BLOG TOUR REVIEW AND EXCERPT: OUTMATCHED by Kristen Callihan and Samantha Young

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Outmatched by Kristen Callihan and Samantha Young

Release Date: November 19, 2019

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Outmatched, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by New York Times bestselling authors Kristen Callihan and Samantha Young.

What happens when a boxer finds chemistry with a geek?

Parker Brown can’t believe she needs to hire a fake boyfriend. When she landed her dream job in renewable energy, she thought she’d be entering a world at the forefront of progressive thinking. But the head boss prefers to promote employees who are “settled.” Thankfully, she’s found the perfect candidate, a fellow intellectual looking for some quick cash. What Parker gets is his protective big brother—Rhys Morgan. The tall, muscled ex-boxer with a foul mouth shows up just as her boss does, and now she’s stuck with the manipulative jerk.

Responsibility weighs heavily on Rhys. Now permanently out of the ring, he’s trying to hold together his late father’s gym and keep his younger brother, Dean, on the straight and narrow. To save Dean from himself, Rhys takes his place, ready to give this society girl a piece of his mind. Instead, he finds an opportunity. Even though they can hardly stand each other, posing as Parker’s boyfriend is a win-win deal. She gets to keep her job, and he’ll charm her star-struck boss into sponsoring his gym.

Problem is, they can barely keep their hands off each other. And what started as an easy deal isn’t so easy anymore. Because what future can a rough ex-boxer, afraid to open his heart, and a polished society geek, who has sworn off real relationships, possibly have?

They say opposites attract. These opposites are about to combust on impact.

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My Review

When I heard that Samantha Young and Kristen Callihan were teaming up to write a romance together, I immediately wanted this book in my hands. Both of them, in their own right, are two of my absolute favorite authors, so I couldn’t wait to see what they came up with as a writing duo and what that meant for the Outmatched characters they crafted, the perspectives they provided, and the story line that included a number of romance tropes and a hero and heroine who are both headstrong but wildly different when it comes to the lives they live, where they come from, and just what they want to gain from their mutually beneficial dating ruse.

They dynamics between Rhys Morgan and Parker Brown are combustible from their initial interaction, and even if it was more hate than like and definitely nowhere close to resembling love in any of its forms, what was perfectly clear was the fact that their sparing words and their slow-burning desire for each other are not

Fairchild has to be one of the most sexist and misogynistic billionaires alive, but as horrible as he is when it comes to his tactics and antics of getting what he wants, especially after Rhys begins to play his part, Fairchild is also responsible for forcing Parker’s hand to hire an escort, even if Rhys wasn’t the one Parker thought she was meeting or the one who was supposed to be a part of her ruse.

As much as Rhys and Parker allowed their first impressions and subsequent actions to dictate how they viewed one another, once they stopped ‘pretending’ that what was between them was purely business, they let down their walls and learned that neither is what the other expected them to be, and as the story progresses and they spend more time together just as themselves, not worrying about a career or saving his father’s business, that’s when readers witness something that’s been simmering at the surface for quite some time become something undeniable and worthwhile.

Both Rhys and Parker are likable characters who know how to work hard for what they want, but sometimes, they need a little help along the way, and even if it’s something that puts them outside of their comfort zones, it serves as a way for them to go beyond their first impressions, beyond their playacting and see exactly what they could be together, if they went all in and didn’t allow anyone else’s opinions or their own personal fears to prevent them from becoming more.

I really enjoyed Outmatched, and while I felt like the pacing got a bit slow in some areas of the book, the sexual tension between Rhys and Parker resonates from the pages of their story and has readers impatiently waiting for them to figure out what they truly want and perhaps even need from each other, and it was fun to witness what seemed inevitable from the beginning – them being in each other’s corner for so much more than a business deal.

4 Poison Apples

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AngryTink: Hey. This is Parker. Parker Brown.

My phone dinged loudly. I fumbled around my bed, finally finding the damn thing under a pillow. Wiping the sleep off my face, I rolled onto my back and read the text that had pulled me out of a pleasant sleep. I smiled. It was just so … Parker. Settling in, I answered her.

RhysThis: Don’t have to tell me who you are. Your number is programmed on my phone. What do you want?

AngryTink: Well, good morning to you too, Happy Pants.

My smile turned into an evil grin. The girl was always going to punch back and make it count.

RhysThis: That’s Mr. Happy Pants. Though, TBH, my pants aren’t too happy at the moment. Want to help me out with that?

AngryTink: Tempting. Truly. But, no.

RhysThis: RU sure? ‘Cuz Happy Pants Rhys is much more agreeable than Sad That He Had to Self-Satisfy Rhys.

AngryTink: Would you please behave?

RhysThis: I’m not the one who mentioned the emotional state of my pants.

AngryTink: ARGH!

A chuckle rumbled in my chest as my thumbs tapped out a response I knew would piss her off more.

RhysThis: Was that even English? Honestly, Ms. Brown, I thought you were educated.

She took a moment to answer. I could picture her, phone in hand, grinding her teeth.

AngryTink: You’re deliberately trying to annoy me, aren’t you?

RhysThis: You’re quick. I’ll give you that.

AngryTink: Mr. Morgan, I’m about ten seconds away from finding an alternate fake boyfriend. A goat on a rope would be a better candidate at this point.

It was cute she thought that was threatening.

RhysThis: Yeah, probably. But the goat doesn’t have a signed contract. I do, Tinker Bell.

AngryTink: ARGH@!!

RhysThis: You’re kind of cute when you talk pirate.

About Kristen:

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a RITA winner and three-time nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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About Samantha:

Samantha Young is a New York Times and #1 International bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. On Dublin Street was Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in thirty countries. She has since published over thirteen romance titles including the New York Times Bestsellers Into the Deep, Hero, and her most recent contemporary romance Play On. When writing Adult Paranormal romance she writes under the pen name S. Young.

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