Review: Earning It – Angela Quarles
by Angela Quarles
Series: Stolen Moments #1
Also in this series: Risking It, Deserving It
Publisher: Angela Quarles
Publication Date: October 4, 2017
From RITA Winning and USA Today bestselling author Angela Quarles comes this steamy romantic comedy--
One blind date. One case of mistaken identity. One Navy SEAL faced with his high school crush. What could go wrong?
Holy cow, my blind date is rawr-hot. Everything in me aches to explore more with this man, but I can't. I've got too much on the line professionally, with me starting at my new medical practice on shaky ground. But I can't deny that I want the sex. A fling is perfect. Bonus--I will prove my idiot ex-boyfriend wrong. I'm not cold.
Or Not to Score...
Once she mistakes me for her blind date, my plan is clear. Be this Rick the Lawyer she thinks I am. And for the space of this coffee date, talk to the only woman who's ever made me feel any spark outside of combat. Best case scenario, I get to be outside my skin--free to be whatever the hell I want. Worst case--she recognizes me as we chat. She'll be pissed, call me an asshole, but it won't be anything she hasn't called me in the past, so... Win/Win?
Trigger warnings: child abuse (as part of a character’s back story)
While this is the first book in the Stolen Moments series, I’m actually reading it second, after Risking It. This is a hilariously funny, but also deep, enemies-to-lovers romance.
“The realization that our date is close to over washes through me and leaves behind a jittery, panicky residue. It’s the only reason I can explain my next words, ‘Let’s have sex.’”
Pepper would describe herself as having a “no-nonsense, driven attitude” that can occasionally come off as coldness. In reality, she’s the kind of person who’d name a Madagascar hissing cockroach after her ex and then do a little dance in the street. While Pepper had a solidly middle class upbringing, her attorney parents made any bit of love and approval contingent on achievement. This led to a lot of anxiety to succeed, leading her to make some poor judgement calls in order to please others. After that, she decided that it was simply easier to avoid messy emotions and focus on her career. The one time she lets her guard down as an adult leads to a mistake that results in ramifications to her career, so she’s learned that her emotions compromise her judgement.
“The playoffs mean everything to this team, and because they’re my team, it’s important to me as well. When I left the SEALs, it was like being amputated—and I don’t mean like having a limb cut off. No. It’s like I was the limb being severed from the whole—the tight-knit group we’d become.”
Luke is an ex-SEAL. He grew up dirt poor in a trailer park with an abusive father who resented his existence, and considered having him his greatest mistake. As you can guess from that, Luke has issues with making mistakes, and issues with forgiving others’ – and his own – mistakes. All this adds up to a lot of angsty-ness, but there’s also a lot of hilarity to balance it out. At one point, Luke literally grabs popcorn while watching Pepper have it out with her ex. Of course, their relationship – which started out with that mistaken blind date – provides them each with opportunities to help and heal themselves.
“’Let me get this straight,’ I say as I kiss the playoffs goodbye. ‘She’s a cold bitch because she knows her mind, can express it eloquently, and the end result is that she doesn’t want you?’”
Overall, I found this a delightfully fun, steamy and angsty read!