Review: Takes Two to Tackle by Jeanette Murray (Santa Fe Bobcats #3)

Note: This ARC was provided by Penguin Group (Berkley, NAL/Signet Romance, DAW) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Stephen Harrison is finally out of rehab but he's no longer the buff football player he was prior to his stint. He's lost weight and is still dealing with his craving for alcohol. With his coaches telling him that he needs someone to keep his sobriety in check, but Stephen doesn't want to work with a life coach and quickly tells them his girlfriend will be his sobriety coach. Only Stephen doesn't have a girlfriend, which leads him to ask Margaret Logan, his housekeeper to pretend to be his for a period of time. The money that she'll be able to make will help her start her own cleaning business, but she's already tried to tamp down on her crush for her employer before and with them living in the same house and spending more time together, pretending to be in love is becoming all too real for Mags...and just maybe, even Stephen.

Takes Two to Tackle is the third and latest novel in the Santa Fe Bobcats series from author Jeanette Murray. I've been waiting to find out what happens to Stephen Harrison next since he entered rehab in the first book so I was excited to finally get my hands on this newest installment. The struggle with sobriety is a daily one for recovering alcoholics and reading about how Stephen tries to deal with it is sometimes gut-wrenching. He's paired up with his housekeeper Mags Logan, who's worked for him for a few years, and while their relationship is supposed to be merely a business arrangement, the affection and care they have for each other is never forced nor difficult to believe in this story. She's there for him and goes out of her way to provide him with the support he needs, knowing how much he wants to return to his old top form.

Sometimes, stories revolving around fake relationships can get tiresome because it's often the same story line over and over again, but I was never bored with Stephen and Mags's love story even though it did share similarities with books I've read before. I think a lot of it has to do with Stephen being the kind of main character that you become invested in and root for and that Mags doesn't pretend that she doesn't need the money that he's paying her for pretending to be his girlfriend. Just like with the two previous books in the series, the main characters feel as if they're meant to be together, balancing each other out wherever needed. Stephen's sobriety and alcohol addiction are never swept under the rug or minimized, something that I more than appreciated because it gave Takes Two to Tackle some authenticity. 4.5 stars! ♥

Release Date: 15 September 2015

Date Read: 15 September 2015

Learn more about Jeanette Murray here.

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