"The hottest, sexiest, most hilariously fun opposites attract story I’ve ever read!" - USA Today bestselling author Samanthe Beck
This is a test. A test of every life decision Lisa Michaels has ever made.
Lisa thought she’d gotten everything right: The nicest condo, the right career, the best hair, and a perfectly adequate sex life with her stockbroker fiancé. But when the fiancé ditches her at the altar, Lisa’s left questioning every decision she’s ever made. What if her instincts have been steering her wrong all along? And what if she tested that theory by spending one month doing the exact opposite of what she’d normally do?
A crazy-hot fling with a tattooed steelworker from the wrong side of the tracks seems like a good starting point...
Each book in the The List series is STANDALONE:
* The List
* The Test
* The Last
About the Author
When Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA-nominated, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”
Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, stepkids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. To find out more about Tawna and her books, visit www.tawnafenske.com.
Read an Excerpt
"I'll have the Barbadian Secret martini, but with Hendrick's gin instead of the Aria, and I'd prefer the grapefruit-shishido shrub instead of the tarragon, please."
I smile at the cocktail waitress, who nods and jots something on her notepad. "No problem."
"I know I'm fussy," I tell her in a half-conspiratorial, half-apologetic tone that wins more kindness from servers than my extra-generous tips. "But it's always fabulous when you make it that way."
She gives me a friendly wink. "Coming right up."
"Oh, and if you have kaffir leaves," I add, "I'd really prefer that over the lime zest garnish."
"Jesus, Lisa." Across the table, my sister, Cassie, rolls her eyes. "Are you ordering a cocktail or buying a luxury car?"
Our other sister, Missy, pats Cassie's hand with a haughty expression I suspect mirrors the one I routinely throw at our younger sister. "There's a real art to craft cocktails," Missy informs her. "You can't blame her for knowing exactly what she wants."
I smile at Missy for having my back, but also at Cassie for being — well, Cassie. My polar opposite in most ways, but I love her more than Proenza Schouler's new spring line of dresses, and that's saying something.
I'm also determined to help the poor lamb plan her wedding. "So, Cassie," I say as I pop one of the Driftwood Room's famous Sizzling Forest Mushrooms into my mouth and chew. "Did you decide on the letterpress or the foil stamping for your save the date cards?"
She looks at me as though I've just shoved cocktail straws up my nostrils and pretended to be a walrus. "I'm a soil scientist getting married," she says. "Not a senator sending correspondence to foreign dignitaries."
Her expression softens almost imperceptibly, and she exchanges a look with Missy. I'd bet my favorite pair of Louboutins that our older sister just stepped on her foot under the table, and I know why.
I sigh and address the elephant in the room. "I'm fine, you two. I don't mind wedding chit-chat. Please. It's been six months since Gary pulled the disappearing groom act. I'm better off without him, obviously."
"Obviously," they chorus, Cassie sounding more convinced than Missy. There's that look again.
I ignore it and glance toward the bar, wondering what's taking so long for the drinks. Blocking my view of the bartender is a hulking figure in a black T-shirt, with tattoos covering both arms. I can't see his face, but his shoulders look like he spends his spare time bench-pressing SUVs. His ass is a work of art, too, like a chiseled piece of granite fitted with well-worn denim.
"Is the limp-dicked fucker still in Arizona for that men's retreat thing?"
I snap my attention back to Cassie, momentarily confused. "What?"
Seeing my confusion, Cassie glances toward the bar. When her gaze lands on Granite Ass, she gives a knowing smirk. "I was asking about Gary, but I like the look of anti-Gary much better."
Missy frowns and peers around Cassie. "Anti-Gary? Oh. Oh. Wow. That guy's huge."
"Stop staring." I swat at both of them as Granite Ass turns and catches me watching him. My breath snags in my throat, and it takes five full seconds for me to figure out how to look away. In that time, I'm hypnotized by the most stunning, icy-blue eyes I've ever seen in my life.
"Here come the drinks," I announce in a voice that doesn't sound like mine at all. It's high and quivery like one of those porno girls in the videos I used to catch Gary watching. "Bottoms up, girls."
I snatch a frosted martini glass off the tray hovering next to my head. The waitress starts to say something as I take a big gulp, then sputter.
"Guh!" I gasp. "That's not the Barbadian Secret martini."
The waitress stares at me like I've just belched in public. "I'm sorry, ma'am — that's the order for the next table," she says. "Yours will be here in just a second."
Heat creeps into my cheeks, and I'm not sure if it's from embarrassment or from the extra-strong drink.
Or the fact that everyone's staring at me, Granite Ass included. I'm deliberately not looking, but I can feel those blue eyes drilling into the side of my head.
Determined to salvage my dignity, I offer an apologetic wave to the befuddled-looking couple at the next table. "I'm so sorry," I say. "Your next round is on me. My apologies."
Then I take a daintier sip of the drink, tasting it for real this time. My taste buds perk up, reveling in the icy contrast between brine and bitter. I sip again, and a fat olive stuffed with bleu cheese bumps my lip.
"What on earth is this?" I ask. "It's amazing."
"A dirty martini," the waitress offers. "Extra dirty, actually."
I sip again, entranced by the unfamiliar mix of flavors. It's salty and sharp with tiny flecks of ice swirling in a gin mixture that smells like juniper berries. "It's incredible."
Missy stares at me like I've just announced a fondness for Cheetos. "That's basically the opposite of what you ordered."
Cassie smirks. "Maybe she ought to try opposites more often."
I take another sip, considering her words. How did I never realize there was this whole other realm of cocktail possibilities? Savory instead of sweet, salty instead of fruity.
"Is this seriously the first time you've tried a dirty martini?" Cassie asks.
I roll my eyes and sip my new drink again. "I've never had a dirty martini. I'm an interior designer, not a soil scientist like you."
It's Missy's turn to look perplexed. "I'm not a soil scientist, either, but even I've had a dirty martini."
I sigh and set my drink down, regarding my sisters with exaggerated patience. "I've had plenty of martinis, as you well know. Is it really so peculiar that I've never tried it dirty?"
"That's a shame." A low male voice close to my ear makes me jump, and I turn to see Granite Ass has slid in to the seat beside me. Those icy-blue eyes bore into mine, registering some strange combination of amusement and lust with an odd hint of aggression. What's that about?
"Sounds like that's something you ought to remedy," he murmurs.
The timbre of his voice makes me shiver, and I'm not sure we're still talking about drinks. I stare at him, at a complete loss for words. He's even bigger up close, and I wonder how he managed to move from his barstool into my space without me noticing. He's staring like he can see right through my dress, and the thought doesn't trouble me as much as it ought to.
I swallow and taste olive brine on the back of my tongue. Somewhere in my brain, my sister's words echo in my head.
Maybe she ought to try opposites more often.
She's right, dammit. I'm a thirty-one-year-old single woman whose ex- fiancé's silk ties are still folded neatly in the dresser drawer where he left them. How the hell did I end up here?
My whole life flickers before my eyes in a grainy, ten-second film. A life filled with wine clubs and yacht parties and impeccably tasteful drapes.
Maybe every life choice I've made so far — drinks, dates, everything in between — has been the wrong one. Maybe my instincts are so far off-kilter that the only fix is to do the exact opposite of what my gut tells me to.
These are crazy thoughts to be having in a Portland hipster bar on a random Tuesday evening. My gut roils with a potent brew of gin, adrenaline, and lust, so trusting it right now isn't an option.
But there's one thing I do know.
Granite Ass is making more than my taste buds tingle.
"Well, then," I tell him, pausing to lick my lips. "I don't suppose you'd be the guy to teach me a thing or two about learning to like it dirty?"
Holy fucking shit.
How did I even get here?
One second I'm sitting across the bar from my snotty ex-girlfriend, Kaitlyn, thinking about how badly I'd like to rub her face in my recent career success and the fact that my life is pretty fucking awesome since she walked out.
The next second I'm sidling up next to Kaitlyn and realizing holymotherofhell, this isn't Kaitlyn at all.
It's another polished blonde with a dress that spells "money," a calculating look that spells "trouble," and a body that spells "sin."
That's an awful lot of spelling for a guy who barely finished high school and never went to college. Not that it's stopped me from busting ass to make something of myself. To go from a grubby kid scrounging for scrap metal in his daddy's junkyard, to a minimum wage steelworker, to the guy who holds the patent on a double steel-walled beverage container that's made me filthy fucking rich in the last year.
Where was I?
Right, the blonde. The one who's looking at me like she wants to pour maple syrup on my abs and devour me like a stack of flapjacks. What the hell just happened?
"Dax," I manage to spit out. "Dax Kensington. And you are?"
"Lisa Michaels." She extends a manicured hand, and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to kiss it or shake it. I settle for the handshake, then notice my knuckles are grease-stained from working on my bike this morning. Fuck.
Lisa notices, too, but instead of gasping with prissy horror and drawing her hand back, she meets my eyes again and gives me that calculating smile.
"Dax," she says. "What do you do for fun?"
It's not the question I expected from her. Not "what do you do for a living" or "do you prefer mutual funds or blue-chip stocks," and it takes me a moment to answer.
"Well, I'm really into competitive duck herding, but I also enjoy train- surfing and extreme ironing."
It's a dickhead answer, not just because I'm being a jackass, but because I'm guessing the ironing thing isn't too far off the mark of what Lisa Michaels really does for fun. Her outfit looks like she gets up to press it once an hour to eliminate unsightly wrinkles.
She surprises me by tossing all that shiny gold hair and laughing. "Oh, you're a real smart-ass, hmm? You seem like a man who needs to be taught manners."
Across the table, Lisa's two companions exchange a worried glance. One of them clears her throat and gives me an apologetic look. "Our sister is, um ... going through a rough time."
The other one nods at Lisa. "And she's not really used to drinks that are quite so ... stiff."
Is it my imagination, or did that chick just glance at my crotch? I don't have time to ponder it because Lisa's talking again, and damn if the woman doesn't yank my attention like she's got it on a choke chain.
"My sisters are right," she says as she picks up her martini and takes a ladylike sip. "But I suppose one could posit that there hasn't been nearly enough stiff or dirty in my life thus far."
Did she really just say "posit" and "thus" in the same sentence as "stiff" and "dirty?" Who the hell is this chick? And why the fuck do I care?
I tap the stem of her martini glass. "How many of those have you had?"
She sets it down on the table, reaches under the table and grabs my knee. Her green eyes lock with mine, and it shocks me enough that I almost drop my beer.
"Enough to take you home with me right now and do unspeakable things all night long." She frowns, possibly replaying those words in her head and not liking the sound of them. "Wait, I didn't mean to imply I'd have to be drunk in order to — "
"One," her sister interjects, smiling a little as she shakes her head. "Lisa has only had the one drink."
"And no, she's not crazy," the other sister adds helpfully, tossing out the sort of fond smile you'd reserve for a nutty aunt who just gnawed the drumstick off the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. "Present display notwithstanding."
Lisa shoots them a disdainful look, but there's more warmth in it than actual anger. It's clear these three are tight. I'm still a little mind-whacked from her hand on my knee and the words she just said a few seconds ago.
Enough to take you home with me right now and do unspeakable things all night long.
"I'm sorry, did you just proposition me?" I ask.
Lisa nods, looking a little surprised by it herself. "Yes. Yes, I did. Is that a problem?"
I think about it a second. "You're not married?"
"Of course not." She gives me a haughty eyebrow lift.
She scoffs. "Hardly."
I study her, trying to figure out the angle. "Is this some sort of grudge fuck?"
She looks me right in the eye, an unexpected challenge in those green depths. "Would that be a problem for you?"
I hesitate. Do I really want to start down this path? True, I have a weakness for polished blondes, but that hasn't turned out great for me in the past.
Then again, I did come over here intending to one-up my ex.
Lisa's hand slides a few inches up my thigh, and I find myself grunting an answer. "Nope. Grudge fucks are not a problem."
Her face breaks into a broad smile, and my chest tightens unexpectedly. Holy hell, she's gorgeous when she does that. I grip my beer and remind myself to keep a tight grip on my sanity while I'm at it.
"Well, Dax Kensington," Lisa says, licking her lips. "Shall we get out of here?"
Does it count as false bravado if I really, really want to be the sort of brave, confident, sexy woman who'd bring a tattooed bad boy home for a one-night stand?
This, and other thoughts, are whirling through my brain as I unlock the front door to my condo and usher Dax inside. "Pardon the mess," I tell him, breathing in the pleasant scent of pomegranate and mission fig wafting from the Pottery Barn diffuser on the credenza. "I wasn't expecting company."
Dax steps into my living room and turns a slow circle, a bit like a bull in a china shop. A really big, virile bull. I swallow hard as he turns back to face me.
"This looks like something out of a home decorating magazine," he says. "Where exactly is the mess?"
I frown and hustle forward to straighten the coffee table book that's at a 65-degree angle instead of a 45-degree angle. There's also a teaspoon in the sink from my morning Earl Grey, and I rush over to load it in the dishwasher.
It occurs to me this is not how most women kick off an episode of wild, no-strings sex.
"Sorry," I say, not sure if I'm apologizing for the teaspoon or the fact that I'm behaving like Martha Stewart on speed. "I'm, uh ... a little new at this."
He studies me a moment, those icy-blue eyes assessing. Then he nods. "Look, we don't have to do anything if that was all a show for your sisters."
He shrugs and offers a heartbreakingly kind look, which is sooo different from the smoldering gaze he should be giving a woman he wants to shag silly. God, I'm blowing this.
"I get it," he says as he leans back against the wall of my foyer, the sympathy in his eyes making me want to hide under the dining room table. "I promise you won't hurt my feelings if that was just an act for Missy and Cassie. How about I give you a hickey for proof, and then I'll be on my way. You'll never have to see me again."
I'm touched that he'd offer something like that. Okay, maybe not the hickey. Still, it shows he's concerned about me. That he's giving me a chance to change my mind or back out. Or wait. Is he the one who wants to back out?
Determined to take the bull — the very virile bull — by the horns, I smooth my hands down the front of my Diane von Furstenberg pencil skirt and square my shoulders.
"I can assure you, I totally want to screw." I wince at my own words, feeling heat creep into my cheeks. "People don't say that, do they?"
Dax shakes his head, a bemused glint in his eye. There's a sexiness in his smile that wasn't there five seconds ago, and my pulse ticks up a notch. "People don't generally say that," he confirms. "Doesn't mean it wasn't hot as hell, though."
I take a shaky breath and wonder what happened to my bravado. It seems to be evaporating now that I'm here in my home revealing how very uncool I am. "Um, look — could we maybe sit and ... uh, talk first, or something?"
He laughs and pushes himself off the wall. He moves closer to me, close enough to brush the tips of my fingers with his knuckles. He takes my right hand in his, then the left, making goose bumps prickle all the way up my arms.
"For the record," he says, "it's not my MO to pounce on a woman the second I walk through the door. Not unless she asks me to."
The fact that he phrased it that way sends a funny shudder of relief through me. I'm not sure if it's because I like knowing one of us has some experience here, or that I appreciate the acknowledgment that I'm calling the shots. That I have the right to say no at any time.
Excerpted from "The Test"
Copyright © 2018 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
As a mom with three dyslexic boys, I loved the thoughtful inclusion of this element in another one of Tawna's steamy, silly, sweet romances. Another win!!! And remember...Tawna books are like potato chips, you can't have just one.
## Short and entertaining. I like the idea of the TEST, but I wish the heroine wouldn't have been soooo snobby about wine, food, clothes, shoes, furniture, etc. She was still a good person, but I felt it was over the top. And the hero had insecurities about not being good enough. Well he picked the wrong heroine, especially after his last snobby girlfriend. He kept getting butthurt, but then why subject yourself to that kind of woman? Anyway, just a minor issue which won't keep me from reading again.
I loved Dax - Lisa, not so much. I think it's because I couldn't connect with her. Lisa is Cassie's (The List) sister. I think that she was a little too "perfect and put together" for me. She seems to believe that nothing is working out for her when she, in fact, has a great career. I believe she sees what's lacking in her personal life when Cassie finds everything. Since Lisa's love life is non-existent, she decides that she's going to start doing the opposite of her initial instincts. That's how she meets Dax. Now there's a man every woman can and should drool over. He's a bit rough around the edges and made a killing from steel. He's stayed true to his roots and one of the most down to earth heros. He has an unusual secret that he's unwilling to share. I'm not crazy with how it came out but was thrilled with the way it was handled in the book. This was a highly entertaining read. It was both fun and funny. Lisa grew on my throughout the course of the book, but not enough that I love her. I do, however, love her love of Dax. They actually make a very good pair. I received a copy of this book via NetGally and am leaving a voluntary and completely honest review
Great book. Short and sweet. Highly recommended....!!!!!!!!
Holy hotness Batman! With a similar set up as The List, The Test is a fun, flirty and incredibly hot story. Lisa is going through a rough patch, her fiancée left her at the altar and the life she always thought she wanted is no longer within her grasp. And anyway, it’s not like all her plans and careful decisions have really served her well. When a hunky motorcycle riding guy approaches her, she decides to try going with the opposite of her usual instinct. Instead of ignoring him, she takes him for a spin. Dax approached the blond at the bar thinking to rub his meteoric success to his biotch of an ex, only to get propositioned by the sexy chick that made him laugh. Lisa needs to get out of her comfort zone and Dax is just the guy to do it. They decide to spend a month together testing the boundaries of Lisa’s poised lifestyle. With an incredible chemistry that takes them both by surprise, every thing they put to the test brings them closer together. Soon it’s not only amazing sex they’re sharing but pretty much everything they can, still using the tests as a pretext. I enjoyed both Lisa and Dax. Lisa was intent on not only breaking out of her shell but changing her preconceived notions about herself and her future. She might have come off as a snob but that was so not who she really was. I totally loved witnessing her personal growth. Dax was one sexy beast who had a really rough childhood causing some big issues which made him prone to get defensive. Especially when Lisa unknowingly triggered memories from his past relationship and childhood. For the sexy, confident man hunk he was, it threw me a bit when he’d get in the “I’m-not-good-enough-we-won’t-work” mindset. It’s good that as the story progressed, I could understand where it all came from. With lots of scorching hot sextivities, funny banter, nosy sisters and the most hilarious dirty talk, The Test was a great follow up to The List and I can’t wait to see what comes next. *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*
Sometimes when things keep going wrong for you, you have to reevaluate your way of doing things - just in case it is your own fault! That’s just what Lisa Michaels has decided to do. In fact she’s decided to strive to do the opposite of what she would normally do for just a month, to see if this has a more positive impact on her life and romantic encounters. That leads to her proposing a month of no strings sexual encounters to Dax Kensington during which she’ll explore what life is like not following the rules! This is a story of first impressions being so wrong, of a couple going into a time limited relationship with no long term expectations but love finding a way for them. The story has plenty of humour but lots more steamy sexual encounters. Don’t expect things to happen behind closed doors in this scorching hot, explicit story! Actually, some of the time in this novel I thought the sexual encounters detracted from the actual plot and meant I the character development was somehow lacking. As I said for the first story in this series, if you like your novels packed with explicit sexual romps and a heartwarming romance, you’ll probably love this. I requested and received a copy of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
Oh wow I loved this book! From the very first chapter, I was cheering Lisa on and wanting her to go for any and everything her heart desired - especially Dax! Wow, the two of them had chemistry galore! I loved how he pushed her and would make her question herself with doing the opposite of what she normally would do. Yowza! I think while she may have been used to the finer things in life, she was a sweet, genuine, woman. I loved how she saw Dad, despite him thinking how bad she must see him. Lisa was a constant surprise. I understood Dad's position of people, but got a little frustrated with him when he would turn it on Lisa without justification. This was such a fun story with super sweet scenes with various characters and some pretty hot scenes for Lisa and Dax. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Story was good. Written very well. Entirely too short. Get tired of spending money on books that the length is not worth it. Only 150 pages.
Forced to rethink her life at the most inopportune of times, Lisa discovers that success does not always breed happiness. The Test is one woman's quest to sync her mind and heart to all the possibilities. Sometimes, the road less traveled is the path where we're meant to be. Ms. Fenske delights with true to life characters who are easy to empathetize with and hard not to fall for. There's a piece of every reader in her clueless characters and heartwarming stories.
NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 Lisa Michaels is trying to figure out her what to do with her newfound freedom. Being left at the altar has a way of making a girl think about her choices. Lisa is looking for a bit of a change. But she never thought that change would come in the form of an extremely hot guy. Let alone to meet him at lunch with her sisters. Dax Kensington can’t believe his luck running into his ex like this. But as he sidles up to her to rub his success in her face he realized his mistake. This lovely creature isn’t his ex at all. Just as he is about to leave this stranger propositions him with an offer he can’t refuse. As always Ms. Fenske’s stories leave me laughing and wanting more. The Test is a great story of two people that couldn’t be more different, yet they work together perfectly! I loved watching Dax take Lisa to places she never could have dreamed of. I really can’t wait to see what is next in this series. It is sure to be sweet, sassy and smexy!! Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & Entangled Publishing, LLC in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
The Test is book two in The List series by Tawna Fenske. Tawna is a new to me author and this is one of those times when I’m smacking myself in the forehead and asking, why oh why have I not read anything of hers before. This book is fantastic. It’s so funny it made me snort laugh, while on the treadmill no less. It’s sexy as all heck, and enough swoon worthy moments to make me melt. I loved this book! Lisa Michaels is thirty one years old and is an interior designer. She has spent her entire adult life building what she thought was the perfect life. But six months ago her perfect fiancé left her at the alter making her question everything. On a night out with her sisters she spots him across the bar, those wide shoulders and piercing eyes. He’s completely the opposite of the type of man she would usually go for. He’s rough around the edges, all brawn and muscles. Maybe she’s been going at life all the wrong way. Maybe she needs to do a test, to do the opposite of what she usually does, try to experience life in new ways. And she can start the test with this hunky man. Dax Kensington has been burned before by hoity toity blondes who thought the world revolved around them. So why can he not take his eyes off the woman in the bar. There’s something about her, something special. When she proposes the test, and a month of no strings hotter than hot sex, he can’t refuse. “Forget the antiquated triumph of deflowering some simpering virgin. The thrill of devirginizing Lisa with an array of new life experiences beats that hands down.” Dax and Lisa went into The Test thinking they knew who the other person was. I think that’s the beauty of this book, how wrong they both were. Dax discovered that while Lisa was polished and buttoned up, she was smart, funny, and oh so brave. She went into everything with an enthusiasm that was contagious. But he has to remember, they are from different worlds. Their time together has an ending. He can’t let himself get too attached. That’s what he keeps telling himself anyway. “He isn’t most guys. In every way possible, in all the best ways, Dax Kensington is not most guys. And somewhere deep down, I know that will make it harder to say goodbye when The Test is done.” These two were so adorable together. Dax showed Lisa a different side of life. They laughed all the time, and had lots and lots of sexy times. They also let each other in, secrets were shared, souls were bared, and feelings grew. “Talk dirty to me, Dax. Tell me what you want me to do to you.” I just fell in love with these two, with this book. Lisa wears pearls and high heels and makes her own homemade marshmallows when Dax takes her camping. She’s like her own sunshine, where ever she goes, the light just seems to follow. And Dax, oh my gosh, the guy was sweet and adorable and sexy and, hot and, well, you get the picture. You just have to read this book. It’s perfect. Now I need to go back and read the first book in the series. I think I’ve found a new author to add to my favorites list. I definitely will be reading more of her books. Just try to keep me away.
when lisa michaels decides that she should stop trusting her instincts and do the opposite of what she would normally, she somehow ends up tangled up with dax kensington, a super succesful steelworker who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and his lisa's total opposite. from the moment they meet, sparks fly. and they have all sorts of crazy sex in all sorts of crazy places and its super sexy and fun. i loved it. it's not all smooth sailing, they both fail to confess their real feelings and when an uncomfortable social situation makes dax feel inadequate he lashes out. once they figure out their real issues, they find a way to be together in spite of their differences. **the test will publish on february 19, 2018. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (scorched) in exchange for my honest review.
Every decision that Lisa Michaels has ever made has been based on the expectations placed on her, there is not really a time when she can remember making a choice for herself, and now that she has been dumped at the altar she is starting to realize maybe it was the wrong approach all along. She has never really done anything because she wanted to, it was always what was proper, never once being brave or daring. So she starts to think maybe she needs a little reboot of sorts, do things on a whim, say yes when she would normally say no, and take a little walk on the wild side. So when she spots an handsome tattooed guy at the bar, she decides to be a little brave and invite him to come home with her, it's so uncharacteristic of her, and yet it tickles her a little to do something totally out of the norm! And from there her brave little adventure continues to heat up! This was such a pleasurable read, it had moments that inspired, moments that made me blush, and moments that squeezed my heart... definitely one of my favorites from this author! It was so fun to watch Lisa step out of her comfort zone, embrace this new side to herself and push the boundaries a little... and really fun to watch her explore her chemistry with Dax! I enjoy a good opposites attract tale every now and then, and I have to admit this one ranked high amongst my favorites, it was a fresh and engaging take on the trope. It was really hard to put this one down once I cracked the cover, these amazing characters pulled me into their world, had me mesmerized in a matter of minutes, and wanting to stick around to see if they had what it took to go the distance. Such a great read!! Highly recommend you get your hands on this one, these two are sure to keep you captivated from start to finish! Requested an advanced copy from NetGalley, and voluntarily read and reviewed.
Tawna Fenske is one of those rare authors I know I can count on to always write a great book. She’s never disappointed me, and her latest in no exception. “The List” features two people, Lisa and Dax, who grew up on opposite sides of the economic spectrum. I was much more drawn to Dax than Lisa, simply because of my own past, but Lisa is a woman able to learn and change. Her willingness to try new things had me kind of envious, actually. And Dax is this big guy with a big heart and a great intuition about what Lisa really needs. His sensitivity to perceived slights seemed a bit too harsh, but it turns out he had reason to behave the way he did and it all made so much sense. (Trying not to spoil anything here!) And the emotional connection between the two was amazing, not to mention the incredibly hot encounters they had. Yow! I feel like my reviews for Tawna’s books might seem a bit repetitious, but I can’t help saying again that she just somehow manages to get the combination of sweet/sexy/funny/emotional perfectly in her work. Her characters feel honest and grounded in reality. You connect with them and their stories all the more because she gives them such dimensions. And she infuses it all with a slightly wicked, slightly wacky sense of humor. She’s simply a damn good writer. Needless to say, I highly recommend this book and this author.
Do you really know yourself? Or does it take someone else to help you TRULY know who you are? Lisa is all prim and proper. She's fancy brunches and designers duds. You know: Sugar and spice and everything nice. Lisa is used to doing things the same way she's always done them. She's used to the nicer things in life and never thought twice about it. Then her fiance' leaves her at the alter and she's stumped as to what to do next. Dax is danger and tattoos and all things bad boy. They meet at a bar where Lisa propositions Dax for a one night stand. Dax, having gone over to her table just to show up his "ex" who happened to look vaguely similar to Lisa, decides "Why not." When Lisa gives him another proposition: Help me do everything different than I have ever done before, Dax is game. But what happens when the game is over? And can they play by the rules? Or are some rules meant to be broken? There are so many times when we find ourselves doing something the same way every time. Because that's "just how it's done." But when we challenge ourselves, we find out so much more than we ever expected. Y'all I freaking LOVED this book!! I read The List by Tawna Fenske and it was witty and sexy and funny and real. When I heard she was doing a second book in the series, I truly didn't know who she could do a story on. Then I heard it was Lisa (sister to the heroine in The List) and I got really excited. There's the typical Tawna wit and sexiness, but there's nothing "typical" about the story. I'll say my favorite scene actually comes about in the beginning, when Dax sits and Lisa's table and Lisa tries to pick him up. The banter is genuine. The characters are realistic and funny. And the tone is sexy, setting up the whole book for a fun ride. If you are a die-hard Tawna Fenske fan, you will THOROUGHLY enjoy this book. And if you've never read Tawna, this is a great stand-alone/part-of-a-series book to start with. You don't have to have read The List to understand or enjoy this book.
What can I say about this book? I freaking loved it. Tawna hits this one so far out of the park... Lisa and her sisters are having drinks at some craft cocktail bar, Lisa is trying to blow off her sisters comments about her being left at the altar some six months prior by a dickless wonder, while wedding chatter ensues the elder sister is getting married in a few months. Lisa becomes distracted by a man at the bar who she describes as having a well chiseled abs, two fully tatted arms and is huge. When he catches her staring, he suddenly finds himself sitting next to her making conversation. So unlike him, so unlike her. But Lisa had just decided that she needed to start doing the opposite of what she would normally do. That said, she stands up and takes this man Dax home with her. Lisa is wound way to tight. She's so bound up by doing the right thing, fussing over little things and by all means appearances. Dax, unbeknownst to Lisa has just made a fortune developing a cup made from steel that is double insulated. Dax has his own history and still thinks of himself as the boy from the other side of town, poor, abusive drunk father and the unworthy. Despite his success. His relationship with Lisa helps him see things differently. She calls this the Test. Kind of throws out there that maybe they could do this for a month and he'll teach her to challenge herself to do things she normally wouldn't do. Hot damn, the chemistry between these two was insane. I loved how they learned little bits about each other, Dax volunteering at the dog rescue and Lisa rising to his challenges, despite her penchant for high heels. He loved her brain and wit, she loved his compassion and talent. There was so much between these two to love. The story had a nice flow and I felt like I was sailing right along with them in it. Especially when the crap hit the fan. I just made a face at that one. Yeah, not happy. Dax for one thing Lisa didn't know totally blew himself out of the water and left Lisa there to save herself. I really wasn't sure there would be any coming back from that one. Clearly you know Dax and Lisa belong together, but who knows what will become of this mess Dax made. Gotta read the book to find out. The book is a must read and as usual Tawna never disappoints. I'd give it 10 stars. **advanced reader copy form NetGalley and Entangled for an honest review. Review contains my opinions and mine alone.**
Thoroughly enjoyed this laugh out sexy read where opposites attract. Lisa has been left at the alter, and now has met Dax at the bar. She devises "The Test" with Dax. Thirty days of stepping out of your comfort zone and fun filled sex with no strings attached for the next thirty days. But can they say good bye after the test. Great sexual chemistry between Dax and Lisa. Off the charts sex, oh my the museum! They both learn from each other, how to make the most of their life styles. We all can learn to step out of our comfort zone.
4+ Stars Always well-written, Tawna Fenske's books are a must-read. Not only for the creative story lines, but the multi-faceted characters, humor, and whip-smart banter. Even in this shorter-length title, Fenske delivered a well developed story with moments of poignancy that I'm familiar with in her longer books. I'm always surprised with the empathy she draws from me in those poignant moments. Dax was a wonderful hero. Not an ott alpha, but still strong and outwardly self-confident. At the same time, as his back-story and hidden vulnerabilities are slowly revealed, it's those traits that become more attractive than his exterior. At first, Lisa appears high maintenance, but therein lies her own vulnerabilities. She wants to empower herself by trying things outside that pretentious box. I enjoyed her new experiences right alongside her her, but was even more impressed with how she embraced both the "nicer" things in life and her new experiences with Dax. Although, The Test was a quick read with a stronger focus on the sexy times, Tawna Fenske still had me caring for the characters and outcome. (This is my voluntary and unbiased review of an advanced copy of The Test via the publisher and Netgalley.)
Dax and Lisa could not be more opposites. Dax comes from the other side of the tracks and Lisa comes from a wealthy family but the instant attraction they both share could not be fought regardless of their background. I enjoyed reading about Dax and Lisa and their journey of exploring each other and pushing each other out their comfort zone. I kind of got tired of Dax’s insecurities but I guess I can understand him since he had a tough childhood. Overall this was a fun read. ***I was given this ARC by NetGalley as an exchange for an honest review.
What can I say? I'm a sucker for a romance with lots of heat and hilarity, and Fenske delivers big-time with this one. Is it possible to giggle and sizzle at the same time? Yes. Why, yes, it is. Especially when reading Lisa and Dax's story. Enjoy!
Favorite Quotes: I can’t see his face, but his shoulders look like he spends his spare time bench-pressing SUVs. Is this foreplay? I have no idea. Gary’s idea of foreplay was muting the ten o’clock news and patting the mattress beside him. Don’t think I didn’t notice how he’d peer at the stock market crawl over my shoulder. Did I ever tell you I used to volunteer at this museum?… There’s an exhibit on the third floor called Oregon Adventure… My first month here, I caught a couple going at it on one of the bunks in the Lewis and Clark exhibit… They were buck naked, right there between the bearskin rug and the display of nineteenth-century muskets. Does anyone else feel self-conscious shopping for cucumbers? Like you’re standing there squeezing them and checking out the length and girth to make sure you get the best one, and you look over to see every creepy guy in the produce section is staring at you. Her T-shirt is emblazoned with an electric guitar, the logo for the National Down Syndrome Association, and the words, “I’m rockin’ this extra chromosome.” For future reference, most people bring cans of beer and Dinty Moore stew when they camp… Not an entire Riedel stemware set and an eighty-dollar bottle of port. My Review: I smirked and gasped my way through this delightfully naughty and amusing clever and steamy tale of opposites. The premise was interesting, the storylines were entertaining, the characters were appealing and enticing, and the writing was witty and engaging. And if you just heard someone yell, “Home run!” - that would be me. Lisa was a fussy and pretentious socialite wannabe who was overly concerned about appearances and having or being the best. However, she felt an itch to sample or “test” the grittier or less refined sides of life, which included experimenting with the many unfulfilled items on her sexual bucket list by going against her instincts and doing the exact opposite of what she had or would have considered doing for the next thirty days. It was to be sex only with no relationship or emotional involvement, and she found the perfect specimen with which to do so. Dax was a heavily tattooed and dirty-talking hottie whom Lisa had met in a bar, although she had no idea he was also a wealthy and successful business owner, as being a shallow snob, Lisa hadn’t taken the time to look past his delectable and colorfully inked surface. I adored the witty and profane Dax; although I couldn’t quote much of his dialogue as he words were typically laced with obscenities. His sexual dynamics, lubricity, and bawdy banter were some of the many turn-ons for Lisa, who was quickly softening during their association with a blooming relationship thoughts working their way in, which wasn’t supposed to be part of the plan.
Sexy, funny, smart love story This is the first book I've read by Tawna Fenske but I'll definately be checking out her backlist and future books. I absolutely loved this book. Lisa and Dax were the perfect opposites attract couple. Somehow their difference softened all their edges. The writing was on point, prompting an assortment of emotions. The plot line had me turning the pages to see what the next "test" would be. I thought the secondary characters brought a fullness to the story and I'll be looking for their stories. I highly recommend this book. I received an advance reader copy from Netgalley.
LOVED this book! Lisa is a somewhat haughty interior designer who meets Dax, a guy from the wrong side of town. He agrees to introduce her to the other side of life and they begin with a one night stand that turns into The Test. This novel made me smile and laugh out loud - all while pulling for Lisa and Dax and wanting them to get their HEA. This is a fun novel that is filled with plenty of sexiness that makes it a must read. Fans of the genre will want to put this one at the top of their TBR list. The author is on my must read authors' list.
Well this is a test I would like to take! I mean Dax was such a fabulous guy and Lisa was the perfect woman for him. Even though Lisa comes off as snobby on first impression that couldn’t be further from the truth. Dax is your good guy with a crappy childhood which still affects him to this day even though he has made something of himself. Once Dax starts talking to Lisa he realizes that she isn’t what she seemed, yes she has classy tastes but a lot of it also has to do with her job as an interior designer. Every time these two are together you can feel the sexual tension between them. I really liked Cassie and Simon together but these Dax and Lisa are just as great. There are some hilarious parts in this book and I just love when I can laugh and still get some hot sex scenes. And there were some HOT sex scenes! If you loved The List then you will love The Test.