Review: Dirty Work by Amanda Heger, Harper St. George & Tara Wyatt

dirty-workReviewed by Shelly

I occasionally read anthologies because there’s a single story that I’m interested in. I tend to usually stay away, because the majority of them are more of an intro to a story line with little to no story, just a day in the life of. For this anthology, I went all in because there are only 3 short stories and even more promising – all new to me authors. These are all stories of second chances.

Uprooted – Amanda Heger

It’s been years since Natalie’s been in town. As a matter of fact, she’s only back to stay, then leave as fast as she can bury her beloved grandfather. As soon as she’s done that, she’s back to the big city. Chris Hennessy has always had a thing for Natalie, but after she left town years ago, he’s had no choice but to move on from their high school romance.

Natalie’s past is holding her back from enjoying life. She’s got a secret. It’s really quite terrible, and I wish this story was longer to really dig into that because it had such promise. Since leaving town years ago, she’s developed a life and coping skills, but she’s not enjoying that life – just going through the motions. Once she is back in town, even for such a sad occasion, once she see Chris, all the old feelings she had for him start coming to the surface. Again, I wish there was more there. I feel like Natalie got short changed; I just didn’t feel that much for her.

The chemistry between Chris and Natalie was good, but then the sex happened so quickly, for me it diverted from their romance. It just wasn’t quite good enough for me.

Rating: C+

Revved – Harper St. George

Rachel Cambridge, is in her mid-20s and she’s ready to live her life. After working some time for the family business and not being happy, she’s ready to give happiness a try. Part of her pursuit of happiness, is reconnecting with Sage Hennessy, the young man she met when she was young, wild and free (at 18). Breaking up with Sage was one of the hardest things that Rachel’s ever done, and she’s back in town to ask his forgiveness and get a second chance at love.

This was my favorite story in the anthology. I liked Rachel. There’s enough about her that I felt her remorse for the way she treated Sage. Her family life, actually it’s her mother, is enough of a mess that once I saw their dynamics through Rachel’s eyes I was on board.

Sage is successful as both a mechanic and a race car driver. His relationship with the youthful Rachel doesn’t really get delved into, but we do get a pretty good sense of his hurt and feelings of inadequacy when it comes to her. Things happen quickly and the progression of time is not my favorite style, but the story works. What I wouldn’t give for it to be longer and depth added to each character and their relationship.

Rating: B

Nailed – Tara Wyatt

My least favorite story. Charlie Grant is a sports reporter. She’s recently moved into her grandfather’s house and  isworking from home on a sports column. She’s a year out from an engagement that went south and 6 months out from an online dating site fiasco. That timeline seemed a bit fast, but she had to bet back on the horse sooner than later, I’m guessing.

While living in the house, Charlie’s neighbor somehow put his vehicle through her back yard fence. Her neighbor’s answer to Charlie’s back yard is contractor Adam Hennessy. It turns out that Adam was Charlie’s online dating site fiasco – he stood her up. What a jerk, right?

I didn’t care for Charlie. Her housekeeping skills left something to be desired; this chick can live in a pig sty with no trouble. That might be passable if you’re either a teenager or in college because my expectations area low to nonexistent there, but you’re a grown woman for goodness sake – pick up after yourself! I pictured what that would look like and I can honestly say – that’s not attractive. Her personality came across really brash but not in a cute way, because there was no one other than Adam to play off of, and she just came off as the proverbial meanie. All she was missing was a bunch of cats and a cardigan. But what really set me off on Charlie being likable was the whole – I’m having sex with you but I don’t like you thing. I didn’t like Adam anymore for going along with that. Classless.

Adam was definitely not the hero for me – his taste in women was… well, let me just say that his standards are different than what I would expect and it was never explained to my why he found her so irresistible. I skimmed a lot of their story, and yes I know it was a novella, but that’s how much I didn’t care for it.

Rating: D+

Happy reading folks!

Overall Rating: C

*ARC provided by one of the authors

Click to purchase: Amazon

 Dirty Work
by Harper St. George, Tara Wyatt, Amanda Heger
Release Date: August 16, 2016

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