EVEN THE SCORE (Tall, Dark and Texan #1) by Kate Meader-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 21, 2015
He’ll make her an offer she can’t refuse…
Actress Tess McKenzie is performing in the Tenth Circle of Showbiz Hell—dinner theater. All she really wants is to start a theater of her own. Then Tess receives an offer she can’t refuse. She’ll get her funding…if she pretends to be the fiancée to her nemesis, Texan property tycoon Hunter Dade. If she’s going to pull this off, she’ll need all the luck she can get. Break a leg, indeed.
On the verge of a big business deal, Hunter needs to hire a fiancée. He hasn’t quite forgiven Tess for ruining his wedding, but when their chemistry goes from combative to straight-up lust, the “no sex” clause in their mutually beneficial arrangement is tested. Which is a serious problem, because if Tess isn’t careful, she’ll go from breaking a leg to breaking her heart…
REVIEW: EVEN THE SCORE is the first installment in Kate Meader’s contemporary, adult, Tall Dark and Texan erotic romance series. This is high powered, Texas businessman Hunter Dade, and stage actress Tess McKenzie’s storyline.
Told from dual third person perspectives EVEN THE SCORE is a fake fiancée storyline wherein Hunter needs a fiancé as he attempts to make a business deal with a man who is more concerned that his much younger trophy wife attracts too much male attention. When Hunter runs into Tess at a local dinner theater presentation, Hunter sees more than red but an opportunity to ‘even the score’. One year earlier, Tess was the maid of honor at Hunter’s now infamous almost-wedding wherein Tess was the bearer of bad news telling Hunter that he was all wrong for the woman he was about to marry. Fast forward one year and Hunter makes Tess an offer she can’t refuse but in doing so sets up a game where Hunter hopes to destroy Tess in the end.
Both Tess and Hunter’s personal histories and backstories are filled will heartbreak, regret, abuse and neglect. For two people whose pasts are both damaged and dark, Tess and Hunter will find peace in one another’s arms, as long as the damaged that was previously done doesn’t lead to open wounds or further scars. Alcohol and abuse play a major role in both of their earlier lives.
The relationship between Tess and Hunter is one of immediate attraction. There is no denying the sexual chemistry; the palpable energy between our leading couple but Hunter’s anger towards Tess adds fuel to an already raging fire. Hunter is a man determined to bring Tess to her knees for the betrayal he believes cost him his almost-wife, but in doing so, will lose his heart to a woman whose past is almost as destructive as the life from which he came. The $ex scenes are erotic, intimate and seductive; some of Hunter’s actions are fueled by anger and thoughts of betrayal and revenge.
The secondary and supporting characters include Tess’s fellow actors at the local dinner theater company, as well as Tess’s mother who makes an appearance albeit one that is not necessarily on Tess’s top ten list of wants and needs. We are also introduced to a couple of Hunter’s business partners whose stories have yet to be told. Hunter’s mother and sister are motivating factors behind his latest business venture, and in this, the heartbreak will come full circle.
EVEN THE SCORE is a well written, engaging story about chances-so to speak- for Hunter and Tess. Hunter’s chance at happiness and self-forgiveness, and Tess’s chance to make amends to the man with whom she is falling in love. The premise is familiar; the characters animated and intense; the romance is a rocky road to love and a happily ever after. Kate Meader is a wonderful story teller.
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Sandy