Lovers to friends to lovers…could it get any more complicated?
One thing Carissa Brandt knows: spontaneity always gets her in trouble. Still, she’s gone and jumped head first into an impulsive summer renovation project with her fingers crossed. When her contractor turns out to be a cheat, it seems her only lifeline is the proffered hand of Josh Hudson—the sexy Marine who left her aching for more than their single night together three years ago.
Josh has two hard and fast rules: never mix business with pleasure and don’t look twice at women his friends have dated, much less loved. It makes life in a small town simple—or it would, if he wasn’t harboring a secret with the potential to destroy his good name and the reputation of a woman he can’t get out of his head.
When Carissa finds herself in a bind, Josh’s integrity—both personal and professional—won’t let her fail. Will working together finally extinguish the attraction lingering between them? Or will the smoldering embers of their passionate rendezvous ignite all over again and set aflame the friendships they cherish the most?
Warning: This book contains a hella-sexy, inked up hero, a spunky heroine who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, smokin’ hot sex, and enough swearing to make your momma blush. For readers 18+
Worldbuilding: This story takes place in the little town of River Bend where everyone is in everyone else’s business. I really liked that everyone was there for everyone else but that also contributed to the issues between Carissa and Josh.
Characters: The main characters in this novel are Carissa Brandt and Josh Hudson. Carissa is in the middle of flipping a house and is thinking that she bit off more than she could chew. But in walks her knight in shining armor aka Josh Hudson, to save the day. Unfortunately, the more she is around him the more she wants to take their friendship to the next level to work off some of that off the charts sexual tension. But in a small town like this secrets never last for long and a friends-with-benefits arrangement isn’t something you can hide for long either. Can Carissa keep her feelings out of their secret arrangement? Or will their emotions get the best of them and ruin the fragile friendships they have with others?
Plot: This is mainly a romance between Carissa and Josh. There is a thriller element but it seemed to compete with the issue between the main couple’s relationship and how they thought the town would think about them.
Writing: This novel is written in third person points of view of Carissa and Josh. It is the first novel in the River Bend series, which features a different couple in each book.
Curb Appeal: I like the cover, even if it’s a little run of the mill. The blurb gives a little background on the characters but does leave out some of the main plot points in the story.
Ultimately: I liked the story but the whole “bros before hoes” issue dragged on too much for me. I didn’t understand why it was such a conflict when most of their friends didn’t care about Clarissa and Josh’s relationship one way or the other. All in all, if you are in the mood for a hero who is tired of fighting his feelings and a heroine who just wants to finally make herself happy, then come check out Can’t Shake You!!!!
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