It’s everything but business as usual.Emmie Elliot hadn’t expected to come back to Metlin, California. She definitely didn’t expect to stay. She returned to her childhood home with a mission: Sell the building that housed her grandmother’s book store and move on with her life.
But life doesn’t always go according to plan.
To reopen her grandmother’s book shop, Emmie will need a hook. She’ll need a strategy. She’ll need an… Ox?
Miles Oxford doesn’t have much interest in quiet bookstore owners. He’s a tattoo artist without a space to work, and the last thing he wants is to get involved with anyone after his last disaster of a relationship. Work and pleasure don’t mix for Ox, but since he doesn’t have any interest in the cute girl with the bold business proposal, he should be safe from any awkward complications, right?
She sells ink. He tattoos it. Unusual? Yes. But a book shop/tattoo studio might be the ticket for both Emmie and Ox to find success on their own terms. As long as they keep their attention focused on business.
Just on business.
Emmie Elliot, 27, can’t resist the opportunity to open her own bookstore so she takes a chance on her grandmother’s old shop after she passes. She also can’t resist the hot tattoo artist who’d make a pleasing addition to the work space. Miles Oxford, 28, otherwise known as Ox, is out of a relationship and out of a work space. When the cute book girl makes him an attractive offer, he hopes he doesn’t repeat his mistakes.
“‘Thanks for dreaming big enough for both of us.’”
This story is written in 3rd person, which I generally have huge problems connecting with in romance so major points for keeping me engaged. I still would have preferred a dual first person, but the writing was smooth and it flowed well.
I also liked the premise—books and tattoos; yeah I could get lost in that shop for several hours. I seriously think the real world should emulate fiction on this concept.
Both main characters and the side characters were likable. Ox was a sweet, good guy. Swooned a little over his interest in books. Wanted to shake him a little over his work ethics. Emmie was a down-to-earth, responsible heroine. Liked her tattoos and collection of book t-shirts. Wished she would have quit stressing that she was inferior to other females at times. She otherwise had a solid head on her shoulders and was a sweet person. This is a slow burn romance, but the chemistry between them is very palpable. I appreciated how they stressed taking their time and how the reader saw the relationship grow from friends to more.
“‘All the best romances have to bubble under the surface for a while.’”
All in all, it was an enjoyable romance. I only have one complaint—the kissing scene with Ginger in the opening which all the girls observe and gush over how hot it is. Not only was this utterly counterproductive to the upcoming romance between Ox and Emmie (the real focus of the story), as well as a turn-off, but it made no sense about a chapter later when Ox states he’s been wanting to end it for months and they’ve been living as roommates rather than lovers. That scene was just completely unnecessary, and why it was brought up again at the end, well I think the author should have heeded her own character’s advice when Ox replies, “‘Don’t remind me.’” Exactly! It served no point in the story. Incidentally, Ginger and Ox’s fight and break-up—now that was kinda funny.
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ELIZABETH HUNTER is a contemporary fantasy, paranormal romance, and paranormal mystery author. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher. She once substitute taught a kindergarten class, but decided that middle school was far less frightening. She’s the author of the Elemental Mysteries, the Irin Chronicles, and the Cambio Springs Mysteries.