REVIEW: What a Bachelor Needs by Kelly Hunter
Your date with ski champ Jett Casey is an either/or deal. He’ll take you off-piste for the ultimate Montana ski adventure or he’ll put his handyman skills at your disposal for a week.
Single mom Mardie Griffin has a run-down old house in need of fixing and a memory of Jett Casey as her saviour in a time of great need. So when her friends acquire Jett’s services at a bachelor auction and send him to fix up her house, she sets aside her mistrust of men and lets him in.
Elite athlete Jett Casey has the world at his feet and no desire for stability. But there’s one woman he’s never forgotten and if he can help make her safe this time, maybe she’ll stop haunting him.
No strings, no sex, no commitment. Just fix things. Surely it can’t be that difficult…
Dear Ms. Hunter,
Even though I’m reading it out of order, I’ve been enjoying this series so far. Honestly I don’t think randomly hopscotching through them has affected my reading experience at all and considering how anal I usually am about that, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. When I started the novella, I had visions of the typical romance “bad boy” pro athlete x mousy “who me?” heroine. What I got was far different and much better.
Like all the others, this one kicks off with a short introduction, recap and set up. For a minute I thought we’d get the Secret Baby trope but amazingly, no. Things get serious as the darkness of Mardie’s past that brought her together with Jett two years ago is also recapped proving that Jett is a man worthy of being a hero because he helped her when she needed it, still wonders today how Mardie is doing and is glad to see her apparently doing well – or better than the last time he saw her – and wondering if she remembered him. This is the first but not last sign of humility from Jett.
Finally, we see a bachelor happy about doing his bit. At least Jett struts it during the auction and has fun, which I’ve been looking for during most of the ones so far. Buck the stockyard auctioneer is worth it too as he “sells” the men with some hilarious banter. But at least one partner here is enthusiastic to begin with. Mardie on the other hand…
She doesn’t want pity or charity, yeah, yeah but then she gives a reason to resist her friend’s efforts to set her up with a sexy handyman for a – to me in a romance story – novel reason. She doesn’t want him remembering her as the cowering, beaten down woman in the alley. She needs him to see her self-respect.
I like that she’s open and honest about her situation. And that Jett feels he should have done the manly protection thing then. But her reasons were and are sound and she played her cards the best she could. They move straight from talking about re-sanding the floor (no, that’s not a sexy euphemism) to “heavy duty Stuff” fairly soon but it’s shared history so it makes more sense. And okay his appreciation of how far she’s come and what she’s done are icing on the cake of his niceness. And he’s handy with power tools.
I like the way they communicate. Fairly honestly with a little flirting on his part. He appreciates that baby Claire flirts too.
The story also shows that Mardie has good relationships with her coworkers and friend Ella even if Ella does liken Mardie to a “stubborn, sexy, ageless worker ant.” Ella is also smart in presenting Mardie with a face-saving way to get her house issues fixed.
Jett likes what he sees, always has but is waiting for a sign from her as to how quickly to proceed which, given her history and his knowledge of it, is good and smart. I’m loving the slightly deadpan, ego piercing banter between them. The mutual attraction from way back kicks their relationship forward quite a few notches. You manage to really make me okay with the quickness of relationship for a variety of reasons all of which seem to make sense and don’t make me eye roll. Not eye rolling is a very good thing.
Jett is feeling protective and to make up for not being able to exercise that 2 years ago, he’s giving in to it now in the form of motion sensor lighting. Such a Guy thing – like making sure a heroine’s snow tires are on. Concrete evidence that he’s thinking of and worried about her. Jett also doesn’t have an “I’m a world class athlete at whose feet women fall” cocky attitude. He’s rocking a “I just happen to be a world class athlete who is falling at your feet and I want to make you feel desirable and good about sex ” cocky attitude.
Yet even if Jett and Mardie are quickly coming to terms with their downhill racing speed relationship, her father and his brother Seth speak for the “are you sure?” contingent and ensure that these two are really thinking about things.
This is the best one for me so far. I trust these two and their feelings for each other. There’s enough time spent working out the long term details and enough eyes on the two of them, making sure each is right and ready for this. The hair bows war is funny too. I definitely need to read more of your books. What am I waiting for? B+