Thursday, April 11, 2019

Hired by Zoey Castile

Hired by Zoey Castile
Release Date - February 26, 2019
Publisher Website - Kensington Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  231 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
For a man who makes his living pleasuring women, what happens when the only pay-out worth having is love? 

Faith Abigail Charles has always done the right thing. So when her mother runs for mayor of New Orleans, Faith puts her law career on hold to help her win. But when tensions run high, Faith trades one kind of heat for another--in the arms of a hard-bodied stranger. He's everything a woman dreams of in a lover. So much so that her one-night stand turns into two, then three, then four . . .

For Aiden Rios, meeting smart, sexy Faith feels like fate. After being ditched by his client in the Big Easy, the high-paid male escort needs a little company himself. Aiden knows he'll have to come clean about his line of work, and he plans to--right after another taste of Faith's sweetness--and another and another. . . . Until a chance meeting with his client leaves Aiden exposed--and Faith shocked and hurt. Now the hired hottie must show Faith that the love they share is bigger than the scandal threatening to destroy them . . 
I went to visit New Orleans last year and immediately wanted more books set there. I read the synopsis of this book and immediately knew I had to read it. It's a sexy, fun read that highlights the less well known side of New Orleans in a way that ignites wanderlust and provides a satisfying romance read.

The New Orleans locations used in this book are not the typical tourist hot spots that you would expect. They are more off the beaten path and showcase the heart of New Orleans. It's the kind of book that makes you immediately want to book a flight. New Orleans has a vibe all its own and Zoey Castile makes full use of this fact. It is also a setting I hope to see more of. Its rich history and culture make it an obvious choice, and this book makes full use of its many charms. It does manage to incorporate a few touristy traditions, like Aiden's love of Hurricanes, but those feel authentic to the story and not like a box being checked off.

Faith is a women who lives her life based on the expectations of others. Her mother is in politics and that comes with some clearly defined behaviour. Faith thinks of others before she considers what she wants. This book, in many ways, is her coming into her own. Her daring to make decisions and choices for herself. We get to see her take this journey that is inspired by the whirlwind romance she has with Aiden. She's a character who is instantly recognizable and I loved that she learns to do things on her own terms.

Aiden is a hot mess. He's lost his way and cannot seem to find the way back. He's the kind of guy who floats through life with everything kept at a surface level because anything more serious would crumble his carefully constructed defense mechanism. His brokenness reacts to Faith's own baggage and the sparks fly. Aiden's character arc to becoming a better man (with a little help from his Mayhem friends) is one of the best parts of this book and its heart.

The romance is steamy. There is a touch of exhibitionism at play with the couple unable to keep their hands off each other even in public. The all consuming, got to have you now, chemistry is matched by the genuine emotions that are written into their love story. Their banter adds another layer to their scorching chemistry. The end part of this novel is pretty predictable if you are familiar with romance tropes, but the characters made it feel fresh and fun.

Aiden and Faith both have side plots that are not connected to the main romance. It's their own personal baggage that they are bringing to the table. It impacts the romance, but mostly aids in the character arcs. Faith's relationship with her mother, and how it has impacted her life is the driving force behind her part of the story. Aiden's past mistakes weigh heavily on him and making right on those mistakes defines a large part of what he has to work through to find his happily ever after. This allowed both of the characters to feel more defined even though the primary focus is the romance.

Those who read romance know that this will end up in a happily ever after. Faith and Aiden's story wraps up in such a satisfying way. It is perfect for their story and who they are as characters. There are elements that needed to be included for them to have a happy ending with each other and I was thrilled to see them tied up just as nicely.

If you read and loved Stripped you'll definitely want to read Aiden and Faith's story. It is the kind of book that is a delight to read and I think will appeal to anyone who loves romance. It has got an incredible location, plenty of steamy scenes, and character side plots that only add to the romance being woven. 

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