Dating the Wrong Mr. Right
by Amanda Ashby
Publication Date: June 19, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Contemporary, Romance
Pepper Watson has lost everything–her job, her fiancé, and the future she’d so carefully planned. Now she’s back at Wishing Bridge trying to figure out her next step. Her new plan does not include the ever-so-sexy Ben Cooper. Nope. She’s getting her life back on track, and getting out of this little town as fast as possible.
Ben Cooper is doing his best to build his business and help his parents. The last thing he needs is the distraction that is Pepper Watson. She might be prickly every time he’s in her presence, but he sees another side of her. The side that has set aside her dreams to help her sisters. And then there’s the fact that kissing her is pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
He’s putting down roots. She’s running away. It’s going to take more than a wish for these two to find their happily ever after.
“So, about the kiss. Thank you for going along with it.”
“That’s it?” Coop growled. It wasn’t the first time he’d encountered Pepper’s steel wall, but right now he wasn’t in the mood. “You have a secret fiancé—”
“Ex-fiancé,” she corrected, and then a hint of color rose to her cheeks. It was part of the enigma he’d been trying to unravel ever since he’d known her. That she could be cold and warm at the same time.
And that it can turn me on so much.
“Fine. You have a secret ex– fiancé.” Not that he should be surprised. After all, she’d already achieved the first thing on the damn plan of hers—to get out of Sunshine and back Seattle. No doubt marrying a rich douche named Paul was number two. It shouldn’t piss him off but it did. “And you pretended we’re a couple in front of him. Not just manhandling me—”
“Manhandling?” He watched her nostrils are. “Please, I held your hand and kissed you.”
“Without my consent,” Coop said, as some of his annoyance was replaced by amusement. Pepper was clearly uncomfortable. Baiting her was a game he’d long played since she had no idea how sexy she looked when she was pissed off. He folded his arms and sat down, stretching out his long legs, just like he’d done a hundred times in the past. It’s just normally when he did it, Pepper was nowhere in the vicinity. She was off following her dreams and forgetting about everyone she’d left behind. “I was just innocently standing there.”
“You’re never innocent.” Pepper folded her arms, mirroring his own. It was a dance he knew well. Bulls locked horns, he and a Pepper locked arms. And yet there was something about the dance that was irresistible. A switch he couldn’t help but press. For better or worse, Pepper was the only woman who had ever made his heart pound when they spoke.
“And neither, it seems, are you. Why are you angry? Is it because you secretly enjoyed the kiss? I certainly did.”
He’d always suspected that underneath Pepper’s buttoned up shirts there was a fire burning. Now it was confirmed. It was also why he’d had so much trouble getting over his damn crush. Somehow he didn’t think that the kiss was going to make it any easier.
“That’s because you’re a serial flirt who’d probably enjoy kissing anyone,” she retorted, her checks coloring. “And I’m annoyed because now you know about Paul, you’ll tell Bec, who will tell Emmy, and then it will turn into drama.”
“Ah, and your image as an unflappable perfect Seattle lawyer will be destroyed,” he said before narrowing his eyes. “Hell, Pepper. You got engaged and didn’t even tell your sisters. Why?”
What can I say? Bliss is my second favorite line from Entangled. I love sweet romances as much as the steamier but I also like that Bliss stories are centered around family. The family is always first and it should be. That said, there is one sister in this book that I really wanted to bonk upside her head at times. Of course, I haven’t read the other two books but at some point, I thought that maybe Pepper would tell her off. Or maybe even Coop. *sigh* It never happened though.
What I did like was the somewhat enemies to lovers trope. These two grew up together but Coop is best friends with her sister, Bec, and Pepper and Ben’s twin were friends. It is like they avoided each other on purpose as teens so it was fun to see how they couldn’t avoid each other as grown ups. And they really couldn’t be more suitable for each from the start. The stubbornness from Pepper is great. I could relate to wanting to never coming back home. When I got married, we only lived in my hometown for about 2 years and have lived in East Texas since 2006. Plus, with some much loss, again, I could understand. That said, why or why did she EVER hook up with Paul. What a douche. In fact, why didn’t she really slap him for all of his dirty dealings? Anyway…
Coop, I loved from the start. He has happy for the most part. Sure, he was trying to get his parents out of debt but his life was on the farm with his friends. It was his happy place. A safe place. His best friend was there. What made him endearing to me was that he knew from the start that Pepper is his perfect match. It just took a little longer for Pepper to finally figure it out. Their dialogue is relatable, funny and emotional. I liked that he made Pepper actually talk to him. It was refreshing that our hero had to do that.
Overall, I loved Pepper and Coop. Pepper had the most growth in the book and at the same time, the most to lose. She’s the one that finally had to figure out what was most important to her and what home means.
ABOUT AMANDA ASHBY
Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also works in a library, owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture.
She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed by the New York Public Library?s Stuff for the Teen Age. Because she’s mysterious she also writes middle grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.
She also runs writing workshops and loves to speak to people about Buffy (er, she means writing). See her Website for more information.