What happens when a single mother is forced to live with a grumpy, ailing football star? The smolder turns red hot, of course.
Bulldozer, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by P. Dangelico is live.
Amanda Shaw has pulled it together. It’s taken a couple of years, a boatload of hard work, and a ton of self-discipline, but she finally has her problems in a headlock. Her yoga studio in the city has become so successful she’s opening one near the beach, and her relationship with her ten-year-old son is improving every day. The last thing she needs is a monkey wrench thrown into her smoothly running life.
Grant Hendricks is one big monkey wrench. The four time Defensive Player of the Year, three time NFL sack leader, and all-around football god has officially hit rock bottom. A devastating back injury means he may have to retire and that scares him more than doctors telling him that the next hit could leave him paralyzed. All he needs is a quiet place to think and his teammate’s beach house sounds like just the place. Problem is, the woman already living there.
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First, I just have to say how much I adore the titles of the books in P. Dangelico’s Hard to Love series; they perfectly embody how the scenes play out between each story’s hero and heroine while also offering insights into the male lead’s personality, and Bulldozer epitomizes who Grant Hendricks was as the four time Defensive Player of the Year and three time NFL sack leader and how both Amanda and Grant seem to clear away the pain of their respective pasts and reshape their present in the best possible ways…at least after Grant realizes that the solitude he sought is not actually what he needs to heal and a certain neighbor and her son just might be the
Flawed characters who understand their faults and attempt to learn from their mistakes are my favorite ones to read about because they seem more genuine and willing to see things from all different perspectives. Amanda Shaw is such a character and witnessing her tackle her problems and ensure that her son doesn’t suffer anymore from her choices and actions made me her biggest fan…it also helps that she doesn’t take any guff from Grant and feels comfortable putting him in his place despite the fact that he could literally bowl her over with his pristine and naked body, which if I’m being honest…I wouldn’t mind one bit;)
I’ve always been interested in understanding what happens to professional athletes when they retire, willingly or not, and Dangelico provides a glimpse into that world due to Grant’s forced retirement. It has to be difficult for a man who has had such a successful career be required to give it up or else risk lasting and irreparable injuries. The fact that Grant is none too happy with the situation he finds himself in makes sense, but his grouchy demeanor towards Amanda when they first meet makes my initial perception of him quite different from what I end up feeling about him once their story is finished.
The fact that Dangelico doesn’t force anything between Grant and Amanda until they’re both ready for it fits their circumstances perfectly. It’s definitely a slow burn kind of story but that pace didn’t bother me because I was able to witness both characters transforming into the best versions of themselves and their journey to a happy ending is one abrasive, sassy, hilarious, tender, and romantic ride.
4.5 Poison Apples
For a beat we stare at each other, neither of us voicing the undeniable truth that something is happening between us. Something deep and real and scary.
He pins me to the side of the pool, his arms framing mine, and leans closer. I can’t pry my eyes away from his lips, full and slick with water.
“You make me want to try,” he quietly confesses.
I’ve told myself a thousand times to stop thinking about the way he looks at me. Or that he’s so sweet with Sam it brings tears to my eyes every time I watch those two interact. Or that Roxy fell hard and fast in love with him from the outset and everyone knows dogs are the best judges of character.
I’ve told myself to stop staying awake at night wanting him but he makes it nearly impossible. His eyes fall to my lips and I swallow, goose bumps breaking out from my hairline to my toes.
“Try what?” I ask in an equally quiet voice. Reaching out, I dare to run my fingertips over the short beard from the side of his face to his chin. His thick lashes beaded with water flutter shut.
“Be a better man for you.”
“You’re the best man I know already…nothing to try for.”
“You keep at it like that and I’m going to kiss you,” those perfectly shaped lips murmur. It sounds like a threat and a promise and part of me hopes it’s both.
About P. Dangelico
Dangelico loves romance in all forms, cuddly creatures (four legged and two), really bloody sexy pulp, the NY Jets (although she’s reconsidering after this season), and to while away the day at the barn (apparently she does her best thinking shoveling horse crap). What she’s not enamored with is referring to herself in the third person and social media so don’t expect her to get on Twitter anytime soon. Oh, and although she was born in Italy, she’s been Jersey Strong since she turned six.
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