PJV Quickie: I have enjoyed Lori Foster’s Love Undercover series, and Getting Rowdy is definitely my favorite installment so far: a sexy alpha male, a tough yet sweet heroine, and an interesting story had me up late reading until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore.
Avery Mullins is a bartender at Getting Rowdy, previously a dive bar but since new owner Rowdy Yates took over it’s a little more trendy. Rowdy met Avery while she was working for the previous owner and finds her intriguing and beautiful. He kept her on when he bought the bar and promoted her to bartender. Avery keeps things all business with Rowdy; even though she’s attracted to him, she knows he’s a love-’em-and-leave-’em type of guy and she doesn’t want to get hurt. She finally decides to go for it, and walks in on him in his office, receiving “oral favors” from a woman! Mortified, Avery runs out and is determined to ignore Rowdy and pretend it never happened.
Rowdy is extremely attracted to Avery, but if she’s not going to say yes, he’s not going to say no to offers from other women. When she unexpectedly walks in on him in a compromising situation, though, he realizes he cares about her opinion… and that bothers him. Why would he care what she thinks? He doesn’t do relationships. But he’s starting to realize that with Avery, maybe he could.
Rowdy has lived a tough life, and because of it he’s extremely aware of his surroundings at all times. When Avery starts getting weird phone calls at the bar, he notices something’s wrong. He also realizes he doesn’t know much about her and that she doesn’t talk about her past. He wants to know more about her, and protect her if she’s in trouble.
After an incident at the bar sends Rowdy to the hospital, both Avery and Rowdy each know they need to take care of the other, but ghosts from their pasts may keep them apart…or destroy them entirely.
I thought the first two books in Lori Foster’s Love Undercover series were good, but Rowdy and Avery’s story is definitely my favorite! The chemistry between Rowdy and Avery has been building through this series, and they are terrific together.
Rowdy is such a difficult hero – In Getting Rowdy, we get much more detail about the abuse in his past and how he spent a good portion of his childhood and teen years protecting his younger sister: first from their parents, then from some seriously bad guys. He’s always kept himself closed off, never allowing anyone in who could hurt him, only his sister, and one of the things I loved about Getting Rowdy was watching Rowdy slowly grow roots: with his sister and her husband, his friends Alice and Reese, now Avery, and his new young friend Marcus. Rowdy’s journey from bad-boy to hero material has been wonderful to read and I’ve enjoyed reading it.
Avery is a great heroine – she’s been running from someone in her past but likes this new life she’s made for herself. She likes her job, Rowdy values her opinions and suggestions, and that’s something she didn’t have in her past. She likes Rowdy, too, and knows that he is something special, more than the initial impression he intentionally gives off, and she wants to be more than a one night stand. When trouble comes, she thinks she needs Rowdy to protect her but realizes she can stand up for herself, and she ends up not only standing up for herself, but protecting the people she cares about too.
During the course of the story, we get to revisit with the main characters of the two previous books in the series (Run the Risk and Bare it All) and we see that all is well with those couples. Ms. Foster has also written some intriguing new secondary charters that I’m looking forward to following them in future books.
I did have one or two nitpicky observations: I thought it was strange that Avery was in hiding from her old life but only lived 30 minutes away. I mean, she never ran into friends or family while out in town? Especially now that the bar is more upscale, I would have thought that she might have run into old friends who would be visiting the new bar. Which doesn’t really seem like being in hiding; more like avoiding. I also thought the ending was kind of quick. Without going into spoilers, I’d say the change of heart did an about face, and then some, very, very quickly.
Getting Rowdy can be read as a stand-alone but I would recommend reading the first book, Run the Risk (his sister Pepper’s book) for more back-story about Rowdy. Trust me, it totally makes his HEA so much more meaningful.
Fans of sexy alpha heroes and romantic suspense, also fans of redeemed bad boys will enjoy Getting Rowdy.
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Check out the sexy book trailer: