*early review copy provided by publisher and netgalley*
Regina’s Rating: 4.5 stars/Grade A
I loved this book!
I am picky about the romance novels I read and if I were honest, which I guess I should be, many romance novels fail to pull me in. But there are some exceptions. Cara McKenna (here writing as Meg Maguire) is forever going to be one of my favorite writers for her novella Willing Victim and now again for the novel Making Him Sweat. What do I want in my romance? Character depth. Rational scenarios. Please NO evil villains and please never an evil villain’s point of view. No virgins (I hate the ideal, bleh let’s just get rid of it forever please; and a sexually inexperienced character does nothing for me — although, Cara McKenna does have a very interesting twist on the sexually inexperienced woman in her novella series Curio but that is for another post ….) No stalking. No scary possessiveness and no bossiness (please no telling the heroine when to sleep, what she should eat, what she should wear – basically no daddy role playing). No pitting women against women just for “fun” to create a false sense of tension. Okay, that is my list of what I hate to read in my romance novels. And Making Him Sweat has none of these; rather, Making Him Sweat has so much to offer.
Character development in Making Him Sweat is deep and well-done. Maguire introduces the two main characters – Mercer and Jenna – who are at odds with each other but also deeply connected. Maguire gradually builds their background until I felt that I knew Jenna and Mercer. I love when an author takes her time in telling the story and allows the story to unfold at a good pace. Nothing conveniently happens in Making Him Sweat, there is a gradual build to everything.
Jenna and Mercer share some delicious sexual tension, but thankfully Ms. Maguire does not torture her readers. Once the characters are established and the tension is created, readers are rewarded – - no angstily waiting pages and pages to get to the consummation. Thank goodness! But the completion of the first sex scene does not spoil the tension, the novel still progresses at a lovely pace. We see the characters cooking, eating, living and working – all normal stuff most of us can relate to. I loved the setting, the characters and their dialogue with each other – witty, sexy and flirtatious. Most of all the characters have hope about their respective futures and real life pressures. Despite being a romance novel, the book and the world created felt so real.
My conclusion? Making Him Sweat is a very sweet romance between two likable and sexy characters. I definitely recommend this book and am looking forward to reading the sequel.
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