Title: Fix Her Up
Series: Hot and Hammered #1
Author: Tessa Bailey
Format: Paperback/eBook, 397 pages
Publication: June 11th 2019 by Avon
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Georgette Castle’s family runs the best home renovation business in town, but she picked balloons instead of blueprints and they haven’t taken her seriously since. Frankly, she’s over it. Georgie loves planning children’s birthday parties and making people laugh, just not at her own expense. She’s determined to fix herself up into a Woman of the World... whatever that means.
Phase one: new framework for her business (a website from this decade, perhaps?)
Phase two: a gut-reno on her wardrobe (fyi, leggings are pants.)
Phase three: updates to her exterior (do people still wax?)
Phase four: put herself on the market (and stop crushing on Travis Ford!)
Living her best life means facing the truth: Georgie hasn’t been on a date since, well, ever. Nobody’s asking the town clown out for a night of hot sex, that’s for sure. Maybe if people think she’s having a steamy love affair, they’ll acknowledge she’s not just the “little sister” who paints faces for a living. And who better to help demolish that image than the resident sports star and tabloid favorite?
Travis Ford was major league baseball’s hottest rookie when an injury ended his career. Now he’s flipping houses to keep busy and trying to forget his glory days. But he can’t even cross the street without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there's Georgie, his best friend’s sister, who is not a kid anymore. When she proposes a wild scheme—that they pretend to date, to shock her family and help him land a new job—he agrees. What’s the harm? It’s not like it’s real. But the girl Travis used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman and there’s nothing fake about how much he wants her...
They could be friends, him and Georgie. That’s what was wrong. He didn’t want one—especially her. She was too young, too positive, and too related to his best friend.
Starting off the Hot and Hammered series, Fix Her Up is a perfect sweet and hot summer read. Georgie has been in love with her brother's bestfriend Travis ever since she can remember but has never been able to get him to see her any other way, she can't even get her family to see her as an adult. When Travis comes back to his hometown, Georgie can't stand seeing him depressed over having to retire from baseball because of an injury and decides to try some tough love.
Travis' father always said he'd never amount to anything and even though he's won the World Series, Travis is back right where he started. After living the flashy life as a star baseball player, Travis is struggling with who he is now. His bestfriend Stephen's little sister is pushing him to put the bottle down and clean his apartment and all the while Travis can't stop thinking about how sexy she has become.
Georgie and Travis are sick of being stuck in a box and so they make a plan to fake date to get people to see them a different way, but there will absolutely be no real feelings, nope, nope, nope.
But the more she got to know Reality Travis, the more Fantasy Travis started to fade, leaving this real, breathing, complicated man in his place. He appealed to her even more. So much more.
I thought this story was an absolute delight, a perfect summer read. Georgie was a combination of sweet, goofy, determined, and vulnerable. She works as a party clown, which doesn't help getting people to see her as an adult, and wishes her family would see her more than the “baby” of the family. I thought the author did a good job moving Georgie from childhood infatuation to getting to know Travis on a deeper level to make her love for him seem more solid. Georgie finds Travis sexy and grew up starry eyed over him but as she deals with his grumpiness, depression, and abandonment issues, the reader can see a stronger foundation start to grow.
Travis was the perfect amount of grumpy and soft towards Georgie, he's never blatantly mean towards her and I delighted in seeing him starting to crack against his will. He's about five years older than Georgie, so he was off playing baseball when she grew up and when they meet up again, he firmly tries to put her in the no touch little sister friend zone. He fails at this and it is not only because he finds her attractive but because she reaches him and connects with him in a way no in his life ever has.
Travis and Georgie's chemistry, rather it be friendship or sexual, popped off the pages and I loved every second they made me smile or sent a tingle down my spine. There was a little bit of abruptness to their first sexual encounter and from there, it's on with these two. You'll get a kissing in the rain moment that morphs into a Georgie on her knees in a dugout, along with some other heat inducing scenes. For a sexy summer read, I thought there was a good balance between sex scenes and relationship building; the author doesn't completely abandon the emotional aspect.
Seeming at odds with himself, he eventually wrapped an arm around the small of Georgie’s back, tugging her into the warmth of his chest. “A few minutes won’t hurt,” he muttered, seemingly to himself.
She nuzzled into his chest hair to hide her smile.
The fake relationship plot doesn't happen until a little later in the book and you kind of have to just go along with it for the sake of the story. There was also a mini-subplot mainly involving Georgie, her sister, sister-in-law, and a friend where they form a “Just Us League”, a group of women supporting each other to accomplish their dreams, that came off a bit series baiting. It was a way to introduce and get to know some secondary characters that will probably get their own stories later on. It wasn't intrusive and actually added some nice women bonding time while flushing Georgie's character out more but it was also obvious as series baiting.
I thought Travis' relationship with Stephen could have been shown more and the issues he had with his parents definitely was missing some depth but even though Travis and Georgie's relationship moves a wee bit quickly, they still felt true. There were times were it came close overly focusing on Travis being so much more experienced than virgin Georgie but stopped shy of being harped on. These two were there for each other and the way Georgie sunshines her way into Travis' grumpiness, “forcing” him to commit some seriously sweet actions was at turns adorable and sexy.
This girl could make a man crawl and had no idea.
The ending wrapped up far too quickly, in regards to a last minute mess up by Travis and having no epilogue. However, thinking of Travis and Georgie embarking on their new adventure together, left a smile on my face. I'm also dying for Rosie and Dominic's story, a highschool sweetheart couple that has lost their connection, there is a scene between the two that will have everyone turning into a thirst factory for their book. As a summer read Fix Her Up excels, sweet, vulnerable, hot, and oh so sexy.
She’d set out on a sneaky mission to make Travis believe in himself, but he’d slowly been doing the same for her. They’d been doing it for each other, hadn’t they?