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Synopsis: 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...
I’ve made no secret of my love for Kate Meader and her books! When she asked if I’d be interested in reviewing the first in her Tall, Dark, and Texan series, Even the Score, I couldn’t say no. And, wow-talk about pent up sexual attraction! You’ll definitely need a fan as you read.
We have great character development. Tess McKenzie was born to a famous actress and had the life of privilege growing up. She’s not spoiled and works hard in order to make her own way in the world. Tess is feisty and protective of her friends. You can easily imagine hanging out with her and just having fun. I really liked her. And ladies, be prepared to swoon over Hunter Dade! He’s a man on a mission who knows exactly what he wants and isn’t afraid to do anything for it. I won’t go into detail because I really want you to meet him and trust me-you’ll want to know Hunter! We have an array of secondary characters that play a vital role including Hunter’s business partners. I personally can’t wait to see if a certain business partner and secretary ah have their story because there’s more there than meets the eye. From Hunter’s past, I personally loved Marta!
Even though the fake relationship troupe has been done before, Meader’s characters felt real. I bought they were an engaged couple and when they fell in love, it was believable. I also really liked how Tess and Hunter trusted each other. While they weren’t upfront with their entire personal history, when it does come out there’s no big fight to trigger a massive misunderstanding. We aren’t left wondering if they’ll wind up together because we just know they will and that’s based on the trust they establish. Meader didn’t give us unnecessary drama to weed through and we got two adults who talk. I also really enjoyed how both Tess and Hunter were shaped by their pasts, but didn’t let it define who they are.
What I really liked about Meader’s Even the Score was the banter! I honestly don’t know how Meader does it, but her characters tend to just flow together. It’s like they are pieces to a puzzle and just fit. I adore that about her books because I know as a reader, I’ll get a fully fledged romance that checks everything off my required checklist. I came to love Hunter’s Texas drawl and Tess’ bluntness. As a couple, these two have some pent up sexual attraction and I wonder how they didn’t combust just being near one another.
If you’re looking for a fun and swoon worthy romance, I highly recommend Kate Meader’s Even the Score. I’ll warn you-you’ll need a long cold shower afterwards and you’ll want to go in search of your own Texas boy.