Crazy for the Competition
Hope Springs # 2
By: Cindi Madsen
Releasing June 9, 2015
The road to trouble is paved with sweet temptation…
Always the rebel in her ultra-conservative family, Quinn Sakata dreams of quitting her dad's real-estate business and restoring the old Mountain Ridge Bed and Breakfast in her hometown of Hope Springs. Except that Quinn's not the only person bidding on it. Worse still, her competitor is her high school crush, Heath Brantley, who is all kinds of ripped, tattooed hotness…
So much for her “nice, conservative boys” rule.
Heath has his own reasons for bidding on Mountain Ridge, and he won't give in without a fight—even to the red-lipped hottie with a sailor's mouth. But when their rivalry shifts into an unexpected zing of chemistry, Heath realizes he’s in deep trouble. Because it’s inevitable that emotions will get involved, and he needs to keep his eyes on the prize before they both get hurt.
Quinn sat across from him, and they worked on shaping the wire. She passed him tools and held things in place when he needed an extra hand. Here and there she made a few half-mumbled noises that he took to mean she wasn’t sure he was on the right path. She kept her word and let him make the decisions, though.
After a few minutes straining to see the tiny wire, he reached back and pulled his glasses out of the workbench— he really only needed them for intricate parts.
“Bloody hell, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Quinn said.
He looked at her, her features now extra crisp thanks to the glasses. She had these cute freckles across the bridge of her nose, and her bottom lip was between her teeth. “What?” he asked.
She shook her head and swallowed. “Nothing.”
Really? The glasses turned her on? Hell, he’d wear them all the time, then. “What’s with the bloody? You turning British on me?”
“I’m an equal-opportunity swearer.”
“Well, Miss Potty Mouth, hand me the needle-nose pliers next to your feet, please.”
She picked them up and extended them to him. He let his fingers brush across hers, testing how far he could milk this. “Can you hold these two pieces together while I twist?”
Quinn knelt next to him. She gripped the two wires, and he took the pliers and twisted. Every time he turned the pliers, his forearm brushed her chest, even when he tried to do the honorable thing and go from another angle. The beating pulse at her neck called to him again, begging to be kissed. She smelled amazing, too, a light vanilla scent that invaded his senses.
“I’ll be damned,” she said once he lowered the pliers. “It actually looks like a butterfly. Look at you using your manly skills to spread your wings and fly.”
His lips trembled as he tried to keep a straight face—she kept him on his toes, that was for sure. “One, never say that to me again, and two, I told you I’d find a way—never doubt me, woman.
“It was a compliment. No need to get your wings in a bunch.” She innocently batted her eyes, the amusement in them clear.
Oh, she wanted to play? He could play. All day he’d held back, not taking opportunities he would under usual circumstances, because she wasn’t just any girl. She was in a different class and her family already disliked him, she was Sadie’s best friend, and most problematic of all, she wanted to take Mountain Ridge from him. But between the flirting and the constant challenges she threw out, he was done overthinking and worrying about making things complicated.
Letting his instincts take over, he reached up and brushed the strands that’d fallen free of her ponytail off her face. The amusement died, other emotions taking over her features. Surprise and temptation—he could work with both of those.
Cindi Madsen's wonderful novel, Crazy for the Competition, is a sweet, fun read that will make you smile, give you good feels---and do it all without the main characters ever showing up in a steamy sex scene. That doesn't mean there's no sexual tension...after all, when your female lead is waiting for marriage, and your male lead is absolutely irresistible (and not inexperienced)--and the two of them together have some remarkable chemistry--there's plenty to keep you glued to every page.
Quinn is a strong, smart, dedicated young woman with a competitive streak who works hard, sets goals and has a mouth that could rival some truckers. Heath is our irresistible young male lead-a hard worker who is also very dedicated, loyal to family, and shares that same competitive nature. Both have their sights set on the same prize-the old Mountain Ridge Bed and Breakfast-and only one of them will have the winning bid to get it. So that makes their great chemistry-and the fact that they're falling for each other-a bit, well...problematic. How does one choose between the person who may be their "one" and own future plans for Mountain Ridge when only one of them will come out the winner?
Does that make for some drama and tension? Ah, yeah...and plenty of it. Does it make for some entertaining reading? Definitely! We also get an interesting bit of conflict thrown in with Quinn's heritage (she's Japanese) and her family's expectations that in no way mirror her own-making her the family's "wild child"...though certainly not to mainstream society. This plot point gives the overall story more depth and helps add to the drama.
Funny, sweet, and still letting the main character embrace traditional values while delivering a wholly satisfying story, Crazy for the Competition was a solid 4-star read for me, and I'd definitely recommend it to any lover of contemporary romance books.
Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.
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