Book Review, Romance Review

Review: Damaged Grump by Nicole Snow

Our meet cute was one big sip of ugly.
He pushed my hell-no buttons, wearing an indestructible smirk.
I offended his warped morals in front of his starry-eyed minions.
Then I got my sweet reward for doing the right thing.
I found out I’d be calling Roland Osprey “boss.”

A filthy rich tabloid king. Emphasis on filthy.
A gorgeous villain who sold his soul—if he ever had one.
A tyrant who stole my sensitive, uplifting music magazine.
Welcome to my bait and switch.

Apparently, disasters come in threes.
His perfect vests that leave me delirious.
The way he stares at my lips—painted for torment with an arsenal of lipstick.
Our shared love for sad songs that makes me cry.
So does the big fat secret assignment he drops on my head.

I hate that he has a good cause.
I wish I could hate the wicked ways he makes me feel divine.
When my guard slips, I’m in free fall.
One all-consuming kiss in an alley seals our epic mistake.
How many times can one damaged grump make me sing the blues?
How do you ever fall out of love with the bad guy?

Callie is moving to Chicago from New Orleans, excited to start her new job as editor of a music magazine. She encounters an insufferable man at the airport and dresses him down in front of his shocked underlings but gets little satisfaction from it. The tabloid press ruined her father’s life and whoever that man is, he’s one of them. Minutes into her first day, the company’s new owner comes in to introduce himself and it’s the gorgeous yet disgusting man from the airport, because of course it is. Not only is he the boss at her dream job, but he has a special assignment for Callie that makes her feel like a bottom-feeding tabloid hack.

Roland realizes his empire isn’t built on ethical journalism, but he’s okay with that because he has a deeper purpose. Everything he’s done is for a very good reason and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him or his methods. Until he meets Callie. They have a lust-hate relationship that drives them both so crazy, they decide to give in for just one night. Except one night isn’t enough and it turns into many more. He’s wrestling with his secret and determined to get revenge on the man who turned his life upside down so Callie’s a distraction he doesn’t need but he can’t stay away.

Curveballs come at them from all sides so nothing is easy and things get between them, but they get a hard-earned HEA eventually. I love these characters and the details of the subplot for Roland’s revenge. Grumpy-sunshine tropes aren’t a favorite but the characters are fantastic and really pulled me in from the beginning. The slow-burn turns the tension up past high and this story is hilarious despite some heavy subject matter sprinkled throughout. This is a fun story I’ll definitely read again. I received an ARC from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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