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Always works for me

Cover of Mr. Fixer Upper
A review of Mr. Fixer Upper by Lucy Score

Recently I saw a discussion about themes/tropes/storylines that would be automatically appealing in a book. For a moment I was stumped. Sure I know the kinds of things I look for in books and often can name things that can be dealbreakers. But an automatic appeal? Hmmm. I couldn't think of anything - until someone mentioned competence. And I knew. Yes, yes, yes. Give me a competent protagonist? I'm in. Doesn't even really matter what they're competent at, I want to read about them. Enter Mr. Fixer Upper by Lucy Score.

Paige St. James is a field producer on a reality renovation tv show. As field producer Paige has to be organized, fast-moving and able to handle changing locations, as well as, sometimes, hundreds of people. Of the people she's handling, most challenging is Gannon King. Gannon is the construction half of a brother-sister team who come in, meet with a deserving family, then transform their home into something wonderful. And while Gannon is extremely good at his job as construction manager (and artistic carpenter) he's determined to get a rise out of the always cool and collected Paige. Paige is able to hold onto her temper, barely, when Gannon needles her - mostly because he's so good at his job. But as the team begins their newest season of filming, Gannon and Paige start to realize there is more to one another then they've realized and now the danger is in what they decide to do next.

I loved that Paige was so good at her job and how cool she remains under pressure (competence!). The author uses the fast-paced, on-a-tight-budget, backdrop of a reality show production to add realistic tension to Paige's dilemma as she begins to have feelings for Gannon. I did think the misunderstanding that complicates their HEA was a bit overdone, but appreciated the ways in which these adults talked things through and Gannon's ultimate romantic recovery. I look forward to reading The Christmas Fix which features, Cat, Gannon's designer sister.


Oct 18, 2023