Parks and Provocation, an all new enemies-to-lovers small town romance from Juliette Cross, is available now in Kindle Unlimited!
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.Parks and Provocation by Juliette Cross
Series: Green Valley Heroes #2
Published by Smartypants Romance on April 5, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Romantic Comedy
Source: the publisher
Lola Landry stares through the window of her locked car with the keys in the ignition and the radio blaring Beck’s “Loser.” While standing there and sweltering in the soupy Tennessee humidity, she wonders how her orderly life had crashed and burned so badly. Then her high school nemesis saunters up in all of his tall, strapping, fireman-to-the-rescue glory, slapping her with the humiliating proof that it can always get worse.
When the uber-confident Jedediah Lawson requests a date in return for popping her lock, a lightbulb goes off. Revenge is sweet. He would make the perfect victim—guest, that is—for her next podcast episode on Kiss and Tell. What shocks her is the casual way he not only agrees to the post-date interview on air, but ends up hijacking her audience and wooing them with his swoony, southern charm. Not even a low score on the date-o-meter can dissuade the man or keep her fans from demanding more of the charismatic Jed.
What’s worse, she secretly wants a second date with this man who is so different from his teenage self. His unwavering patience and dimpled smile erodes her will, until she breaks the Kiss and Tell rules by agreeing to a second…and a third date. It’s a disaster. Not the date. They’re wonderful. The disaster is that she is falling for a man she once dubbed Jockstrap Jed.
‘Parks and Provocation’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Green Valley Heroes series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.
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Audiobook: Coming Soon!
“Fancy meeting you here,” he said when I finally reached him.
“Fancy that,” I sassed back.
I tried monumentally hard to force my eyes to behave, but they were currently mapping the extensive breadth of his chest without my permission. As a matter of fact, they’d found their newest obsession, tracking the descent of a drop of water that looped around his navel and froze midway down his happy trail.
“What brings you here, Cola?”
I jerked my gaze back to his mischievous grin, contemplating ways to torture my best friend.
I was also debating whether leaning forward and licking him would be inappropriate. “Um, learning fire safety?”
His bark of laughter and dimpled smile detonated somewhere inside my chest and melted my insides into warm goo. Which, of course, drew my attention to his beautiful mouth and the fact that he intended to kiss me with that mouth on our next date.
“Let me guess,” he finally said, amusement still prevalent in every word. “Marly?”
“So, I’ve been wondering if stretching her on a rack would be forgiven by local law enforcement. Do you think they’d give me a free pass, considering,” I waved my hand at him and the surrounding scene behind him, “all this?”
“By this, you mean dragging you to watch a dozen firemen strut around without their shirts on?”
“So y’all do know that half of Green Valley’s womenfolk are gawking at you from across the street, right? Only half of which are actual moms of the scouts? If that.”
He nodded and exhaled a sigh, but that wicked smile remained in place. “Chief McClure said it’s a local tradition, and the fine ladies of Green Valley also donate generously to our annual fundraiser, so we just do as we’re told.”
“Basically, this is a Magic Mike show, minus the actual lap dances, where you get your tips at a later time.”
He edged closer, my eyes betraying me once again to dip down along his beautiful body, realizing that delectable drop of water had slipped down into the holy land.
“I’ll give you a lap dance for free if you like, Lola.”
This book had a lot of fun moments! It also had a lot of steamy parts too, had to fan myself a bit at times. The main character, Lola’s first date podcast actually had some great tips for things I should think about in my own dating journey. I really enjoyed reading those bits and pieces of the story for sure! And then there was Jed. Jed was a hunk. It was nice to get his side of the story as well, because it made you see all the different misunderstandings the two had growing up that led to their being enemies at the beginning of the story.
Now, a few things popped up early in the story which were obvious in what they were going to mean later on. But I do like the way the author handled those things when they did pop up for the most part. Again, Jed was the perfect guy once he really got started trying to win Lola over. And there were even his buddies who might have been part of the problem when they were younger with the whole prom debacle, but they honestly weren’t that bad, they’d grown up, and even younger they weren’t necessarily malicious, just normal teenage boys.
I did enjoy the story a lot, with a few little exceptions, like I said, some things were just very obvious, not in a bad way, just maybe in a too early way, not leaving a lot of surprises. Some of the way the story was told was a little, I don’t know, simple? But it looks like this author mostly has paranormal types of romance stories up till now, so I can see how there are some differences when writing probably. Overall, a cute romance, another good addition to the SPR universe, and I look forward to more Green Valley Heroes in future launches!
About the Author
JULIETTE is a multi-published author of paranormal and fantasy romance & the co-host of the podcast, Smart Women Read Romance. As a native of Louisiana, she lives in the heart of Cajun land with her husband, four kids, her labs, Kona and Jeaux, and kitty, Betty. When she isn’t working on her next project, she enjoys binge-watching her favorite shows with her husband and a glass (or two) of red wine.
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