A Habitat for Humanity project that erects more than walls…
The word “nail” has so many meanings:
Ainsley’s manicured nails belong in the Museum of Modern Art.
The fashionista hammers nails at Habitat for Humanity.
She desperately wants to nail Owen Phillips.
Unfortunately, she mistakenly thinks he’s gay.
Owen’s never-ending divorce has taken a turn from messy to downright vindictive. Yearning for the simpler things in life, like working with his hands, he joins a Habitat build. Turns out he also wants to work over Ainsley Hall…but the confusing bombshell flirts blatantly with other men.
When Ainsley discovers Owen’s true sexuality, their mutual attraction ignites, but he hasn’t shared the extent of his divorce drama. If he can’t disprove his ex’s false allegations, it will take more than hammers and nails (and nailing studs) to keep their walls from caving in.
Can I gush? I think I might have to gush. Stud gets all the stars. I enjoyed this book so much, it’s hard for me to put into words. Great characters. Great character development. Quick paced, well thought out, smart, funny, brilliant, clever plot. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me happy to know we can read about an alpha male that is REAL, with a beautiful depth to him that made me want to equally hug him tight and jump him. It made me happy to meet a heroine who can be equal parts bombshell fashionista and sassy mouthed with a sense of humor and dirty mind that rivals my own. Someone that I’d want to be best friends with.
It’s not every day that I read a book that makes me want to jump head first into the pages and meet the characters. Frankly, it doesn’t happen all that often. I read books, I love them, I enjoy the story. But, Stud made me want to jump in and hang out with Owen and Ainsley. I wanted to tease them both unmercifully like their friends do because it’s all so natural and from a place of love and affection that we all crave in our lives. Seriously. I think Kelly Siskind could’ve written Stud’s 264 pages with just Owen, Ainsley, and their friends hanging out and I would have been perfectly happy.
Instead, I got that and a wonderful, memorable story about two people who have reached a breaking point in their lives. Stud in book 2 in Siskind’s series about three women who make a wish/resolution on their shared birthday. They have one year to make it come true. Rachel makes her wish come true in book one of the series, Legs (which you should go read, though both it and Stud are easily standalones). Ainsley makes her wish and sets about making it come true. Doing so leads her to Owen on a Habitat for Humanity site and their meeting sets them both down a road to finally confronting their insecurities and giving life-and love-a chance to be all it can be.
Owen and Ainsley are really two of my favorite romance characters ever and they are perfect for each other. Their quick-witted, sarcastic dialogue is so funny and so endearing that I could listen to them for days. Their chemistry is crazy intense and so real that I literally teared up during their first time together. That. Never. Happens. My heart is beating hard just thinking about it. Ainsley’s misunderstanding of Owen’s sexuality allows them to develop a beautiful friendship long before they fall into each other’s arms which is just as important and enjoyable as the romance. Plus, Owen knows how to say just the right thing. Lord, he’s sweet.
Besides the two MCs, my absolute favorite parts of the book were Owen’s brother Emmett and the clever use of Ainsley’s love of crossword puzzles (though her prank on Owen with the aid of her dad is a close runner-up). We met Emmett in Legs as the object of Ainsley’s gay crush. He’s the reason she thinks her gay-dar is broken, but what he brings to this story as (surprise!) Owen’s brother is so much more. I adored him and hope we see more of him as the series goes on (cough-novella-cough). And, Ainsley’s crossword obsession is weaved into the story line effortlessly and cleverly at the beginning of each chapter as Siskind uses homonyms that define construction terms and the next stage of Owen and Ainsley’s journey. Little touches like that pull me in deeper to a story, making me love it even more.
I can’t recommend this book more. I can’t hardly wait for Licks, the final book in the series that comes out in April. There’s a little preview of it at the end of Stud that had me screaming out loud for more like a crazy woman. 5 stars and more for Stud! Heat level: 4 (for out of this world sexual tension and absolutely amazing sex scenes).
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for honest feedback.
Stud was published in January 2018 by CD Books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—gummy bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.
Books by Kelly Siskind:
MY PERFECT MISTAKE, An Over the Top Novel, #1
A FINE MESS, An Over the Top Novel, #2
HOOKED ON TROUBLE, An Over the Top Novel, #3
LEGS, One Wild Wish, #1
STUD, One Wild Wish, #2 (Jan 2018)
LICKS, One Wild Wish, #3 (2018)