Title: Start Me Up by Nicole Michaels
Hearts and Crafts Series Book One
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
WHY DO DO-IT-YOURSELF…
Single mom Anne Edmond can handle—and hand-make—just about anything. From table settings to party favors, floral arrangements to nursery décor, there is no project her creativity and a glue gun can’t tackle. But dating? That’s a whole ’nother story. Case in point: Mike Everett. He’s a gorgeous mechanic and known car-whisperer, a man who can work with auto parts like nobody’s business. And he has thrown a monkey wrench into Anne’s carefully-crafted life…
WHEN YOU CAN DO IT TOGETHER?
One look at Anne is enough for Mike to know that she’s no fixer-upper. She’s perfect just the way she is—and the chemistry between them works like a charm. Mike’s always been a no-strings kind of guy, but Anne’s impressive self-reliance—and gorgeous exterior—gives him pause. This time, a fast joyride just doesn’t seem like enough. But first he has to convince Anne that he means to take her all the way…
Start Me Up is the first novel in Nicole Michaels’ Hearts and Crafts series. It is a sweet but sexy romance between two very unlikely people but that is one of the things that makes it such an enjoyable read.
Anne Edmonds and two of her friends have a wildly popular blog, she runs a very successful party planning business and she also writes a weekly newspaper column. On the surface, her life seems picture perfect, but Anne is carrying a ton of baggage from her divorce. This single mom is devoted to her adorable daughter, but she has not been on a single date since the divorce and she is teeming with insecurities. So when hot bachelor Mike Everett shows an interest in her, Anne finds it hard to believe that he wants her for anything but a fun, flirty fling.
Mike is instantly smitten with Anne but he has a bit of bad boy past that makes him feel like she is out of his league. He has left his troubles behind him and he owns a lucrative car restoration business but he wonders if he is a little too blue collar for Anne. He does not let his reservations keep him from asking her out, but Mike quickly realizes that Anne is not anywhere near as invested in their burgeoning relationship as he is.
Mike and Anne are a wonderful couple, but their lack of communication and insecurities are quite exasperating. Anne is quick to point out her flaws and her low self esteem keeps her from taking their romance seriously. Anne’s preoccupation over their slight age difference comes across as more of an excuse to keep him at arm’s length than an actual concern. Both of them are a bit immature at times but Mike’s preoccupation with sex is a little juvenile. There is plenty of sexual tension between them and Mike is incredibly understanding when parenting duties interrupt them at a very inopportune moment. Mike is surprisingly patient with Anne and her hang-ups and he refuses to let a misunderstanding ruin their relationship.
Despite a few frustrations with the lead characters, Start Me Up is an absolutely charming and scorching hot romance. It is a very heartwarming beginning to Nicole Michaels’ Hearts and Crafts series that fans of contemporary romances are going to love.