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Review – Love is a Battlefield (DreamMakers #2) by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy

Love is a Battlefield cover image

Publisher: Self Publish
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the authors

He’s ready to admit she’s all grown up…

After two tours of duty, former Army Ranger Jack Hunter is back in the US, working to keep DreamMakers a brilliant success. Now that his best friend’s little sister is home from college, it’s time to retire his hands-off policy and take action. He wants Pepper Wilson in his bed, but seducing the feisty redhead could be dangerous for more than one reason.

She’s ready to push all his buttons…

Pepper is tired of being bossed around by everyone in her life, especially arrogant, annoying, overbearing Jack Hunter. While she can’t deny the man is out-of-this-world gorgeous, his alpha routine is getting old. His steely determination proves a match for her own, though, and the attraction simmering between them ignites into fiery passion.

But can their wild sexual exploration turn into more without someone getting burned?
This blurb came from the author’s website.

When I heard about the premise for the DreamMakers trilogy by Arend and Kennedy I thought it had the possibility of being an absolute enjoyable riot. After reading the first installment not only did I know my hopes were being met but I also decided that maybe I should check out a certain backlist by Kennedy having already devoured most of Arend’s. I was offered the opportunity to sign up to review the second installment and happily downloaded it when available but life happened to get in the way. So I was needing an Arend fix a week ago and realized I had this waiting on me so I promptly pulled it up, saw “Best Friend’s Little Sister” let out a little mental cheer, and started reading.

Pepper, tired of always doing what she was told, decided it was time to become independent. Part of her independence included a road trip with some friends on her way back home post college. Unfortunately the trip abruptly ended with Pepper bruised up and deciding to lay low until she heals enough to not set her brother and his friends on the warpath. However, chosing the DreamMakers office to crash for her first night didn’t work out as she planned because Jack made a trip back to the office and promptly took Pepper home with him. And she made him pay **evil grin**. I loved her independence, her competence, and how she was determined to enjoy what she liked without being ashamed.

Jack has certainly noticed Pepper in the past BUT he doesn’t want to break the Best Friend’s code so he has been staying far away. However, when he discovers Pepper not only sleeping in the office but bruised and not wanting to face her older brother or the rest of her family he dragged her home with him. During their short time as roommates, his attraction to her grew until despite his reputation he wasn’t considering the possibility of any other woman. I had a lot of fun watching him fight his attraction and his concern about what his best friend would do if he found out Jack was interested in Pepper. The wait was certainly worth it because when Jack and Pepper finally acted on their attraction it was explosive.

In addition to Jack and Pepper trying to work through their attraction and the complication of “Best Friend’s Little Sister.” Pepper was still dealing with the problem that ended her road trip unexpectedly. She tried to keep it away from Jack and the DreamMakers business but events kept escalating and he was dragged into it. I liked how he didn’t take over and try to boss Pepper around knowing her well enough to realize she wouldn’t react well. Arend and Kennedy provided several potential culprits and enough variety in incidents so more than one perpetrator was certainly a possibility. I really enjoyed the twist as things were discovered and how Pepper was smart enough to handle things professionally while ensuring the facts came out.

I loved how certain traits I enjoy in both Arend and Kennedy writing separately were also evident in this story. First was the use of supporting characters and how they aren’t quite as they seem on the surface. They provide a lot more than a foil for the main characters and all of the interactions were a lot of fun to read. The joking and friendship between everyone associated with DreamMakers had me giggling and remembering similar feeling episodes with my co-workers in the past. I also loved the “girl talk” and how their circle expanded to include newcomers because it provided a nice balance to the “shop talk.” Second, was the sheer temperature and sexual tension between the main characters. There was a sense of freedom and openness between them and I loved how Jack never tried to make Pepper feel ashamed of her past or what she wanted to try. I really liked how Pepper never really tried to make Jack think she was sheltered but instead demonstrated that she was a woman who knew her mind. Arend and Kennedy didn’t stint on the heat even after Pepper and Jack’s first encounter. If anything they turned it up as the story progressed while continuing to keep the other threads going.

Love is a Battlefield was a great read I am glad I ended up saving. Jack and Pepper along with their friends and DreamMakers made me laugh, giggle, and turn on the fan. I can’t wait to see what Arend and Kennedy have in story for the last partner. I also have to admit I am hoping they decide to keep going because so many of the supporting characters strike me as ones who could certainly keep my attention.

I give Love is a Battlefield an A

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By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

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