Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review: Tawna Fenske's Frisky Business

I have to admit, what got me interested in this book was the cover, particularly the adorable pup peering over the bench. While it was clear this was a romance - and here I must say, I don't particularly gravitate to the romance genre - this book promised to have something more I could sink my canines into (pun intended). 

Here's a brief blurb from the back of the book:

No more rich men for Marley Cartman. Absolutely not. Thanks to her dad, ex-fiance, and the overbearing donors she schmoozes for a living, she's had more than her fill. From now on, she wants blue-collar men with dirt under their fingernails. But when Marley makes a break to handle donor relations for a wildlife sanctuary, she finds herself drawn to the annoyingly charming - and disturbingly wealthy - chairman of the board.

Judging by his hipster T-shirts, motley assortment of canine companions, and penchant for shaking up stuffy board meetings, you'd never guess that William Barclay the Fifth is a brilliantly successful businessman. Will has good reason to be leery of scheming women, and as he and Marley butt heads over the wisdom of bringing grumpy badgers to charity events, he can't help but wonder if his new donor relations coordinator is hiding something other than a perfect figure beneath that designer suit.

And just as I'd hoped, Tawna Fenske delivered. Just a page in and she had me laughing with her wit. Marley is a fun, intelligent and sexy protagonist. Her one fatal flaw is that she often opens mouth and inserts foot, saying whatever comes to mind and inadvertently revealing her own insecurities. But this is the exact trait that makes her extremely likable as a character. When Marley meets Will, the handsome hipster/self-made millionaire, the attraction is undeniable. However, if Marley wants to keep her new job as well as her promise to herself of staying away from rich guys with big issues, she needs to deny her attraction to Will. This creates some great tension.

But there's more to this story than the bittersweet tension of attraction that can't be acted on. Will's been hurt from a recent divorce and he doesn't know if he can really trust Marley, who seems so adept at switching personas in order to get donors to write big checks for the wildlife sanctuary. And Marley has her own secret. A couple of secrets really, which makes for a satisfying read.

A little bit about Tawna:

Tawna Fenske traveled a career path that took her from newspaper reporter to English teacher in Venezuela to marketing geek to PR manager for her city's tourism bureau. An avid globetrotter and social media fiend, Tawna is the author of the popular blog, Don't Pet Me, I'm Writing, and a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her fiancĂ© in Bend, Oregon, where she'll invent any excuse to hike, bike, snowshoe, float the river, or sip wine on her back deck. 

She's published several romantic comedies with Sourcebooks, including Making Waves and Believe it or Not, as well as the interactive fiction caper, Getting Dumped, with Coliloquy and Marine for Hire with Entangled Brazen. Her latest Sourcebooks release, Frisky Business, was praised by Kirkus Reviews as "
an appealing blend of lighthearted fun and emotional tenderness."

Tawna's quirky brand of comedy and romance has earned kudos from RT Book Reviews, which nominated her debut novel for Contemporary Romance of the Year, and from the Chicago Tribune, which noted, "Fenske's wildly inventive plot & wonderfully quirky characters provide the perfect literary antidote to any romance reader's summer reading doldrums."

You can find Tawna at:

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