Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I have to be honest. I found Tessa Layne about a year ago when she was releasing her Bad Boys series (Mr. Pink, Mr. White, etc.). With the first two books of that series, she grabbed my attention, namely because the point of view she takes with that series is mostly elaborated through her heroes. I find that intriguing given that, oftentimes, the heroine’s voice or a third person point of view dominates romances. Even more, I find your capacity to capture a masculine point of view impressive. That’s often my biggest criticism of romances. Just as male writers struggle to capture the voice of women in romance or fiction, I believe female writers have the same struggle. However, Tessa Layne’s depictions read as authentic.
Unfortunately, due to timing restraints, it has been some time since I’ve read Layne’s books. Until now. The Pu$$y Magnet, the first full book of her Titans of Tech series, hit my Kindle, and I dove deep into its story. This series is interesting because there are so many elements to it. Firstly, this series follows a group of men who either work together in a lucrative business with a multi-faceted profile. They also row together bringing in an oft-neglected sport to romance. Layne’s series, more specifically, Pu$$y Magnet, has this manner about it that offers you something different with the turn of each chapter. After reading this book, there are some decided reasons why readers should spend their hard-earned money on this book to read over a weekend:
- I love a reticent heroine. What I mean by that is a heroine who does not readily fall into a love relationship with the hero of the story. This is the case with Mariah “Sparky” in Pu$$y Magnet. Yes, she is attracted to the hero of this book, Harrison Steele. Yet, Harrison is the requisite playboy, bedding anyone in the vicinity of him. As such, Mariah fights against her attraction to him, not readily falling into it. She makes Harrison work for it. Even more, she is a Latina (we need more representation in romance), she is incredibly hardworking, and she is the perfect match for the promiscuous Harrison. She challenges him in ways no other woman challenges him, even beyond being the coxswain for his rowing team.
- Harrison makes this book light. In fact, Layne takes liberties with this book, ascribing chapters from the perspective of <cough cough> Harrison’s male anatomy. Yes, there is tension between Mariah and Harrison, but given the bet between these two and those chapters that interrupt their burgeoning dalliance, you cannot take this book too seriously, which I find important for today’s world where everything is so serious. As a hero, Harrison is wealthy, handsome, charming, and a bit muddled by Mariah, and that makes for a compelling characterization for Layne’s readers.
- This romance feels initially like a hate-to-love story in the sense that Mariah challenges Harrison to become a better man, even though she doesn’t necessarily intend it that way. Again, the dichotomy of their attraction for each other and their frustration towards each other compels you forward into their story.
- And simply, learning little bits about the other Titans of Tech makes you see the opportunities for Layne’s future books. It feels as though you’ve begun a “family” romance series with the ways that these men exist in each other’s worlds. Pu$$y Magnet feels as much of an introduction to this series as it reads like Harrison and Mariah’s love story.
If I have any criticism of Pu$$y Magnet, it would be the quick fall into love for Harrison. For someone who has lived life as a playboy for many years, his adoration for Mariah and acceptance of her for a relationship reads unevenly. Additionally, Mariah “Sparky’s” challenging plot point towards the end is underdeveloped. Layne should have spent a bit more time developing that part of her story.
There is something light about Pu$$y Magnet from its title to its points of view to the characterizations of its hero and heroine. I didn’t realize that my heart would feel light when I finished the book, but it turned out to be the perfect respite from a life that feels all too heavy right now. If you love steam, sass, and everything in between, then Tessa Layne’s Pu$$y Magnet is the book for you.
In love and romance,