Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Review: The Accidental Pinup by Danielle Jackson

The Accidental Pinup by Danielle Jackson
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
The Accidental Pinup cover
ISBN: 9780593437339
Release Date: July 19, 2022
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Rival photographers are forced to collaborate on a body-positive lingerie campaign, but they might have to readjust their focus when sparks fly.

Photographer Cassie Harris loves her job—her company Buxom Boudoir makes people look beautiful and feel empowered with her modern twist on classic pinup photography. Cassie’s best friend, Dana, is about to launch her own dangerously dreamy lingerie line and wants Cassie to shoot and direct the career-changing national campaign. But company politics and Dana’s complicated pregnancy interfere, and Cassie finds herself—a proud plus size Black woman—not behind the camera but in front of it.

Though she’s never modeled herself, Cassie’s pretty sure she can handle the sheer underwear and caution tape bralettes. She’s not sure she can work so intimately with the chosen photographer, her long-time competitor in the Chicago photography scene, Reid Montgomery. Their chemistry is undeniable on set, however, and feelings can develop faster than film…

Rival photographers can’t resist the undeniable chemistry between them in The Accidental Pinup. Danielle Jackson has delivered a fresh and fun romance in Cassie and Reid’s story.

Cassie Harris is a talented photographer with a keen eye and a sharp mind. She has a successful boudoir photography business, but no matter how hard she works or how good she is, she keeps losing jobs to Reid Montgomery whose pinup style photos lack the twist and imagination of hers. When Cassie’s best friend, Dana, launches a major, inclusive lingerie line, Cassie knows she’s finally going to get her chance to show that she can create a successful national campaign. Except the execs don’t want a plus size Black woman behind the camera, they want none other than Reid. They do want Cassie to model and when she’s able to get the role of art director out of it, she agrees. Neither she nor Reid expect their mutual attraction to be so distracting, however. And the longer the two rivals are around each other, the more interesting things get.

Cassie is an easy heroine to root for. She’s vibrant, funny, honest, and hardworking – she’s the kind of person you’d want to be friends with and Buxom Boudoir is the place you’d want to work. I understood her frustration with constantly being passed over for jobs in favor of straight white males like Reid – the racism and sexism she constantly deals with is easy to see. Reid is a slightly adorkable hero who is immediately struck by Cassie. He doesn’t see the privilege he has until it’s pointed out to him, but he mostly means well. He does have a secret, however…one that could ruin everything with Cassie. Jackson makes Reid’s motivations for what he’s doing understandable, even knowing he is absolutely in the wrong. That she does makes it possible to easily fall into his and Cassie’s romance. It’s flirty and fun, mixing romantic fantasy with real world truths.

The Accidental Pinup flew by for the most part and I was totally charmed by it. It is a bit insta-lovey, but whether you can fall into the fantasy or aren’t a fan of how quick things happen is really reader preference. The ending did, however, feel a little fractured. The last quarter of the book kind of pulled things down with time jumps, things feeling like they instantly happened, and a lack of smoothness present in most of the book. And while I finished the story satisfied with the romance and Cassie’s personal arc, I had a couple of questions about Reid. But even with these issues I still really enjoyed The Accidental Pinup overall. Cassie and Reid’s friends and family fill out the world of this book and make it all the brighter. I cannot wait to see what Danielle Jackson comes up with next!

FTC Disclosure: 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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Review: A Matter of Temptation by Stacy Reid

A Matter of Temptation by Stacy Reid
Series: A Matter of Temptation, Book 1
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Genre: Historical Romance 
A Matter of Temptation cover
ISBN: 9781649372246
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Entangled
Stacy Reid Reading Order

Miss Wilhelmina “Mina” Crawford is desperate. Having been ruined in the eyes of society years ago for one foolish, starry-eyed mistake, she spends her days secreted away at her family’s crumbling estate, helping her brother manage the land but not able to truly live life the way she’s always dreamed. When her brother admits to just how dire their finances have gotten, she takes it upon herself to procure employment…but the only one who will even consider the scandalous idea of a female secretary is the brilliant, ruthless, and infuriating Earl of Creswick.

Simon Loughton, the Earl of Creswick, needs help if he wants to finally pass the reform bill he’s been championing for years and secure the vote for England’s most vulnerable constituents. Too bad help comes in the form of a woman with breathtaking nerve, fiery red hair, and a sense of humor to match.

Now temptation—disguised as a lovely, clever-mouthed devil—lives and works under Simon’s very roof. And Mina finally feels as though she’s truly living life to her wildest dreams. But even the most incendiary of kisses can’t incinerate Mina’s past…or the shocking secret that could ruin them both.

An earl and his unconventional choice of a secretary make a perfect match in A Matter of Temptation. Simon, an earl in the thick of politics, working to pass a reform bill, should be looking for a wife who is above reproach. Mina is the daughter of a viscount, but her past has a scandal that keeps her hidden from society and she carries a secret that could ruin her. Falling in love would be a terrible mistake for them both, but it’s also an irresistible temptation with two people as well matched as Mina and Simon.

Mina is smart and kind but because of a scandal in her past she’s considered “ruined.” She’s closed herself off because of it before she meets Simon. With him she finds that she can be herself, can give into the yearning need to be free. I loved seeing her find joy over the course of the story; she comes alive when she realizes she’s free to be herself around someone who accepts and understands her. Simon has thought himself cold, remote, but Mina sparks a fire in him he didn’t think he was capable of. He’s a cinnamon roll hero, one who opens his arms to Mina rather than close them off because she isn’t what society believes a woman of her standing should be. He’s sweet and loving, someone who uses his position of power to try and make the world better. With Mina, he’s also free to be just himself and it was so sweet watching these two fall for each other. Though their romance starts out as slow burn, when things heat up they truly sizzle. Mina and Simon are matched in passion as well as intellect, making it easy to enjoy their story.

Stacy Reid never fails to entertain and A Matter of Temptation is no exception. It’s a romance that is by turns sensual and sweet, featuring two bright, genuinely good characters who are interesting and intelligent. I look forward to revisiting Mina and Simon again.

FTC Disclosure: 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.