Ummm, I loved this book. I don’t miss sleep for many things, but I started TOOLS OF ENGAGEMENT right before bed, stayed up too late reading, then woke up early so I could finish before work. WORTH IT! If you’ve read the two previous standalone books in the series as I have, you’ve been waiting with bated breath for this book. Wes and Bethany have been sniping at each other for long enough – the sexual tension between them was about to explode! It totally did, just not in exactly the way I was expecting.
Bethany was such a relatable heroine. Her anxiety-laced, must-be-perfect persona had major cracks, and Wes saw each one of them. I think Wes’ backstory was perfectly executed to explain his maturity at 23 years old, and his objection to commitment (one of my least favorite hero traits). The way he understood Bethany made me totally swoony in the best way. Their interactions quickly went from snarky to emotional as they were forced to work together in close proximity.
Dare I say, this might be one of Tessa Bailey’s most romantic heroes?? Wes was wonderful. His absolute adoration of Bethany was everything I needed to read. He had some beautiful lines, and I highlighted quotes from him a lot more often than I usually do. Wes also mastered the Tessa Bailey signature dirty talk.
I really appreciated the focus on Wes and Bethany. Many outside plot elements could have easily taken away from the romance, but their relationship development always felt center-stage, even as they battled their individual demons. Masterfully done! All our favorite secondary characters are featured but didn’t overwhelm, including Wes’ adorable niece and his sister.
The whole reality tv-aspect threw me for a loop, and that subplot felt like a significant dangling plotline, which is why I knocked off half a star. How was the premiere? How did the show do? Are Bethany and Wes going to be HGTV stars? I mean, I would watch that show.
Overall, this book classic Tessa Bailey – aka, wonderful! The funny moments were well-balanced with the serious and emotional ones, the plot was intricate and interesting, and the secondary characters tied everything together. The best part? This can easily be read as a stand alone novel if you want to dive in right here.
**I received a free copy of this book in order to provide an honest review**