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Monday, January 28, 2019

Work in Progress by Staci Hart

A Review By Wendy
 4.5 Face Palming Stars
* * * * 1/2
 Spoiler Free
When Staci Hart decides to create something unique and fresh, yet also has all the elements Romance Readers love...She Knows Just How To Do It. Period. Ms. Hart took an idea of four women who each came from different ethnic, cultural, financial and personal backgrounds and had them become best of friends in college. Each of them felt at one time or another as "outsiders". Each had talents, capabilities, and life goals...And each of them had limited experience with men.

Now, these women are in New York City and are supporting the other through whatever challenges life and love throws at them. They even have their own personal tool to get them to be the bravest they can...and it all is due to a red lipstick of their choice...a type of armor to wear into battle.

Which brings me to Work in Progress. Imagine if you will what could be the most unrealistic coupling there could be...

We have Amelia, a book blogger who comes from a family which has unlimited wealth due to one of those crazy inventions like The Clapper or any other thing pitched on television late at night. When Amelia was a child she stuttered and this developed into her not wanting to speak and be teased by other kids. She realized books never laughed at you or made you personally feel bad. Talking was overrated. When she went to college, she lucked out by meeting her friends and all three of them are now living in her family's brownstone.

Amelia knows she has had anxiety issues with being around people in everyday life and her therapist has been guiding her to do more and get out of her comfort zone. With Amelia wishing to one day be an editor with one of the big publishing houses, she has taken on a huge challenge of working with a local newspaper of sorts doing whatever the managing editor wants her to do.

This is how Amelia finds herself in line to meet the hottest author at a book event. Thomas Bane is every woman's wet dream. He is handsome, charming and so Alpha it oozes off of him. He came on the scene overnight and ever since the world cannot get enough of him. His Instagram is off the charts, his fans adore him and are loving all the escapades he seems to get into. Amelia loves how he writes but also hates the way he writes his heroes. She is honest in her reviews and with every book that comes out, she calls him out on these flaws every time.

Now she is next in line and has been sent by her boss to actually have a conversation with this physical being. As Amelia chants her way through and tries to just breathe...her turn arrives.

Thomas Bane is a charismatic force. He is a twin and was always the one to push the boundaries. His mom loved her sons and she was left by the dad to raise them herself. He came from wealth didn't want to deal with a pregnant girlfriend. This left her to ridicule and lies by those in her neighborhood. But the mother stood strong and raised her sons well by working 2 and 3 jobs at a time. The boys grew to be men and Tommy took his keen mind and somehow came up with a book.

Tommy decided he was going to protect his family from any intrusion from outsiders. He and his brother created a persona, an armor of sorts to present to the world. His mother would be off limits, unknown. He and his brother would run the social media to present Tommy as the charming Bad Boy all the fans and women would want. It was working for years but lately, things have been off and the dreaded writer's block has hit him hard.

So when Amelia steps up to meet Tommy, she is her usual awkward self. But when he recognizes who she is...meaning the blogger known for bashing his books, Amelia shows all her strength and passion in defending her reasons for hating his heroes. This causes Tommy to realize Amelia is just who he needs to help him with his writing. He needs her to tell him guide him to find the right focus to write the book due to the publishers. He pitches the idea to Amelia and she is stunned...yet at the same excited about the idea of working with him. It would be the perfect way to get one step closer to becoming an editor with a publishing house.

They reach an agreement and she will start helping him the next day.

Hart gives us this perfect set up. Because then this book takes off at breakneck speed down a raceway of fun, nervous moments for both, and of course, love. There is so much more than the surface stories because these characters are pushed to handle things they never intended. The big joy is how they both come together fully embracing their love for one another.

We also get all of Amelia's best friends together supporting each other, Tommy's twin and their amazing mother. This had it all.

Staci Hart is on to something special with these books and I know the next one will be a doozy.
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom to three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey, and her favorite word starts with f, ends with k.

From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north in Denver, until they grew a wild hair and moved to Holland. It’s the perfect place to overdose on cheese and ride bicycles, especially along the canals, and especially in summertime. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, gaming, or designing graphics.

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