By Lila Monroe
Laurel Young needs a plan, and fast. After her reality TV boss has a major meltdown, not-so-funemployment seems inevitable–unless she can pitch the idea of a lifetime. When she sees Flint McKay’s audition tape – flanneled, handsome as hell, and building a house with his own two hands – she knows she’s found her secret weapon. The women of America are going to love him, especially if she can convince him to try building without the flannel shirt.
Only problem is, Flint didn’t make that tape – and he has zero interest in trading the wilds of Western Massachussetts for the bright lights of Hollywood. But Laurel isn’t the kind of girl to take no for an answer. Soon, she’s knee-deep in rustic charm, and getting plenty of hands-on experience. And it turns out, this city girl and country guy may have a few things in common after all, like crazy hot chemistry, a wild side, and a weakness for good whiskey…
But can their behind-the-scenes connection last once the world falls in love with Flint? And will this be the big break both of them need- or leave them in the dirt?
Having been used by a man to advance his own career at the television production company she works at, Laurel is determined to show her bosses that she has what it takes to create a reality show America will love. Enter Flint, handyman extraordinaire, who makes installing drywall look oh so sexy. But he has no interest in becoming famous and hates the idea of him and his town looking stupid for a cheesy reality show, no matter how much money the show will make him.
I’m just going to put this out there…I didn’t like Laurel much at all. I liked her drive and determination to succeed, but holy hell does that woman think too much. The constant pop culture references and metaphors were annoying, as was the fact that a lot of her thoughts were exaggerated. At first it was funny, but when it appears on what feels like every other page, it gets old real fast. Flint, on the other hand, was great. If Laurel talks and thinks too much, Flint is the exact opposite. He’s a man that simply says what he means and means what he says, and he’s just one of those honest-to-god good guys that you can’t help but fall for. I liked him from the moment he slammed his door in Laurel’s face. And his sister, Callie, was a great secondary character and deserves an honourable mention.
Other than my dislike of Laurel, I did have an issue with a couple of other things. I thought the reason for the breakup was weak and not once did Flint and Laurel use a condom. There wasn’t even a talk about whether or not either of them were clean. Grrrr. Overall though, I enjoyed reading RUGGED, which is a standalone that is told only in Laurel’s POV. As with Lila’s Billionaire With A Twist series, we have a woman trying hard to make it in a man’s world and it’s really sad to read how she was treated by men at work, only because it’s still true in this day and age.
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