Just Say Yes
Strictly Business, Book #2
By Elizabeth Hayley
Author’s Website: http://www.authorelizabethhayley.com
Magazine columnist Quinn Sawyer has always attracted sweet, innocent, and safe men. And something tells her it’s because she’s just as harmless. So when she starts craving a guy with an edge, she realizes she may have to get one for herself.
When her boss asks for a unique pitch, Quinn’s quest to live outside her comfort zone prompts her to suggest an idea that will cause her to break her good-girl rules. And who better than Tim Jacobs to help her push her boundaries? For a while now, Quinn’s had a hot crush on the tattooed executive chef with a checkered past. If anybody can bring out her inner rebel, he can.
It’s no surprise that with every task the two complete, the sparks between them grow more and more intense. Soon there’s no denying the attraction they each feel. But Tim’s troubled past reveals an even tougher edge than Quinn expected—which means for her, falling in love might just be the greatest rebellion of all.
I must say that I was enchanted with the story right from the beginning! Just Say Yes is a love story but I found it to be so much more. Just Say Yes is a story about taking chances.
Quinn’s journey begins on a date. As it turns out…a bad date. On paper Jeremy looks great (actually…so have all her recent first dates) but as the date goes on, Quinn finds out that this middle school band director blogs about restaurants as a hobby. I was ready to scream at Quinn ‘Leave…this guy is not the one for you…’. Really who says the following to the waitress when on a date? Doesn’t Jeremy want to put his best foot forward? :
“I’ll take another Hiney when you get a minute.”
I chuckled when the waitress then asked Quinn:
“Anything for you, miss?”
Beginning to rethink her original vow to remain relatively sober, Quinn considered ordering another drink. The only thing as painful as having to experience this disaster was having to remember it. But ultimately she decided against a refill. Because there was one thing worse than remembering this date: agreeing to another one. And she didn’t trust an alcohol-hazed mind to make sure that didn’t happen.
After this disaster of a date, Quinn worries than Jeremy is just one of a string of bad dates (with dorky mama’s boys) and that is there really anyone out there that is right for her? Quinn is in a rut, always the good girl, doing what is expected of her. She needs to get out of that rut!
We get to the crux of the book when at a staff meeting; Quinn speaks up with an idea for an article, which she is later told to run with it:
“A lifestyle column that focuses on doing things that people always wish they’d done but never actually had the guts to do.”…Rita asks”Like what?” Like, uh, like…Asking a stranger on a date, breaking a law…things like that.”
Tim is a friend of Quinn’s and as such has decided upon hearing about her article that he will help her partake in all these rogue activities. Tim is an older man (eight years older) and VERY good looking with a ripped body (according to Quinn). So in the end Quinn agrees to Tim’s help. Throughout the journey, the two slowly become close…until it isn’t slow but HOT. Of all the crazy, outside the box things they do, the hitchhiking scene was one of my favorite. And some of their back and forth banter just cracked me up:
“Just follow my, young grasshopper. I will show you the way.” Time wrapped his arm around her shoulder.
I loved the easy repartee between Tim and Quinn as their relationship evolves:
Quinn states: “See? Romantic.” “I am good, aren’t I?” “At something,” she replied, casting a fleeting glance at the course. “Now, that’s just cruel,” he added as he gave her a quick peck before stepping back.
When dating, one step that is difficult at best is introducing your new guy to your parents. Tim has had a rough life (he is a recovering drug addict) with a checkered past and he feels he is not good enough for Quinn. So needless to say, he goes to dinner at Quinn’s parents’ home with great trepidation. Unfortunately, things go as Tim predicts and following this evening – he pulls away. The angst is great and I could feel the emotional upheaval as Tim breaks up with Quinn. At this point, I just wanted to shake Tim because he was throwing away a great relationship for his insecurities. Quinn is baffled as to why he pulled away, but having gone through all this self-discovery decides that if Time can’t or won’t divulge what the problem is, then she will just have to move on with her life.
The book continually had issues and “real life” problems for Tim, which led me to empathize with him. At times though, I got infuriated with his self-imposed pity party as Tim had managed to stay sober for more than seven years and be a good big brother. Additionally, he was always there for Quinn…so why was he just so doggone hard on himself…he seems pretty terrific to this reader.
I have but one criticism -> at times I found the depth of description of the love scenes a bit much. I personally like a little left to the imagination.
Overall, I found this an engaging and delightfully funny love story. There were, of course, roadblocks and speed bumps on the way to true love…but when isn’t there? The main characters, Quinn and Tim, were well developed with some human frailties. A good second book in this Strictly Business series by Elizabeth Hayley.