Category Archives: Hot and Hammered Series

Review: Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey

Title: Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey
Hot and Hammered Series Book Three
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 367 pages
Book Rating:

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


In Tessa Bailey’s latest rom-com, two enemies team up to flip a house… and the sparks between them might burn the place down or ignite a passion that neither can ignore! 


Hair, makeup, clothing, decor… everything in Bethany Castle’s world is organized, planned, and styled to perfection. Which is why the homes she designs for her family’s real estate business are the most coveted in town. The only thing not perfect? Her track record with men. She’s on a dating hiatus and after helping her friends achieve their dreams, Bethany finally has time to focus on her own: flip a house, from framework to furnishings, all by herself. Except her older brother runs the company and refuses to take her seriously.

When a television producer gets wind of the Castle sibling rivalry, they’re invited on Flip Off, a competition to see who can do the best renovation. Bethany wants bragging rights, but she needs a crew and the only member of her brother’s construction team willing to jump ship is Wes Daniels, the new guy in town. His Texas drawl and handsome face got under Bethany’s skin on day one, but the last thing she needs is some cocky young cowboy in her way.

As the race to renovate heats up, Wes and Bethany are forced into close quarters, trading barbs and biting banter as they remodel the ugliest house on the block. It’s a labor of love, hate, and everything in between, and soon sparks are flying. But Bethany’s perfectly structured life is one kiss away from going up in smoke and she knows falling for a guy like Wes would be a flipping disaster.


Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey is a sweet and steamy contemporary romance. Although this newest release is the third romance in the Hot and Hammered series, it can be read as a standalone.

Bethany Castle finally gets up the courage to renovate the home she received from her sister’s fiancé. She is a perfectionist whose need to control everything dominates her thoughts and her life.  Although she is afraid of undertaking a project that she knows little about, Bethany is finally (mostly) ready to step out of her comfort zone.

Newcomer Wes Daniel surprises Bethany when he decides to leave her brother’s construction business to work with her. She and Wes have been trading barbs since he moved to town and she is a little hesitant to spend more time with him. Underlying their sarcastic banter lies an increasingly hard to ignore attraction.

Wes is caring for his five year old niece Laura while his sister Becky tries to get her life together after her marriage fell apart. Before coming to Becky’s rescue, the charming cowboy was living a footloose and fancy free life as a bull rider.  Wes is surprisingly settled into his new life and he is enjoying the challenges of working with Bethany.

Wes and Bethany gradually slide into a friendship and romance. Bethany is concerned that her old fears and insecurities will wreck their relationship but Wes is infinitely patient with her. She is beginning to relax and loosen her tight control. Growing up in foster care, Wes has learned to not count on anyone or put down roots. Laura has snuck into his heart and after he and Bethany become involved, Wes is starting to believe it might be time to settle down permanently. But as they enter a new phase of their relationship, will their respective emotional baggage ruin their future together?

Tools of Engagement is a captivating romance with appealing characters and an engaging storyline. Wes and Bethany are a fun and flirty couple who share some scorching hot love scenes. After a conflict threatens Wes and Bethany’s relationship, Tessa Bailey brings this marvelous romance to a heart-melting conclusion. A wonderful addition to the Hot and Hammered series that old and new readers are sure to enjoy.

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