Joint Review – Baiting the Maid of Honor (Wedding Dare #2) by Tessa Bailey

Baiting the Maid of HonorPublisher: Entangled
Publish Date: Out now
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher

He’ll own her from the very first touch.

Julie Piper and Reed Lawson have nothing in common. She’s a people-pleasing sorority girl hiding behind her perfect mask. He’s a take-no-prisoners SWAT commander who isolates himself from the world. But when they’re forced together at their friends’ posh destination wedding, one thing is clear—Reed wants Julie more than he wants his next breath. Which is why he’s not about to stand by when she’s dared to seduce another man.

Julie wants neat, tidy sex, so she could get back to what she does best—making everybody else happy. She never expected to slip into a dark bedroom and have her mind blown by rough, demanding hands, and a sinfully filthy mouth—neither of which belong to the best man. One night should have been all Reed needed to get the blond temptress out of his system, but when one taste is nowhere near enough, he’ll be forced confront the effects of his hellish past. One that may push Julie away forever…just when he realizes he can’t live without her.
This blurb came from the author’s website

MinnChica: I’m really enjoying the Wedding Dare series, and I’ve found myself glomming onto each and every new book looking to weave the threads that were left in the last one. Julie and Reed were no exception. I couldn’t wait to see what they were getting up to, how they were spending their free time, and how their romance would unfold. I’m so happy that I’ve picked up this series because I’ve enjoyed each and every book so far!

E: Like MinnChica I am really enjoying this series. I discovered Bailey a while ago when it seemed like my entire twitter feed was abuzz with her dirty talking heroes. So when I saw she had an installment in the Wedding Dare series I was very curious to see if that dirty talking trend would continue or if things would be a bit softer. Reading the blurb answered that question rather quickly so I just sat back and enjoyed reading. I will admit I felt somewhat sorry for the other riders in my subway car because I might or might not have burst out laughing a time or two while I was reading about Reed, Julie, and the others.

MinnChica: Reed and Julie were such an interesting couple, because they were both experts at holding back. They lived this public life with one face, and their private life with another. They both had some deep scars they were working to overcome, and it was such a joy to watch them finally both open up to someone in a way that allowed them to be themselves within a relationship. I loved that about these two, the way they were hesitant to commit to each other, and yet at times so desperate to have the other believe in them and support them .

E: I loved how the apparent contrast between what Julie and Reed showed others and who they really were was displayed. Both hid behind masks and didn’t know what to do if/when someone started getting under their skin. Julie lived a life of regret and guilt. She spent her time trying to make everyone else happy and do everything for everyone as a way to make up for enjoying different aspect of life from her sister. More than once I had to discretely dab at my eyes as I learned what made Julie tick. I will also admit a few times as Reed started to open up my heart hurt on behalf of the little boy he had been. Even with those touching moments I also enjoyed the sparring between Julie and Reed. It was like they specialized in angry smoking hot sexy times.

MinnChica: The sexy times with Julie and Reed were AWESOME! These two heated up the pages left and right and they were sexy! I loved the way they kept coming at each other with angry sex, and how much it worked for their romance dynamic. Both Reed and Julie didn’t seem to know if they were coming or going, and I loved the way they could both turn each other inside out with the littlest things.

E: As I continue to read this series one thing that sticks out to me is the interwoven friendships. Each installment provides a bit more information about how the group of men and women became such close-knit friends. I really enjoyed seeing the friendship and closeness manifest in different situations because it was readily apparent how much each person wanted their friends happy. I actually used one of those “friend” scenes to push this book on a family member because I was so delighted.

MinnChica: I agree with E, I think the reason this series is working so well for me is because of the interwoven relationships between all the characters. I love that each of their stories is going on at the same time, and that we constantly get little snippets and snapshots of what is going on with each friend in each book. I love the set up, love the dynamics between the women and the men, and how everything is playing out.

E: I am thoroughly enjoying this series and can’t wait to get to the next one. I was very pleased to see that Bailey retained the dirty blunt enthusiastic heroes I have come to count on. She also ensured that when things went too far and feelings were hurt both her hero and heroine were able to own up to their mistakes. Bailey gives great grovel scenes even if an explicit apology wasn’t stated. The combination of fake personas, deep emotions covered by superficiality, expressive body language, and enough sexual tension to set things on fire made Baiting the Maid of Honor a fun story to read with some surprising depths.

I give Baiting the Maid of Honor an A

MinnChica: All in all, I’m so glad to report that this series is still working for me! I loved getting to know what made Julie and Reed tick, and how they were both motivated by something that happened in their pasts. I loved their romance, and they really heated up the pages on every turn. I can’t wait to see what happens with the final book!
I give Baiting the Maid of Honor a B+

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