Series: King Family #3
Release Date: September 13th, 2022
CW: mentions of cancer, deaths of parents and a sibling by illness or accident (past), discussion of ALS and living with the possibility of looming terminal illness (warnings provided by author at the beginning of the book)
Wicked Witch. Ballbuster. The Terminator. Those are just a few of the nicknames I’ve earned in my professional life. As the executive consultant King’s Creamery has brought in to save them from financial ruin, I have to decide which employees get the ax. I can’t afford to make friends or get chummy with my new neighbors.
Try telling that to the enormous, hunky fireman next door who’s annoyingly determined to make friends with me. It’s not enough that the guy saves kittens, tosses tree trunks around while wearing a kilt, and has a body that makes Thor look puny. He also works out shirtless in full view of my kitchen window. I might be secretly obsessed.
When a newspaper exposé turns the whole town against me, my hot fireman neighbor steps up to act as my protector, and my secret obsession threatens to turn into a case of serious feelings. But I can’t allow that to happen when I’m only here temporarily. I’ve got to keep my walls up to protect the heart everyone thinks I don’t have.
My new neighbor might act like she wants nothing to do with me, but I’ve seen her watching me from her window. I can tell she likes what she sees, and I love pushing her buttons—a little too much. I’ve got no restraint when it comes to this woman.
Now I’m screwed because I can’t get her out of my head. The more time I spend with Maggie, the more I suspect she might be the soul mate I’ve been waiting for all my life.
Of course I’d find her now when I can’t risk letting her get too close. If she does, she might discover the secret I’ve been keeping from everyone.
Soul mate or not, I’ve got to let her go. Even if it kills me.
I’m the kind of Susannah Nix fan that will get excited when the ARC shows up in her inbox, wait a few days to calm myself and then spend four hours in a day ignoring all my chores and work to just read the book in one sitting. And I have zero regrets, because much like the previous two books in this series, Maggie and Ryan delivered a story that was beautiful on every level. From start to finish, this book made me laugh, smile and definitely shed a few tears while also being insanely turned on. Is that concerning?
In Pint of Contention, you’ll find:
✨ strangers and neighbours to lovers
✨ five year age gap (she’s older!)
✨ grumpy x sunshine
✨ hero with golden retriever energy (he’s also a firefighter!)
✨ super tall and hot badass boss babe
✨ loads of family drama
✨ she takes care of him when he’s bedridden
✨ a hero that enjoys going down on his queen
✨ witty banter and fantastic chemistry
✨ ALL THE FEELS
The little snippets and teases we got to Ryan in the first two books of this series really had me craving his story and I never imagined that it would make me feel all the things that this book did! Ryan was a fantastic hero, with a heart of gold and just literally perfection. I loved his relationship with his stepsiblings and the kids in the family, I liked how differently George King comes through in this book from Ryan’s perspective than he did in the first two books. Also, can we please talk about the fact that Ryan finds the most perfect partner in Maggie with her long legs and her tall frame and her take no shit attitude? Let’s not even forget that Ryan is the alpharoll we knew he would always be.
“I’ll handle it,” Ryan said. “Don’t worry about it.”
“You like to handle things, don’t you?”
The corner of his mouth twitched. “And you don’t like to give up control.”
“And yet you keep expecting me to.”
“Maybe I just like to watch you squirm.”
Speaking of Maggie…I am in love. I often find myself loving Susannah’s heroines far more than anyone else and Maggie is no different. She’s 45, divorced and making a name for herself without anybody else’s help. Maggie is badass in every way and she’s so wonderful and strong and powerful and god, she is who I want to be when I grow up. Maggie’s slightly jaded, sure, but she’s also very aware of it and she knows what she can and cannot do and what she’s in the mood for and what she’s not. She’s a tough nut to crack and I loved how strong she stood by her beliefs and her desire to not connect with Ryan or anyone else.
I love a good grumpy x sunshine romance and even more when the heroine is slightly grumpier than the hero. And Maggie and Ryan’s first few interactions will make you laugh and also just make you want to knock some sense into Maggie. But I loved it so much. Their banter and chemistry, the way Ryan poked and teased Maggie just to make her smile—it was all so worth it and so beautiful. It’s a bit of a slow burn, because Maggie doesn’t entirely trust Ryan and she’s also not looking to set down roots in this small Texas town, but the amount of tension and desire that builds between them really gets you going.
“This man…god. This was the problem right here. It wasn’t just the sex that was addictive. That, I could have handled. It was all the small, sweet things he did and said. An achingly gentle touch. A soft, fond look in his eyes. Those heart-melting moments of tenderness when it felt like I meant something special to him.”
While there’s some ‘fake dating’, I wouldn’t really use that as a trope for this book, because there was nothing fake about their first date. Not even for a second! But my god, this book is SO HOT. Ryan worships at the altar of Maggie and drops to his knees every chance he gets for her, because that’s how desperately he craves her. And boy, every time he does that, my Kindle definitely caught fire. Their chemistry was already so explosive and delicious, but crossing that line and just taking things to the next level…oof. *chef’s kiss*
Outside of these two and their relationship, we get to see some interactions with Josie and Nate which has me super excited for their respective books. I also loved seeing more of George—who we all definitely loved to hate in the first two books—and seeing him more from a businessman point of view as opposed to a terrible father. There’s lots of family tension and drama, there’s lots of cute stuff happening with the family too. Tanner and Lucy! Wyatt and Andie! The King’s make me pretty happy, not gonna lie. AND, I am so very ready for all of the books in the Kilt Trip series, because having met these characters, I am so ready for them.
PS. Knowing the title of the next book has me giggling. Susannah’s magic with puns is just A+.
Thanks to Susannah Nix for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.