Tessa Bailey has quite a few fans here at Fiction Vixen. We simply adore her dirty talking heroes. It all started with Protecting What’s His, which was Derek and Ginger’s story, and although I’m not a huge fan of NA romance when I found out Ginger’s sister Willa was getting her own book I couldn’t help myself and asked for review.
After winning a trip to Ireland in a photo contest Willa Peet decides to make this trip about rediscovering herself. Somehow she lost her true personality while in her relationship with the all-American, boy next door Evan. But that’s not who she is. Her entire life has been one messed up, tragedy after another. From her prostitute, heroin addicted mother to not knowing exactly who her father is to running away in the dead of night with her sister in hopes of a better life in Chicago. The only constant has been her sister Ginger and now that she’s settled down with Derek and found her happily ever after it’s Willa’s turn to find herself again. So she heads to Dublin, where she hopes to leave Evan’s ghost and her failure to make their relationship work behind.
The first person she meets in the airport is Shane Claymore. He’s angry and rude and apparently her ride to the hotel she’ll be staying in for the duration of her trip. Almost as soon as they meet their animosity knows no bounds. It’s hate at first sight. So she sneaks away in the airport and takes a cab to the hotel. Unfortunately for Willa, Shane is also the owner of the bar/hotel and she will be forced to see him every day. But underneath the mutual dislike is attraction that neither wants to feel, but seems to draw them together nonetheless. Against her better judgment Willa becomes involved with Shane and his family. She forms a friendship with his sister and mother, and falls hard for the sexy Irishman.
I would have to say Unfixable is definitely a different type story for Tessa Bailey. Not quite as erotic, not as much dirty talking and a with whole lot more angst. I really never understand why Shane and Willa detested each other so much right from the beginning and they were both so prickly and standoffish that it took me a little while to connect with them. Shane is definitely a douche when they meet and Willa gives as good as she gets. Their romance is slow to build, it’s not until Shane makes some rather unflattering assumptions about Willa that she finally pops her top and sets him straight. From that point on…. they have a lovely romance. Actually, quite lovely. They begin to connect on a much deeper level. The Willa from Protecting What’s His has grown up, but hasn’t let go of her past or fears that she’s not worthy of real love. Shane has his own issues and I think this is why he understands Willa. He “gets” her.
“You can’t fix me with a few magic words.”
“Willa” He shakes his head. “There’s nothing to fix.”
As much as I didn’t connect with these characters at first, once their romance truly starts I was deeply engaged with them as a couple. They aren’t easy. They argue and bicker and challenge each other, but they also have off the charts chemistry and once they let go their chemistry turns into some very nice sexy times. Shane may not be as much as of a dirty talker as Ms. Bailey’s other heroes, but he isn’t too shabby either.
“I’m going to use my mouth on you, Willa. Would you like that?”
I think in the end what I liked about this couple the most was that they didn’t try to change each other. It was never a matter of them needing to, they just needed someone to understand who they really were deep down and accept that person. Someone who didn’t try to make them better, or turn them into someone they weren’t. Their relationship worked for me because Willa and Shane never really stray from who they were at the beginning. They just became comfortable with themselves and each other.
I think Ginger said it best with her advice to her sister:
“I get the sense that you’re in a difficult spot.” Slowly, she blows out a breath. “But, there will be a moment, Wip. It’ll come when you’re not looking for it, but it will smack you upside your head. You’ll realize everything is bigger than you. Already planned out like a road map. It happened to me, and I shied away because I was scared. This moment, it can be the worst of your life, or the best. Just make it your best. Let it be your best. Okay?”
While I would encourage readers to pick up Ginger and Derek’s story, as well as all the others in that series, I don’t think it’s necessary to have read it in order to easily fall into this one. This could very easily be read as a standalone. But why would you want to? Tessa Bailey truly is a gifted storyteller and it appears that no matter what she writes, I will enjoy it. Final Grade- B
“People like us, we keep too much inside already. We can’t bottle up everything, or we go crazy.”