look that old?"
"What?" The guy laughed and shook his head, and Miriam was struck by how sexy that damn laugh was.
Quit ogling the homeless guy. And he was still talking! Pay attention.
"... just trying to be polite," he said, rubbing a hand over a jaw thick with mud-covered stubble. "I'm new to the area, so I guess I don't have the local professional lingo down yet, but 'ma'am' seemed more respectful than 'hey you' or 'baby' or 'beautiful,' even though you are. Beautiful, I mean. Stunning, really."
"Oh." She felt herself starting to blush, and she briefly wondered if he was just saying that to butter her up so he could beat her senseless and steal her wallet. Then she realized that was a lousy thing to think. She'd done a pro bono marketing campaign for a homeless shelter last year, so she knew the majority of homeless people weren't criminals or degenerates. They were just regular people who'd had a stroke of bad luck.
"I'm sorry," she told him. "That must be really hard, finding yourself homeless in a new area without friends or family around to help."
"Homeless?" He quirked an eyebrow at her, which made more cracks in the mud on his face. "I'm not homeless. I just bought a place down the street. Two blocks away — it's the blue duplex with the white shutters."
He pointed toward a shady, tree-lined section of the neighborhood, and she recalled seeing the glossy "sold" sticker tacked up on the real estate sign a few weeks ago. She looked back at the man. Okay, upon closer inspection, she could see he wore expensive running shoes and trendy, designer athletic apparel, even if it was covered in mud. What the hell?
"I just did the Tough Mudder," he said, answering her unasked question. "You know, the big race with all the mud pits and obstacles?"
"Right," Miriam said, and recognition dawned as the guy turned around to show her the dirt-covered number pinned to his back. At least, that's what she assumed he was showing her, though her eyes strayed down to one of the most impressive asses she'd ever seen.
Even if it was covered in mud.
The guy turned back around before she thought to avert her gaze. The result was an awkward five-second pause where she found herself staring at his crotch.
Also very impressive.
She gave herself a mental slap and met his eyes again. "So what are you doing walking around looking like a giant malt ball? Don't they have showers or something at the finish line?"
He grinned, flashing a set of perfectly white teeth that contrasted with the mud. "Just hoses. Hoses with really cold water. I figured since I only lived a couple miles from the race course, I could just run there as my warm-up and run home as my cooldown, and then I could grab a warm shower at home."
"Right," Miriam said, trying to wrap her brain around the idea of willingly running four miles on top of whatever the hell they ran in the actual race. People really did this on purpose?
"The thing is," the guy continued, "I lost my key somewhere in the racecourse, and now I can't get back in my house to shower off in time to make it to a doctor's appointment."
Sympathy fluttered through her belly, or maybe that was anxiety. Probably anxiety. The mention of doctors and hospitals and anything medically related tended to send her spiraling down a path of panicked memories and despondent terror, and she found herself gripping her keys a little tighter.
"You have to get to the doctor?" she asked.
"The appointment's at two. Please, I just need to borrow your phone to call a locksmith. Then I'll be out of your hair, I swear."
She glanced at him, then back at her house. Her phone was back on the entry table, but right beside that was her guest bathroom with a shower the guy could use without stepping more than five feet inside her place. Ordinarily she'd think twice about inviting a strange man into her home, but there was something about this man that made her consider it. She could always stand there with a butcher knife, ready to stick it in him if he tried anything funny.
She hesitated, then looked back at the guy.
"I'm Jason, by the way," he said, smiling wider. "Jason Sanders. I'd shake your hand, but I don't want to get mud on you."
"Miriam." She added polite and considerate to his list of attributes. His eyes were kind, and he seemed sweet and well-spoken.
That's probably what every serial killer's victim thinks just before he strangles her with her own panty hose.
But she wasn't wearing panty hose, and she did have a soft spot for friendly, burly, blue-eyed, stubble-jawed guys in need.
"Come on," she said and turned toward her walkway. "Follow me."
"Follow you where?"
"My house. You can't stand out here being dirty."
He quirked one eyebrow, which caused the mud to crack on his forehead. "You'd rather I be dirty in your house?"
Hell yeah, her libido telegraphed, but she shook her head.
"No, I mean I have a shower in the guest bath that's right by the front door. You can call a locksmith and then clean up while you wait for him."
"That's very kind of you." He seemed to hesitate. "Aren't you worried I'm some sort of deranged killer?"
"You don't seem to have any weapons, though I guess I haven't frisked you."
"By all means ..." He held up his arms, and the sight of those well-toned biceps sent a fresh shiver of pleasure through her, but she held it together as she turned toward her house.
"I'll take your word for it."
"Thank you." He put his arms down and smiled broadly. "You're too kind."
"Not really. The sight of all that mud under your fingernails is making my skin crawl. I'm doing this for purely selfish reasons."
"I'll take it," he said behind her as she started up the path to her front door.
She could have sworn she heard him laugh as he followed her up the walkway.
* * *
Jason finished drying off with the fluffy green towel the woman had given him, then inspected it to make sure he hadn't smeared it with any residual mud. He'd been careful not to leave dirt streaks in her shower, too, conscious of the pristine white tile and the expensive-looking array of bath products lined up on the built-in shelves.
Whoever this woman was, she must own stock in a beauty supply store.
Miriam, he reminded himself, rolling the name around in his brain like a cinnamon Life Saver on his tongue. She'd said her name was Miriam, and though she'd seemed nervous enough to offer up a fake name, he didn't think that was the case. She looked like a Miriam, all flashing green eyes and glossy dark curls that he bet would feel exquisitely soft twisted around his fingers. She was built like a 1950s pinup girl, lush curves and full lips that practically begged to be kissed hard.
Stop thinking like that.
He glanced at the clock on the wall. It was one thirty already, and he'd be pushing it to make it to the hospital on time. His five-year-old nephew, Henry, had his third appointment with the new pediatric oncologist. As of last Friday, Henry was officially in partial remission, but they weren't out of the dark yet.
Jason's sister, Ellie, would be with him, of course. Henry was her son, after all, but Jason wanted to be there, too.Needed to be there. The whole reason he'd moved them all to the city in the first place was so Henry would have access to the best medical facilities and doctors. So Ellie or Jason could be with the boy at all times instead of trusting Henry's well-being to babysitters and day care providers. These early stages of remission were a crucial time for the whole family, and Jason's new job made it possible for one of them to be with Henry around the clock.
Jason finished drying himself with the green towel, then folded it neatly on the edge of the counter. Wait, no. That didn't seem right. Maybe he should hang it up? Or hand it right to Miriam so she could put it in the laundry?
Good idea, dumbass. Hand a gorgeous stranger the towel you just used to dry your balls.
He was still contemplating the folded towel when the door burst open behind him. He spun around to see — a cat?
"Fuzzy, no! Oh my God, come back here!"
Before Jason could grab the towel or even cover his crotch with a free hand, Miriam appeared in the doorway. She looked frazzled and frantic, and he froze at the sight of her.
Miriam froze, too. Her cheeks went bright red, and as Jason watched her gaze drop lower, he remembered why he'd been reaching for the towel.
"Hi there." He grabbed the towel off the counter. He should probably move a little faster, but the heated look in her eye as she stood there with her gaze fixed on his crotch left him in no particular hurry. He'd never been especially modest, but he'd also never been so blatantly ogled by a gorgeous woman.
"Thanks for the shower," he said.
"Wha —" She seemed to shake herself out of some kind of trance as he spread the towel open, wrapped it around his waist, and tucked the edge in against his hip.
She licked her lips and drew her gaze from his crotch to his face. "I'm so sorry!"
He quirked an eyebrow at her. "I'm not sure how to feel about a woman who stares at my junk for that long and says 'I'm sorry.'"
Her cheeks went a shade darker, but she laughed and raked her fingers through those glossy curls. "I'm sorry for walking in on you, not for what's behind that towel. There's not a damn thing to be sorry for behind that towel." She cleared her throat. "Not that I was looking. Not that I noticed whether it was really impressive or not or —" She shook her head and glanced away. "I should probably stop talking now."
Seeing her flushed and flustered and beautiful in the doorway gave him at least a dozen ideas of things he'd like to do besides talking, but he settled for nodding as he finger-combed his wet hair. "I'll take that as a compliment."
"My cat," she said suddenly, and her gaze scanned the bathroom. "I can't believe he did that."
The fluffy white feline was perched on the toilet lid, looking bored as he swiped a paw behind one ear. Miriam scrambled forward to grab him, and the warm, silky sleeve of her blouse brushed Jason's bare arm as she moved past. He stepped aside and noticed how carefully she seemed to be keeping her eyes averted now.
"Bad kitty," she scolded as she scooped up the fluffy white ball. "Bad, bad, kitty."
The cat looked almost smug as Miriam cradled him against her breasts, and it was the first time in Jason's life he'd felt jealous of a cat. Miriam moved past him again, her gaze fixed on her wayward pet.
"Sorry about that." She pivoted in the doorway to look him in the eye. "He has a bad habit of pushing doors open if they're not latched all the way."
"In that case, I apologize for not latching it," he said. "My mistake."
"Not your fault. It's an older house, so a lot of the doors don't close properly." Her gaze flickered over his chest and lingered for a few seconds before returning to his face. "Good Lord, you're in great shape."
He laughed. "Thanks. And thank you for the change of clothes." He nodded at the stack of blue hospital scrubs she'd handed him earlier, and Miriam looked at the pile. Some of the smolder seemed to vanish from her eyes as she stared at the heap of blue fabric for a moment.
"No problem," she said at last, her voice softer than it had been just seconds before. "They're my dad's. Were my dad's. He's a doctor. Was a doctor." Miriam shook her head and adjusted her hold on the cat. "He passed away last year, but hopefully those will fit. He was about your size."
The wistful tone in her voice made Jason want to reach for her, but he opted to reach for the scrubs instead. "I'm sorry," he said. He couldn't think of anything else to say, but that seemed like enough.
"Thank you." Miriam nodded. "I'll let you get dressed now. Shout if you need anything."
Balancing the cat on one hip, she pulled the door closed behind her. Jason dropped the towel, pulled the scrubs on, and glanced at the clock again. He wished he could stay here all day getting to know his gorgeous new neighbor with the killer curves and the Peeping-Tom cat and the fuck-me eyes that made him want to call her back to demonstrate just how unoffended he'd been by her apparent interest in his anatomy.
Truth be told, it turned him on.
Which she'd probably noticed, considering how long her gaze had been fixed there. Well, no matter.
He had more pressing things to think about right now than polished brunettes with lingering stares. Like the fact that he was running late for Henry's appointment.
Or the fact that he was starting a brand-new job on Monday. Holy hell, he still couldn't believe it. Jason Sanders, CEO of the second-largest sporting goods retailer in America.
Not that he was a complete neophyte when it came to running a recreation-focused business. The executive team at Urban Trax had seemed impressed with his experience operating his own outdoor adventure tour company for the past decade, and Jason certainly had the know-how to lead a large corporation like Urban Trax.
He'd just never held a job that required footwear besides hiking boots.
Jason pulled on the scrub top, relieved to discover it fit well. Miriam had sized him up perfectly. He grabbed the plastic bag that held his muddy clothes and shoes, then pulled open the bathroom door and walked into the living room.
Miriam was seated on the sofa, stroking a hand over her cat's back while she flipped through a fashion magazine. She looked up as he walked in, and he felt a wave of heat rush through his body.
"The locksmith just called," she said. "He's five minutes out, so he should get to your place right about the time you do."
"Perfect," he said. "Thanks again for the shower. And the clothes. I'll wash them and run them by later this week."
"No need. Keep them. Consider them a housewarming gift or something."
"That's a switch from a tray of cookies."
She laughed. "I'm not much of a cookie baker, so you're better off with the scrubs."
It was on the tip of his tongue to use that as an entrée, to ask her if she'd be willing to show him some of her favorite restaurants, maybe let him take her to dinner sometime.
You don't have time for that, he reminded himself. You've got enough on your plate taking care of Henry and Ellie. Don't get distracted.
Right. He cleared his throat. "Thanks again. Seriously, you really saved my butt here."
Excerpted from The Hang Up by Tawna Fenske, Stephen Morgan. Copyright © 2016 Tawna Fenske. 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
Tawna Fenske has a knack for creating characters that could be over the top with too many quirky traits or dialogue that seems to lean to humor rather than purpose, but just before I’d start to roll my eyes, she hits us with a moment that explains it all, and brings the characters into a new light. Jason is a mountain-climbing CEO with an edge who wants to clean his image. After all – he’s NOT all bad boy, there is his nephew Henry, who he dotes on and nothing is more important than Henry and his sister’s health and well-being. So he doesn’t always bother to dress in the latest and greatest, and yeah, he was mistaken for a homeless man once, but he’s not worried about what people think. Miriam is a PR guru, and a bit tougher to get to know. She’s a bit of the ‘all business all the time” sort of girl, and she’s often quick to step in to “fix” situations. Her mistaking her newest neighbor for a homeless man isn’t so terrible, until he happens to be the CEO of a company that is one of her biggest clients. Fortunately for her, Jason is actually not offended, and finds her amusing and intriguing. These two are really cute together, and get better as Miriam starts to loosen up and treat her client as a friend… then more. Their chemistry is solid, their dialogue is often skewed in a way that puts her, Miss Carefully Chosen Words and Reactions, at a disadvantage, which is endearing once she starts to realize it is not a battle, but a friendship with potential. Secondary characters, especially Henry with his spot-on observations and no-nonsense utterances add to the story in ways that only a child can, as the adults struggle to explain themselves and their relationship – forcing them to face questions and issues they may otherwise have ignored. Once the flow and story took off – it TOOK OFF – and I whipped through the pages, dying to know what would happen next. A bit of a rush to the end left me with a few questions, but this book did contain moments with characters from the earlier book – so perhaps the tale of Jason and Miriam will have a ‘check in moment’ that will solidify their happy ending. A great tale for someone who wants a little laughter and lightness in their romance. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
I like it very much.
I'm a big Tawna Fenske fan if you haven't noticed yet, and The Hang Up is another one of her adorably quirky romances filled with witty dialogue and fun characters you can't help but love. Miriam is a force of nature in her buttoned up and perfectly coordinated life. She's successful in running her own PR firm, but unfortunately that leaves her with very little time in the romance department. This all changes when faced with Jason Sanders outside her house. At first she believes the man to be homeless, but then she quickly finds out that appearances can be deceiving with a little help from her cat. Little does she know just how true that can be when she is also sitting across from him in her conference room and he's the new CEO of her largest account. Jason has put his social life on hold to help his sister with his sick nephew. He even gave up his successful business to make sure they are closer to his doctors, so romance just isn't in the cards when his plate is already overflowing. As the new CEO, a job which fits him about as well as an uncomfortable suit, he's expected to bring his magic to an already struggling company with the help of the sexy girl from down the street. You know...the one he hasn't been able to get his mind off since their encounter. Sparks fly instantly with these two and the chemistry is undeniable. It was entertaining to see them both break free of their shells, and I loved the way it was an opposites attract type situation. Overall, I think anyone who enjoys a good romantic comedy will love this book. It had just the right amount of light-hearted, sexy romance with laugh out loud moments to make it a thoroughly enjoyable read.
## Just SO-SO for me. I really enjoyed Ms. Fenske's "Front & Center" series and "The fix up", however this one didn't thrill me. Of course her writing style was superb as usual and the humor was present as well. What I found lacking was the chemistry between hero and heroine. They just didn't have ANY and that is a deal breaker for me. They could've been brother and sister. And speaking of sisters, the hero's relationship with his sister was a little TOO close. It bordered on creepy. I did enjoy the little boy though. He was a riot.
THE HANG UP is a very entertaining and quick read, with lots of laugh out moments, interesting characters and engaging dialogue, and I really enjoyed it. What do a city girl with an aversion to any kind of outdoor activity and an outdoorsy and adventure-loving CEO of a sporting goods company have in common? Nothing... except a PR campaign and sexual chemistry. But can two people with reservations about commitment be able to resist the pull between them? PR specialist Miriam Ashley has a major task at hand: present her clients with a kickass re-branding campaign, smooth out the new CEO's rough edges and convert him from lumberjack to executive, which normally won't be a hardship except they can't keep their hands off each other long enough to actually get anything done. A very inconvenient attraction because Jason Sanders exemplifies everything she is trying to avoid. Having lost her dad a year earlier while on a mountain climbing trip, she isn't willing to get involved with a man who enjoys such dangerous activities, but Jason brings out the fun-loving side of her and makes her want to take chances. Jason took this job because of the benefits it provided his sister and nephew and with their well-being as his focus, a relationship is the last thing he needs but Miriam brings out the best in him and letting her go would be the most foolish decision of his life. THE HANG UP is a sweet, romantic, sexy tale about opposites attracting, opening up to the unexpected and learning to live life to the fullest and I like that the delivery was humor-filled and lighthearted, with very amusing secondary characters to round out the story. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Oh, the glee and giggles, banter and jeer, joy and zeal, I enjoyed every moment of this very entertaining story, that embrace the invigorating outdoor adventures, living life to the fullest for every minute, and giving love and passion a chance and room in the swamped lives we live, filled with responsibility and hectic schedules. Jason is such a stand up guy, he takes his responsibilities seriously. But when you work hard, you play hard, and for Jason it means outdoor adventures, and taking care of his family. Miriam never quite got over her father's death, or even her parents' divorce. She's a city girl all the way, loves to cook, and the biggest adventure she wants to take, is to wear high heals. They are completely opposite, but slowly they take place in each other's life. The exploits they have, are lively and entertaining. The lessons on table manners is unforgettable, the double talk on kayak introduction hilarious. Passion, connection or chemistry is not the problem they have. They like each other, they fit into each other's lives, with their friends and family, they respect each other, and their talents, but they have no time for romance, the pain, the possible failure, and rejection, their minds and hearts are not ready to take that leap. I enjoyed the awakening moments they had, as their got their lives, and priorities, lined. They had to grow, develop, and deal with their inner demons, until they were ready and able to admit their shortcomings, and take the leap for love. Perfect reading material for those warm, long, summer evenings, if you need a smile, or some great belly laughs ~ Four Spoons
4.5 Stars I so enjoyed this one. It had equal amounts of humor and passion. This is the second book in the series and I loved it as much as the first one. The characters were delightfully entertaining. One of the things I liked best about this book was the banter between Jason and Miriam. Their first encounter with one another is quite memorable. Jason has a good heart and is definitely a family ma, but he puts too much responsibility on himself. Miriam and Jason are opposites. He's an outdoorsy man and she's a city girl, but you know what they about opposites attract. Jason's nephew Henry was a hoot. The things he just blurts out are just too funny and had me laughing. Over all a fantastic book and I hope there are more books to come in this series.
4.5 Stars Strange circumstances brought Miriam and Jason together the first time. The second time they meet is in a business meeting that throws both of them for a loop. Jason is a great guy. He just takes protecting his family to new levels. So much so, that he doesn't believe there's room in his life for anything else. He loves extreme sports, like mountain climbing. Her father died mountain climbing a year ago. They each have their issues but can they overcome them to keep from losing something so beautiful? Great story! Real emotions from fantastic characters. Received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed is my own.
I was quite excited to start to read this book as the synopsis of the book sounded like something that is right up my alley. I am totally a contemporary romance fan and The Hang Up has all the fixings of a good romance novel: Hot Sexy Male Lead - Check , Strong Female Lead - Check, Great Plot Line - Check, Hot Sex - Check, Romance - Check. See it has everything you ever need in a book and more! This is the first book that I had the pleasure to read by Tawna Fenske, however, if you check out my To-Be-Read List, I have quite a few of her books waiting for me to pick them up. That in itself is a feat, as I am quite picky on the type of books that I add to my shelf and do read. However, let's get back to the storyline, Fenske does a great job interjecting comedy into the novel and does this right from the get go when Miriam meets Jason. It is one of my favorite parts of the books and maybe all time favorite character meetings. I really enjoyed the way Fenske used humour to her advantage throughout the novel and found myself smiling and laughing out loud quite a bit. I read this book in less than a day as it was that good. I really enjoyed Miram's character and loved how she evolved throughout the book. It was great to see that she was not a shallow, static character, but instead had depth. I definitely recommend The Hang Up to anyone who is wanting a good, fun read. If you are looking for something that will make you laugh, make you believe in love and is easy to read, then The Hang Up is for you! Don't forget to add it to your To-Be-Read-Shelf!
I've never read a Tawna Fenske book before, but I had heard that they were funny, and I was definitely not disappointed. I was smiling or laughing practically from beginning to end! There are so many "dirty words" used that I have no idea how she came up with so many ideas. Jason and Miriam are complete opposites on paper, but they are actually a perfect fit. I recommend it if you're looking for a funny and sexy read. I received an ARC via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
Oh how I love Tawna Fenske!!! This book just proves it more, I promise you will be smiling and laughing out loud while reading this book! This book has it all, a gorgeous hunk, a girl that thinks she knows what she wants and an adorable little boy. Loved the chemistry between Miriam and Phillip along with their bantering!! This is a must read.
I loved this story. The chemistry between Jason and Miriam was off the charts from the moment they met. And the dirty deed her cat did for her was priceless. What a fun and sexy start to a book!!! There were many entertaining moments, laugh out loud scenes, along with a story of family importance. This was a fun sexy sweet story that included a hilarious five year old little boy who quite possibly could have stolen the story. I hope there will be more to this series, especially for Ellis. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Hands down, my favorite book by Tawna Fenske! I loved Miriam and Jason. And Ellie (Jason's sister) and Henry (her son), for that matter. (Henry's conversation starters! OMG, he's such a five-year-old boy!) Heck, I even got a kick out of Phuzeei, Miriam's door-opening, "furry ninja spy" (AKA cat). I don't know how I missed reading Holly's book ( The Fix Up ) but that's an oversight I'm going to need to fix, and soon... The Hang Up was funny, sexy, and sweet. There was a whole lot of highlighting going on on my end, and pretty much every example was because it made me snort-laugh when I read it. It had some of the most (ahem) creative hiccup cures ever, even if (especially if?) they are NSFW. Sooooo NSFW. And the scene with Miriam and Henry's testing Ellie's new home-based business's merchandise? So. Much. Steam. And then there's all the moments that made me go awwwwww...nearly all of them had Henry in them--coincidence? I think not. He even made the proposal better--because yeah, Legos definitely are a no brainer. No question. Ellie has to get a book--please tell me her story's next? :) Rating: 4 stars / A- I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
In this second book of Tawna Fenske's lighthearted romantic comedy series First Impressions, Jason has just taken over as CEO for Urban Trax - a fitness equipment company that has recently been embroiled in scandal and is looking to remake its image. To that end, they hired Jason to helm their sinking ship, and they've already been in talks with a PR company about rebranding, even before the scandal. Miriam happens to come across their adventurous new CEO prior to their official first work related meeting in a most interesting way - he's locked himself out of his new house (a few blocks away from her own) after his Tough Mudder race. Compassionate yet firm, Miriam helps him out, and tries not to notice his physical attributes. When they are formally introduced in the board room, the sizzle of attraction between them just gets stronger. But Miriam doesn't take risks, after losing her father in a mountain climbing accident. And Jason is firmly committed to helping his sister Ellie and her son Henry who is in remission from cancer. With taking care of them, and his new job, he has no time for a relationship. Somehow though, they end up in each other's company more often than not. Will they learn that they can bend a little bit and not break? I always enjoy stories by this author as they are never too angsty or overly emotional. Even with what could be depressing parts of a plot (ie Miriam's father dying and Henry having had cancer), she doesn't dwell on them, and just makes them a matter of fact part of the story. And as a reader who doesn't much care for ugly crying books, I definitely appreciate knowing that I can count on some laughs. Miriam and Jason are fairly opposite in character, with Jason being a very extroverted, adventurous type and Miriam much more strait laced. It's an opposite attracts story for sure, and though they are working together professionally, there's really no sense of impropriety in their burgeoning relationship. I did find that some of the humour in this story bordered on a little too silly for me, where I laughed but I also found myself cringing a bit at the situations. But I liked the relationship between Miriam and Jason, and also that he was able to get Miriam to move outside of her comfort zone and recapture some of the sense of adventure she used to have before her father passed away. There are some interesting scenes involving outdoor activities that I don't think I've ever read in a romance before - like spelunking (cave exploration) for example. Jason's relationship with his sister Ellie is a major part of the story, and there are several scenes involving them and Jason's nephew Henry. I like that the author makes the scenes with children likeable and realistic. There are some great steamy scenes ( no compatibility issues in the bedroom for these two!) and some not unexpected conflict that drives the second half of the story. Overall, an entertaining read and I'll be looking forward to the next book by this author. 3.5 stars.
Jason Sanders is the rugged outdoor type. He owned a successful outdoor adventure tour company. Now he's the CEO for Urban Trax. He needs to save this floundering company. PR specialist Miriam Ashley is there to help him, but he's such a distraction. Jason wants more than a business relationship. Can these two find happiness together? Miriam is smart and sassy city girl. I liked her. I hated to see her hold back because of her fears. Jason is her opposite. He loves adventure and the outdoors. He's a caring and loving man who will do anything to protect those he loves even sacrifice his own happiness. His nephew and sister are his to care for, but he loves Miriam. How will it end? I couldn't stop reading until I found out. Tawna Fenske wrote a romance that was filled with love, laughter and a second chance. I enjoyed her characters and this compelling story. I received a copy in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Amount of sex - 2 / 5 How explicit - 2 / 5 Romance - 5 / 5 Overall: 3.5 / 5 For more information http://BehindClosedDoorsBookreview.com/the-hang-up/ The Hang Up is a flirty and fun read. Guest reviewer JM here! I am reviewing The Hang Up, the second book in Tawna Fenske’s The First Impression Series. This series focuses on the lives the women of First Impressions, a branding and Public Relations firm. While I have not read the first book, The Hang Up does fine as a stand alone read. Miriam Ashley is the co-owner of First Impressions with the first book’s heroine Holly. We first meet Miriam, a curvy brunette, and her cat Phuzeei (pronounce Fuzzy) moments before we meet dirty (as in mud) Jason Sanders, who is locked out of his duplex after a Tough Mudder event ( a race run with mud pits and obstacles as Jason explains it). The attraction is electric between the two as Miriam lets Jason use her shower as he waits for the locksmith. The day after the showering even, Jason and Miriam discover they are working together as Urban Trax has hired new CEO Jason and has been working with PR firm First Impressions. My impressions of this book is flirty as we get to hear about body parts (courtesy of Phuzeei the door ninja cat) as Miriam gets to see all of Jason from the get-go. Jason and Miriam spend a lot of time ogling each other before getting down to it. While both characters have baggage hanging them up, the fun of the book is not so much will they or won’t they, but flirting about where, when, and how often. The reader needs to enjoy Jason’s and Miriam’s reasons for the obstacles they put in front of themselves and enjoy the tantalizing flirt. Lots of story and romance in The Hang Up, but it is light in all aspects as there are discussions of sex, but not that much of it. My only big disappointment is the cover of the book. It describes Miriam as very curvy and soft; an aspect Jason likes about her. The cover girl doesn’t strike me as a good reflection of the woman Jason finds attractive. The Hang Up is a light read though there are some discussions of children with cancer and the death of a family member before the book starts (note neither of these issues are related to each other). Overall, the book is lots of fun and enjoyable. I’m kinda hoping the next book is about Jason’s sister Ellie, who is starting her own business with Miriam’s help.. **ARC was received in exchange for an honest review**
The Hang Up is a fun, fast and full of laughs contemporary romance. Miriam is a PR specialist that is charged with re-branding a outdoors sports company for those who loves all things extreme. She knows her job, she even knows the life style, it is what lost her her father in a mountain climbing accident. Miriam has been playing it safe ever since. But the bad boy CEO of this outdoor company, Jason, surely temps her to get a little wild. Jason takes the job as the CEO of an outdoors company for its security. With this new position, he will be able to securely provide for his sister and her son. He has commitment issues with everyone but his sister and nephew, but he can’t seem to shake his thoughts and feelings towards Miriam. Sexy and sweet this a story that shows opposites truly do attract, The Hang Up is a wonderfully lighthearted romance. I received this ARC copy of The Hang Up from Entangled Publishing, LLC in exchange for a honest review.
This book was funny and flirty. I really enjoyed it for some light reading. Jason is a new CEO, into the rough adventure sports, and after competing in a race that leaves him covered in mud, he calls upon a new neighbor to get into his house. He cleans up in her bathroom, she accidentally sees him naked thanks to her crazy cat, and the sparks fly from there. He's determined to make his newly acquired position a success so he can help his nephew battle his disease. Miriam's job is to help companies that need to rebrand, and they've been hired to fix Jason's new company. She's one of those people who wears dressy clothing and heels everywhere she goes, and has an aversion to Jason's lifestyle. I actually related a little to her point of view; I really don't understand adrenaline junkies and their need to do such crazy activities. So on some level, I could understand her and connect to her feelings about Jason. Overall, this book was a lot of fun, had a few laugh out loud moments, and was a quick, easy read. The story touches on some sad subjects, like the nephew's cancer and the death of Miriam's father, but it doesn't really bring the story down. This would be a great vacation read; nice and light for a sunny day. I received a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.
This is a great book; this is the second book in the First Impressions series by Tawna Fenske. Miriam Ashley is a PR specialist who makes her living cleaning up bad boys. Jason Sanders is a mountain climber who is the new CEO of her biggest client. She agrees to help him with his boardroom skills. The more time they spend together they soon realize that they can’t fight the attraction. This book has a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. This was such a great read and full of surprises. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
This is a delightful romance where both main characters have serious hang ups as a result of their experiences. Hers is to fear losing someone she loves whilst they’re out being adventurous. His is ensuring he cares and protects his family after losing his parents as a teenager, raising his sister and now supporting her and her son who is in remission after treatment for leukaemia.She is Miriam Ashley, a PR specialist, working with her business partner running their own company helping others improve their image and marketing. He is Jason Sanders, who used to run his own adventurous activities business but is now the new CEO of one of her biggest companies! There are giggle out loud moments - like when they first meet and she mistakes him for someone who is homeless. Nearly every encounter involving his nephew, Henry, is hilarious - I just had to read them out loud to share them with my husband, just so he knew what I was laughing at. This is a story of learning to live life to the full, taking acceptable risks, hoping for the future and trusting that love will always help show the way forward. It is about fighting for those who aren’t in a position to fight for themselves, recognising everyone’s contribution to a company’s success and being willing to compromise to enable everyone to be a winner. It is also about being prepared to stand up and be counted, taking responsibility for your own actions but acknowledging that other adults need to be responsible for themselves and don’t always need wrapping up to keep them safe. This is a great, fun read with plenty of dramatic moments, humour and, of course, romance. I have no hesitation in highly recommending it to anyone who likes to escape into a family drama packed with hope and love. Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.
Once again, Fenske comes through with the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat. I highly recommend hanging out for a few hours with THE HANG UP--Miriam and Jason's story is the perfect escape from real life. Enjoy!
Favorite Quotes: I'm not sure how to feel about a woman who stares at my junk for that long and says 'I'm sorry.' Because nothing says romance like peeing on a stick. Miriam scurried after him, moving at a speedier clip than she was accustomed to. She didn't usually move this fast unless there was a clearance sale at Barney's. I think we need to stop talking about my sister now. It's kinda distracting with you standing there in your underwear looking hot enough to set my headboard on fire. What do you want to me called? My lady friend? Concubine? Schmoppie? My Review: This was only my second date with the talented Ms. Fenske and I am totally enamored and ready to be her steady - fangirl. The Hang Up was a quick and amusing read full of feisty and witty characters, sparkling humor, evocative and naughty banter, and clever writing. I adored it start to finish and snorted and smirked my way through this lively and entertaining tale. More please!
My Review: I really liked this book, but the characters made the story. They were both awesome. Jason is new to this town and the CEO's job. He meets Miriam after he's done a mudder's run. (He's so filty, she thinks he's homeless.) They're new neighbors and he lost his keys in the middle of the run, so he needs to call a locksmith. Jason used to own an outdoor adventure company, but he just sold it and became the CEO of a retail company (think REI) to help support his sister, who's a single mother of a five year old boy with cancer. Yeah, Jason is pretty much everything good in a romance book hero. By coincidence Miriam is part of the PR firm that handles the business for Jason's new company. They sleep together before they ever realize that their lives are intertwined professionally. Also, Miriam has an aversion to adventurers...her father died from his adrenaline junkie hobbies just a year ago. She has no desire to get attached to anyone else involved in that kind of lifestyle. Two major strikes against Jason and her forming a relationship. But this is a romance novel. You know that's not going to be the end of their story. There was so much to love about this story. Miriam is a city girl. She goes everywhere looking perfect and wearing heels. Jason is the exact opposite and he enjoys introducing her to more of the outdoor activities that he enjoys. As a result there were some great visuals of the outdoors in this story. I also really loved Jason's nephew and his obsession with human physiology. He added a levity to the story that you wouldn't expect especially since he's the character battling a life-threatening disease in this story. This is just really one of those light, happy stories that makes you happier for having read it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and definitely recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
3.5 stars--THE HANG UP is the second installment in Tawna Fenske’s contemporary, adult FIRST IMPRESSIONS erotic, romance series. This is CEO Jason Sanders, and PR specialist Miriam Ashley’s story line. THE HANG UP can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary. Told from dual third person perspectives (Miriam and Jason) THE HANG UP follows the professional and personal relationship between our leading couple. Jason is the new CEO of Urban Trax-a specialty company for outdoor sport enthusiasts and is in need of a complete PR overhaul. Enter Miriam Ashley from First Impressions, a woman who will leave ‘her impression’ on our story line hero. What ensues is a building romance between two people whose lives will collide both in and out of the boardroom. The relationship between Miriam and Jason is one of immediate attraction. The sexual chemistry is palpable, and there is plenty of sexual innuendo throughout the story –some with a little help from Jason’s five year old nephew. While Jason struggles with his need to be the white knight to his sister and her son, Miriam battles her attraction to a man who is willing to risk his life for a little fun. The $ex scenes are intimate and provocative. The world building continues to focus on First Impressions PR-a firm that educates the working people about proper etiquette in business and the boardroom. Holly Colvin from book one –The Fix Up- plays a secondary role throughout the story. THE HANG UP is a sweet, romantic, sexy tale about two people who couldn’t be more different. Miriam is city slick; Jason is woodsy tough-between the two Miriam with smooth out some of Jason’s rougher edges, while Jason pulls Miriam into the freer side of life. The premise is fun with moments of humor and lots of sexual euphemisms; the characters are colorful and animated; the romance is seductive and hot.
Another hilarious winner from Tawna Fenske!! This book has it all. Totally yummy hot guy, cute kid, strong female character, witty banter, laugh out loud moments. Check, check, check, check, and a big check!! Throw in some sizzling chemistry between Jason and Miriam along with a few insecurities for both of them and you have one heck of a story. This is a fun easy read that will touch your heart and make you giggle. I definitely recommend it for everyone.