Review – Somethin’ Dirty (Country Fever #4) by Em Petrova

Somethin' Dirty cover image
Publisher: Samhain
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher

Forty-two-year-old single father Griffin Turner couldn’t have made it through colic and calving season without his mother’s babysitting services. But just when he thinks he’s got the hardest part of the infant learning curve licked, he gets devastating news. Mom is sick. And Griffin is forced to hire a nanny.

With nothing but twenty dollars in her pocket and her voice, Nola Brady wants to leave small-town Wyoming to pursue her dreams in Nashville. She answers Griffin’s ad to keep body and soul together until her big chance arrives. Love isn’t even on her radar…until she unexpectedly falls for the rough-and-playful cowboy.

Between the sheets, they’re poetry. Outside the bedroom, he inspires her to be more woman than she ever dreamed possible, which scares her enough to put on the brakes…and hit the road.

But if she thought he’d just let her leave quietly, she was wrong. Because hell hath no fury like a cowboy in love…especially one with a baby on his hip. And a ring with her name on it.

Warning: This cowboy daddy is determined to make a May/September romance work—even if he has to lay down his palm or his mouth on a round ass cheek to do it.
This blurb came from the author’s website.

I think I made it through the first paragraph of the blurb before I had written this down as a request. The single father, rancher, sick mother, and requiring a nanny sent me back to the contemporaries I read much earlier in my romance reading life with a modern slant to the heroines’ dreams. I enjoyed the twists Petrova included in this story along with how she showed the mental struggle both Griffin and Nola experienced. In case you are worried about needing to read the previous three books before starting this one, I didn’t have any problems and in fact, I did not realize this was part of a series until I was looking up the administrative information for this blog post.

Griffin was a rather bitter man who only trusted two women; his mother and his baby daughter. He was doing everything possible to raise his daughter and make it through the hardest part of the farm year when his mother was diagnosed with cancer and instead of helping him, she needed his help. Desperate he placed an ad for a nanny, expecting the grandmotherly type to reply, and instead the only applicant was the young, attractive, saving to make it to Nashville, singer Nola. Griffin felt a combination of mad and guilty about his attraction to Nola because she reminded him of his daughter’s mother. He also did not want to become attached because she was planning on leaving.

Nola needed a job outside of working for her father so she could earn enough money to make it to Nashville and achieve her dreams of becoming a profession country singer. She wasn’t expecting to apply for a job as a nanny for the very attractive older man who turned down her advances one night at the local bar. She also wasn’t expecting to fall for him or his daughter and struggle with leaving to achieve her dreams or letting her dreams slip away. I found Nola very full of life and while much younger than Griffin, she wasn’t going to let him treat her anyway he felt.

I really enjoyed the sexual tension between Nola and Griffin because it never let up. They tried to maintain their professionalism and ignore their mutual attraction as long as possible. I enjoyed how Petrova included that pause in the relationship pacing because it allowed me to watch as Nola and Griffin found more to admire about each other besides their physical appearance. I could also see why Nola felt comfortable enough to continue working for Griffin. It was also refreshing to see that after they give in to their attraction Nola continued to maintain her sense of self and refused to let Griffin run over her.

Watching Griffin and Nola reluctantly fall in love was a lot of fun. I also enjoyed how Lyric wasn’t this perfect baby who cooed, smiled, and only fussed a little bit. Instead Lyric had a bit of a temper, demanded food and attention on her schedule, and did not have any issues making it known if things were not going the way she thought they should. Nola also wasn’t a Mary Poppins type of nanny as much as she cared about Lyric. I loved her technique of singing to Lyric in an attempt to keep her calm and happy and the side effect her voice had on Griffin. Griffin could also be an ass. The more he cared about Nola the worse his memories of the past prodded him until they would come out in the form of nasty commands regarding her responsibilities as his nanny. Nola refused to accept that sort of treatment and when Griffin refused to change his ways, she did what she needed to do.

Somethin’ Dirty was a fun read. As I said earlier I enjoyed the sexual tension, Nola’s strength and independence, Griffin’s scarred heart, and their mutual ability to move beyond the past towards the future they desired. Lyric’s actions as a baby really solidified Petrova’s characterization because she wasn’t just there as a reason for Griffin and Nola to be around each other. I was also extremely satisfied with the resolution of Nola’s dreams.

I give Somethin’ Dirty a B.

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