Monday, November 24, 2014

Designed for Love by Kelsey Browning

Title: Designed for Love
Author: Kelsey Browning
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Texas Nights #4
Main Characters: Ashton and Mac
Release Date: November 2014
Publisher: Carina
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
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.

My Review:
This is my first Kelsey Browning read and I understand the appeal of her writing. It was a fun and entertaining contemporary romance read. (And it should be noted that I've not read her other books and this one absolutely worked as stand-alone with no issues or confusion at all.)

In this book there are two characters trying to find redemption. 

Ashton is the pampered trust fund princess. She grew up as a Houston debutante, but has since given up her trust fund and is trying to make it on her own...not as easy as she expected it to be. In fact, she's dead broke, hungry, and trying to keep her new interior design business from going bankrupt. 

Mac was a successful developer in Dallas. Until his father died in an accident that Mac blamed himself for. In the aftermath of grief, drinking, and self-blame he let his business go down the toilet. Now he's in Shelbyville trying to make it up to his mother by using his carpentry skills to build her a shop and figure out how to save what's left of his reputation.

So when Ashton's grandmother hands over the Lily Lake project to her grand-daughter, this is a good thing for both of them...if they can pull it off. That's a big IF!

I loved Ashton and Mac in this story. At first he doesn't see her at all, but as they work together he begins to see that Mac is so much more than he first thought. I like how they complement each other. Mac believes in her and that does huge things for her ability to do this. Ashton is relying on him and he doesn't want to let her down. My only real issue within this framework was that no one else could see the changes in Ashton. I hated that and I truly hated the way her grandmother treated her especially at the end of the book. I understood what the author was trying to do, but I still feel she did a disservice to Ashton's character by the way that she had that play out. 

There were some cute sections of the book too. I loved Mac's evolution with his relationship with Napoleon the dog. I also liked how Ashton handled the final scenes with the professor. That alone showed how much she'd grown in this book. I love her backbone and stubborn will...regardless of pretty much everyone else giving up on her. She never gave up on herself and that makes her a great heroine. 

Overall, it was a fun and entertaining read. I see more Kelsey Browning books in my reading future since I'm always looking for good contemporary romance and with these set in Texas, it's a win/win.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

1 comment:

KB/GBL said...

Christi - Thanks so much for taking time to read and review Designed for Love!