Tuesday, February 7, 2017

5 Star Review: Even the Score by Beth Ehemann

Single dad Andy Shaw loves his job as a sports agent, with one exception: it doesn’t leave him much time for his kids. No parent likes being sidelined, so Andy decides to hire someone to share the workload. But when one of the hottest agents in the industry applies, Andy knows that this deal is definitely trouble.

Danicka Douglas works her butt off, but being an attractive woman in a testosterone-heavy industry isn’t exactly a cakewalk. She guards her professional reputation fiercely, which means no crushing on her gorgeous boss. But the more they ignore that sexy little spark, the more it sizzles…

Just when it looks like romance might be in the game plan, Dani is threatened by a stalker with dark intentions. To keep her safe, Andy must cross the line between professional and very personal…because this time, he’s playing for keeps.

My Review

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

After missing one too many of his children's events due to his job, Andy knows he has to make a change. He has been wanting to expand his business and now is the perfect time to do that. So he hires Danicka to be another agent at his firm. Their first meeting does not go well at all (I love when that happens) and Danicka isn't even sure that she will get the job so it comes as quite the surprise when he does offer it to her. 

Danicka settles into the new company quite nicely. It's a small one so there aren't many employees and she quickly forms a friendship with Ellie, the office assistant. She forms a great working relationship with Andy and they form an easy friendship.
A couple of hours later, I was munching on a salad in my office since Ellie had ditched me for lunch with Kevin, when there was a soft knock at my door.
“Come in!” I called out, trying not to spit lettuce all over my desk.
The door creaked as it opened, revealing a smiling Andy, holding a yellow gift bag.
I swallowed and licked the leftover dressing off my lips as I smiled at him. “Hey,” I said cheerfully.
“Hey yourself. Since Ethan and Ellie are both out for lunch, I figured now was a good time.” He took a couple of steps into my office and set the little gift bag down in front of me. “Happy birthday, Danicka.”
My mouth popped open as I stared down at the gift bag in shock. “Wait, you went out and got me a gift today?”
He sat down in the chair across from me and shook his head.
“But I thought that you didn’t know—” I stopped talking and narrowed my eyes at him skeptically.
He pressed his lips together and tried to keep a straight face. “So I wasn’t totally honest about not knowing it was your birthday.”
“You little liar,” I accused with a small grin as I wiped my hands on the napkin and pushed my salad off to the side. “By the way, yellow is my favorite color.”
“I knew that, too.”
His words hung in the air between us, shifting the mood from playful to something . . . more.
“Hm. Interesting,” I said lightheartedly as I peeked into the bag. I couldn’t see much except for white tissue paper, but whatever it was, was heavy. Wrapping my hand around a box, I pulled it out carefully and set it on my desk. I felt Andy’s eyes on me, watching every movement I made as I eagerly unwrapped the tissue.
As the tissue fell and the box was revealed, my mouth fell open. “I can’t believe you did this.” I shook my head, staring at the new camera lens that I’d been wanting for months. Looking up at his proud smile, I swallowed a small lump that had formed in my throat. “How did you know?”
He licked his lips and shrugged. “I watched you take a ton of pictures at the Home Run Derby last month, and when I overheard you and Ellie talking about cameras the other day, I heard you tell her what kind of camera you had and that you’d wanted this lens for a while. So I got it.”
My eyes stung with tears that I quickly tried to blink away. “Andy, this lens was really expensive, that’s why I was waiting to get it.”
“Eh.” He waved his hand nonchalantly. “It was a small price to pay for such an awesome partner.”
I looked down at the lens again, purposefully avoiding eye contact with him. “It’s not small to me. I haven’t had the type of life where people go out of their way for me or make a big deal over the little things, so this is just . . .” My voice trailed off as I shook my head, not wanting to embarrass myself by crying in front of him.
“Dani,” he said in a tone that was soft, yet pointed enough that it made me lift my eyes to his. “If that’s true, then you haven’t been hanging around the right people.”
*sigh* Andy is the sweetest. 

Things get a bit complicated when it becomes clear that someone is stalking Danicka. A series of events lead to her having to stay at Andy's house. Of course she is a bit nervous at first but his kids, especially his daughter, take to Danicka almost immediately. All three of them accepted Danicka into their lives an they formed this little makeshift family. It was so cute to watch unfold.

I just loved this book. I am SO HAPPY that Beth has given us Andy's story. Of course we get some of the usual suspects (i.e. Brody and Viper and their crew) popping up to offer advice and/or making us laugh. Readers of Beth's book already know and love him and were just waiting for his happily ever after. I never liked his nightmare of an ex-wife Blaire, so it was wonderful to see him move on and for her to finally be put in her place. And he couldn't have done it with a more perfect person.

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