Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: New Adult Romance/Comedy/Relationships
Approximate word count: 90-95,000 words
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“Beth Matthews is a Southern California girl, born and raised. She's a total geek, a movie buff, and a mediocre swing dancer. She lives in sunny SoCal with two of the neediest housecats on the planet. She also does freelance editing on the side if you're an indie author looking for someone to read your books."
“Lucy York is an aspiring mechanical engineer working as a shot girl serving watered-down drinks to drunken frat boys at Jezebel’s Bar & Lounge. The job isn’t so bad—it pays her bills, and she’s managed to make a surrogate family for herself at the bar. But now she’s ready to spread her wings and fly north to attend a university and, maybe, distance herself a little from the all-consuming social scene at Jezebel’s.
Then her boss hires a new bouncer, Norm, a literature dork who seems like everything a bouncer shouldn’t be: tall, gangly, sweet (and, you know, named Norman). But as she gets to know him, ol’ Norm turns out to be everything Lucy never knew she wanted and the best friend she’s ever had. He’s not a bad bouncer either.
One obstacle to their happily ever after: the owner has a strict no-dating rule for employees. If anyone at Jezebel’s finds out she’s dating a bouncer, Lucy will lose her job, her surrogate family, and the money she needs to go to college.
But, if she loses Norm, is she losing her best chance at happiness?”
Lucy York is intelligent, beautiful, and commitment phobic. Her mother left when she was very young, so she was raised by her doting father. The problem was that he passed away, from cancer, just after she graduated from high school. She has been putting herself through a two-year college course in hopes that she can transfer to Berkeley to finish her college requirements. She has the math down solid, however, it’s the English course she has put off till the last because she doesn’t feel she is as strong in that class.
The owner of Jezebel’s, Hank, has become like a surrogate father to Lucy. He helps look after her when she needs help and never likes any of her boyfriends. He is also a large muscle bound bouncer at the club and has a strict “no dating policy” between any of the employees.
Norm has graduated from college and has taken a couple of years off to decide what exactly he wants to do with his life now. His father wants him to pursue a career in Literature academia, Norm wants to become an author of science fiction. In the meantime he needed a job to get his car out of the repair shop and his roommate, Zack, needs help with the rent. If he hadn’t gotten this job at Jezebel’s he would have had to flip burgers. His first night on the job he was immediately attracted to Lucy.
Ms. Matthews does a nice job introducing all of her characters, even the supporting players. The dialogue is realistic and believable. The relationship between Lucy and Norm develops quickly, they have great chemistry together and complement each other well. However, Lucy is fraught with anxiety about getting caught dating Norm, so she basically ignores him at work. This is a huge problem for Norm because he keeps getting mixed signals from her. He tries to be understanding of her mood swings. Norm wants to level with Hank and tell him the truth about their relationship, but neither one of them can afford to lose their job. On top of all of this Norm is under a lot of stress with his writing and his dysfunctional family.
I did find this an enjoyable read, however, I encountered proofing errors that got on my nerves a little more than usual. There were several missing words as well as wrong words used: such as door mouse, instead of dormouse; …a hunted look, instead of a haunted look; …thread of desire would all through her, instead of wound all through her; …would have sent her heart with fear, instead of wrenched her heart with fear. Needless to say I encountered several awkward sentences. I think this story would profit from another round of editing. It is worth it.
Love’s Last Call is book 1 in the Ladies of Jezebel's series. There is graphic sex described as well as adult language.
On top of what I mentioned above, I believe Lucy was called Nicola once. Nicola, I learned is a character in another book.
Rating: *** Three stars