Wednesday 20 November 2019

Review: Outmatched - Kristen Callihan & Samantha Young

What happens when a boxer finds chemistry with a geek?

Parker Brown can’t believe she needs to hire a fake boyfriend. When she landed her dream job in renewable energy, she thought she’d be entering a world at the forefront of progressive thinking. But the head boss prefers to promote employees who are “settled.” Thankfully, she’s found the perfect candidate, a fellow intellectual looking for some quick cash. What Parker gets is his protective big brother—Rhys Morgan. The tall, muscled ex-boxer with a foul mouth shows up just as her boss does, and now she’s stuck with the manipulative jerk.

Responsibility weighs heavily on Rhys. Now permanently out of the ring, he’s trying to hold together his late father’s gym and keep his younger brother, Dean, on the straight and narrow. To save Dean from himself, Rhys takes his place, ready to give this society girl a piece of his mind. Instead, he finds an opportunity. Even though they can hardly stand each other, posing as Parker’s boyfriend is a win-win deal. She gets to keep her job, and he’ll charm her star-struck boss into sponsoring his gym.

Problem is, they can barely keep their hands off each other. And what started as an easy deal isn’t so easy anymore. Because what future can a rough ex-boxer, afraid to open his heart, and a polished society geek, who has sworn off real relationships, possibly have?

They say opposites attract. These opposites are about to combust on impact.

Visit Kristen Callihan's website or Samantha Young's website for more information

When two fantastic authors like Kristen Callihan and Samantha Young announce they're going to be writing a book together that book immediately jumps to the top of my wish list. So it's fair to say I went into Outmatched with high expectations but I was still completely blown away by this story. If you love enemies to lovers or pretend relationship type tropes then you really don't want to miss this book.

Parker Brown comes from a privileged upbringing but she's no spoilt princess, instead she's someone who wants to make her own way in the world. She's fully aware of the advantages she's had but she's worked hard to earn her dream job with a renewable energy firm and is desperate to convince her boss's boss to give her a permanent contract. Unfortunately said boss is a misogynistic piece of work who doesn't believe women are good workers if they're not already in a stable, long term relationship. Parker is willing to go to desperate measures to get this job and if that means hiring a fake boyfriend until the contract is signed then that's what she'll have to do.

Rhys Morgan is a retired professional boxer who has focused all of his energy on running the family gym after the death of his father. Unfortunately his father was a gambler and the business is in serious trouble but that won't stop Rhys working hard to fix things. When he hears that some posh rich girl has hired his brother as a fake boyfriend Rhys is livid and determined to put a stop to it but when he finds out that Parker's boss is a huge boxing fan he realises there might be a way to solve both of their problems. He'll be Parker's pretend boyfriend so that she can get the job and hopefully he'll manage to swing sponsorship for his gym at the same time. What could possibly go wrong?

The banter was absolutely everything in Outmatched, sparks fly the minute Parker and Rhys meet as they both rub each other completely the wrong way and the witty jabs continue throughout the story. On the surface this is two people with pretty much nothing in common but sometimes opposites attract and these two are definitely magnets on a collision course. I love that they both gave as good as they got, neither of them ever had the upper hand for long as they challenge each other constantly. The chemistry was there from the very first meeting but this was still a slow build romance as they gradually became friends and then it turned into something much more.

I also really appreciated the lack of unnecessary drama here, this story chooses to focus on building friendship and trust between Parker and Rhys and they always have each other's back as far as the outside world is concerned. The romance was both sweet and super sexy, the story had me smiling the whole way through and I loved side characters like Rhys's brother Dean. I really, really hope this isn't the last we see of Kristen Callihan and Samantha Young in collaboration, their styles melded together seamlessly into one of my favourite contemporary romances of the year.

Source: Received from the authors in exchange for an honest review

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