I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Cutie and the Beast by M.E. Carter
Series: Cipher Office #3,
Published by Smartypants Romance on April 14, 2020
Genres: Adult Romantic Comedy
Source: the publisher
Living with her mother seemed like a good idea at the time. But Elliott Donovan’s living arrangements are not working for her anymore. Desperate to get back on her financial feet after a divorce and out from under her mother’s thumb, Elliott takes a job in the child care center at Weight Expectations, a local gym.
It has everything she needs – family friendly hours, more pay than she expected, and a super cute trainer who just happens to have part of his house for rent.
Abel DiSoto was living the good life until his wife walked out taking half of the family income with her. The blow to his ego was bad enough, but after a fire at the gym scattered Abel’s clients, and consequently his commissions, he’s stuck figuring out how to make ends meet, too. Renting out the master suite of his house to his new co-worker seems like an easy solution. They’re both mature adults, they both have eight-year-old daughters, and their work schedules coordinate so they can lend each other a helping hand to ease the burden of single parenthood.
The only downside? Living like a blended family when you’re not actually a family can present some challenges.
Welcome back to Weight Expectations, where the unexpected is likely to happen.
‘Cutie and the Beast’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book #3 in the Cipher Office series, Knitting in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
Cutie and the Beast, an all-new roommates-to-lovers romantic comedy from M.E. Carter, is now available in Kindle Unlimited!
Download your copy TODAY or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
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I read the first book in this series, Weight Expectations, by this same author, and loved it. So it’s no surprise that I adored this story as well! The relationship in this story was just so real. There wasn’t anything that was crazy out there just for drama’s sake. The way the two dealt with things also was just so realistic. Family, friends, all of it was so funny and sweet and I know I keep saying it, but so real!
Elliott’s name did mess me up at first, because I’ve really only known boys with that name, but I guess after Rian in the first book I shouldn’t have been so surprised. She totally had down how to raise her own child, obviously from her background, and that was so helpful in how she dealt with the things that came up with Abel’s daughter as well. But she learned things about her relationship with her own mother towards the end, and that was a great moment of growth as well. Even with her knowledge, you could see her getting frustrated with the kids and that made her human too.
Then Abel, the Beast, was just perfect. Yeah he was younger than her, but he was mature, probably because of being a single dad. Honestly, the way he told her he didn’t care about it, I can’t remember it exactly, but it was the way I’ve always thought I’d like a younger guy to feel about me in a similar situation. And the way the two of them became good friends, with only the little inklings of attraction in the beginning made it perfect for how a good relationship goes from friends to more. The kids were great too. Again you had the one that was bratty because she didn’t want Elliott to take her mom’s place, although how that all panned out brought tears to my eyes in the end as well.
Such a sweet, funny, wonderful story. So many times I was laughing out loud, loudly! Once again I am grateful I guess for this quarantine time and being able to read a book in a day. I can’t wait to read more by this author, in this series, or others!
In my haste to not be late, I barrel right into a woman coming through the front door.
Grabbing her arms to steady her from falling, I apologize profusely. “I’m sorry! I didn’t see you. Are you all right?”
Smiling tightly, the blonde isn’t thrilled a random stranger practically ran her over. But she’s polite anyway. “I’ll be fine.”
“Are you sure? You aren’t hurt?” I don’t think she is, but sometimes I don’t know my own strength.
This time her smile is a little more genuine. “I’m sure. You sure are in a rush.”
Letting go of her arms, I feel like she needs an explanation other than me racing around like an idiot. “I’m the one parent who has a tendency to be late for school pickup. The lady at the front desk gives me a nasty evil glare if she has to call me.”
This woman, whose name I still haven’t bothered to ask, laughs and I’m struck by how cute she is. She’s definitely a few years older than I am, but not by much. There’s nothing about her that necessarily stands out in a crowd, but her smile is genuine. This is a woman who likes to laugh and have fun. I always gravitate toward those people, which gives me a fleeting thought: I should have noticed my ex-wife hardly ever smiled for real. Laughing was even rarer unless it was at someone else’s expense. Those should have been easy indicators she wasn’t the one for me.
“Parker Elementary?” the blonde asks.
“Yeah.” I give her a quizzical look. “How did you know?”
“Do not mess with Ms. Alexander’s routine. She will cut a bitch.”
My laugh comes easily, and I find myself hoping this woman is a new member. She’s funny. I love it when clients have a sense of humor. Offering her my hand, I introduce myself. “I’m Abel. Trainer here at Weight Expectations and father of Mabel in second grade.”
She places her cold hand in mine. “Elliott. Interviewee for the childcare position and mother of Ainsley, also in second grade.”
“Ah! Well it’s nice to meet you. Fingers crossed I’ll see you here later as a fellow employee. And if not here, at Parker Elementary as a fellow parent. Hopefully not in Ms. Alexander’s line of sight.”
Elliott holds up her gloved hands and crosses her fingers around each other. “Wish me luck. Now run fast.”
About the Author:
My name is M.E. Carter and I have no idea how I ended up writing books. I’m more of a story teller (the more exaggerated the better) and I happen to know people who helped me get those stories on paper. I love reading (read almost 200 books last year), hate working out (but I do it anyway because my trainer makes me), love food (but hate what it does to my butt) and love traveling to non-touristy places most people never see. I live in Houston with my four kids, Mary, Elizabeth, Carter and Bug, who was just a twinkle in my eye when I came up with my pen name. Yeah, I’ll probably have to pay for his therapy someday for being left out.
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