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New Release Review: DESIGNED FOR LOVE by Kelsey Browning (Texas Nights #4)

Ashton and Mac…and a kickass motorcycle! It almost makes me want one…almost 😉

Designed for Love
by Kelsey Browning

About the book:

Ashton Davenport: Hot blonde. Old Money. Off-limits.

That’s how Mac McLaughlin sees her, anyway. And now that he’s enduring a temporary self-imposed exile in tiny Shelbyville, Texas, he’s seeing her way too often. Mac only wants to succeed as the contractor for the Lily Lake development in order to rebuild his reputation and return to Dallas, pronto. A sexy distraction like Ashton was not in the plans.

Mac McLaughlin: Hot builder. Cash poor. Hands-on.

Ashton kissed her trust fund goodbye and left her life as a society princess to prove she could make it on her own. Developing Lily Lake is her big chance, but it’s hard to stay focused working side-by-side with bossy, rough-around-the-edges Mac. Especially when he pulls off his shirt.

When the discovery of an endangered species derails the project, Mac can’t afford to stick around for a stalled job. His and Ashton’s explosive chemistry aside, he’s outta there…unless she can convince him that they just might be able to build something together.

 

Review:

Even though Ashton didn’t start out well in this series (she tries to sue Roxanne, the heroine of book two in the series–Running the Red Light for a spectacularly selfish reason) I had faith in Kelsey’s ability to turn her into a proper heroine.

She totally did. 🙂

Since book two, Ashton’s moved to Shelbyville, given up her trust fund/family money, and started her own business. So far the results have been less than stellar, but she’s not giving up–she wants to be the kind of person her annoyingly endearing dog Napoleon deserves. She can’t afford caviar and steak for him anymore; the least she can do is give him an owner to be proud of.

I know: caviar and steak. It makes it all the more fun later when you find out what Mac gets him hooked on–just wait! 😉

Some of the best parts of this book were the glimpses we get inside Aston’s head. For one, they really show her progress from a still somewhat spoiled rich girl to a capable woman who stands up for herself and gets things done. For another, she’s pretty darn funny–and the things she thinks (even when she doesn’t want to) about Mac are absolutely fabulous. If I could figure out how to make my Kindle highlight on a PDF file, this one would have been glowing–I snorted, choked on my spit, and downright laughed many, many times while reading this one.

Hopefully no one heard me while I was reading on my lunch break at work. I don’t think anyone was nearby, but…

Anyway.

Designed for Love was a very entertaining read–Ashton ends up being one heck of a heroine, and I really liked Mac for about 95% of the book (he was a butthead for about 5%, but it’s hard to hold that against him, since the plot needed him to be. Plus, he does something awesome for his mom so all is forgiven). Even Napoleon becomes quite the character. I’m not totally convinced of the logistics of the hammock encounter (yes, that kind of encounter) and Ash’s grandmother’s tactics toward the end still don’t quite sit right with me, but overall I have to say that this one was my favorite of the series.

It would work as a standalone if needed; characters show up from the other series books (including the wedding of one couple–squee!) and earlier events are alluded to, but I don’t think there was anything here that a newbie to the series needs to know that they don’t at least get a rudimentary explanation for.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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