Title: Dirty Thoughts
Series: Mechanics of Love #1
Author: Megan Erickson
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Some things are sexier the second time around.
Cal Payton has gruff and grumbly down to an art...all the better for keeping people away. And it usually works. Until Jenna MacMillan-his biggest mistake---walks into Payton and Sons mechanic shop all grown up, looking like sunshine, and inspiring more than a few dirty thoughts.
Jenna was sure she was long over the boy she'd once loved with reckless abandon, but one look at the steel-eyed Cal Payton has her falling apart all over again. Ten years may have passed, but the pull is stronger than ever... and this Cal is all man.
Cal may have no intention of letting Jenna in, but she's always been his light, and it's getting harder to stay all alone in the dark. When a surprise from the past changes everything, Cal and Jenna must decide if their connection should be left alone or if it's exactly what they need for the future of their dreams.
So many dirty thoughts, so little time... Grease monkeys have never been quite as appealing as Cal Payton is in Dirty Thoughts, the first book in a new series that I'm going to need more of. Like, now.
After ten years away, Jenna MacMillan is back in Tory, back in the driveway of Cal Payton's garage. And back to making the gruff, stoic Cal feel those "fucking feelings", it would seem.
A decade has changed both Jenna and Cal, but the obstacles that broke them apart all those years ago are still there -- and Cal doesn't think he has what it takes to be all he once promised Jenna he would be.
But when his world is rocked by unexpected news, Cal finds his walls crumbling and his heart hoping that his Sunshine can bring him back into the light.
I think if someone were to ask me my favorite type of romance, that second chance romance would be my answer. Because when done right, they're hopeful, emotional, heartbreaking and heartwarming, and the existing connection between the characters is enough to make you fall in love with them (and them with each other) quickly and effortlessly.
Dirty Thoughts was done right. So right. Cal and Jenna were utterly lovable; from the first page to the very end, I was hooked on their story and I felt all the feels. And they all played across my face. I smiled and frowned and shuddered and shook. I wanted to cry for what all of these characters were feeling and I wanted to take my car to be serviced by Cal. (And if he wanted to service me too while I was there...I'm good with that!)
I loved the Bowler University series, in which Cal was a minor character (this book can be read standalone, FYI), and all that made that series so much fun is present here too. Playful interactions between the characters, a bit of intrigue, some very sexy times that invoked the Dirty Thoughts from the title, and writing that draws you in until you wish you were a part of this world.
I can't wait for the next book in this series. I need more dirty in my life. Right. Now.
~ Review by Beth
A gigantic HELL YES to the gruff, sexy mechanic, please! Extra bonus points that he has a ginormous…heart, and a velvety soft… underbelly (where did you think I was going to go with those adjectives? Dirty, dirty.) Speaking of dirty – there’s plenty of that, too. And it is hot. Steamy hot. SO, steamy hot with a gruff, sexy mechanic... Do I even need to write more words?
We first met Cal as Max’s ornery big brother in Make it Right. I somehow didn’t know this was a spin-off series, and was so happy to get to see Max and Lea again! Cal is the caretaker for his brothers and a lifetime in that role has made him tired, tough, and world weary.
Jenna is sweet, patient, and smart. Cal and Jenna dated as teenagers and it didn’t end well. When Jenna shows up back in town ten years later, the two discover that all the time and distance in the world wouldn’t be enough to douse their spark.
These two together are just… heartwarming, and sexy. All the feelings. “Fucking Feelings.”
The relationship between the Payton brothers is also a key theme in this book. I love how Ms. Erickson writes family. These boys pull no punches and give each other Hell, but they love the crap out of each other, and it is impossible not to love their whole dynamic.
Ms. Erickson has a gift for writing heartwarming, sexy love stories that make me laugh out loud. She captures the sometimes quirky, sometimes awkward, sometimes panty-soaking and sometimes heartbreaking stages that real life relationships go through, and then adds elements like a tattooed, sexy mechanic just to kick things up a notch.
The end result is that my family was abandoned for the day it took me to read this book, but it was so completely worth it. I cannot WAIT for Brent’s story.
~Review by Shelly
My first stories written in crayon-scrawl on loose-leaf notebook paper were about my childhood pet — a deaf cat with dandruff. And after covering real-life dramas as a journalist, I decided I liked writing my own endings better and switched to fiction. My romance novels full of humor and heart are a far cry from those early scribblings about my hygiene-deficient pet.
I live in southern Pennsylvania, with my husband, two kids and two cats. I like a good pint of beer, a greasy bacon cheeseburger, homemade mac and cheese, and a great book with a happily ever after. When I’m not tapping away on my laptop, I’m probably listening to the characters in my head who just. Won’t. Shut. Up.