★ ★ ★ ★ ★ FIVE STARS
This was such a heart-warming story filled with witty banter, clown costumes and off the charts chemistry. Bailey delivered a steamy romance that brought to light the importance of loving oneself and finding confidence in the face of adversity. This story was not shy to address some of the less perfect aspects of the self-respect we garner for ourselves, such as our dependence on others’ opinions. The imperfect nature of the characters’ and their families in Fix Her Up shines through to create a story that’s not only entertaining but highly relatable.
The love story followed Travis – a down-on-his-luck baseball player forced in to early retirement after an irreparable shoulder injury – and his best friend’s younger sister Georgie – an overlooked woman who seeks the acceptance and approval of her family and friends. Travis’ escape from the limelight and early retirement leave him back home in small town Port Jefferson, brooding and drowning away his sorrows in a bottle of Jack. Georgie’s considerate nature and tough love bring Travis out of his shell and together they form an unlikely friendship that seeks to help them both find acceptance and approval from others. As a man who considers himself unsuitable for love, Travis’ childhood loneliness slowly diminishes in the face of Georgie’s endless presence and enthusiasm. Her love affair for Travis may have started when she was in middle-school but Georgie’s desire to be seen as more than just the kid her family and town believe her to be, leads her to finally gain the confidence and unleash the passion she’s always held inside.
Georgie – is the protagonist that will melt your heart. She certainly melted mine! She is intrinsically kind and easily relatable. I felt myself relating to her a lot throughout the book. The optimism and strength that she maintains, even when faced with large odds and adversity, is inspiring and made me gain a lot of respect for her as a female character who was representative of many women who struggle to gain the respect that they deserve in their chosen careers.
Travis – was a highly likeable character and a classically appealing romantic love interest. His respect and encouragement of Georgie was a tick in the pro column and earned my respect. The support that he showed others, while maintaining his independence and domineering attitude, made this book a breath of fresh air. Too often authors get the balance wrong between respectful and domineering male leads and it becomes a massive turn-off for me. When done as Bailey has in this book, you cannot help but fall in love with Travis.
The level of steam in this book surprised me. The fake-dating trope is always a favourite of mine and Bailey managed to balance off-the-charts steaminess with respect and unleashed passion in a way that was irresistible to put down. I felt that the scenarios that occurred within their progression from unlikely friends to lovers and eventually partners were sound and believable.
The only contention I had with this book was the fast-paced nature of the ending. The build-up to the designated end of their fake relationship was done well and seemed believable. However, I was looking forward to seeing how the characters fared on their own when separated. I would have liked to have seen their newfound confidence continue in spite of the turmoil in their love lives. The lack of this was a bit of a let-down but did not hinder the overall impact of the book too much. It was still a very enjoyable read and definitely one of my favourite books for 2019!
// do you enjoy reading a fake dating trope? what has been your top read of 2019 so far? //