Cris Reads: MAKE ME (Broke & Beautiful #3) by Tessa Bailey

Construction worker Russell Hart has been head-over-work boots for Abby Sullivan since the moment he laid eyes on her. But he knows a classy, uptown virgin like her could never be truly happy with a rough, blue-collar guy like him. If only she'd stop treating him like her personal hero—a role he craves more than oxygen—maybe he could accept it.
With the future of her family's hedge fund on her shoulders, Abby barely has time to sleep, let alone find love. And her best friend Russell acting like a sexy, overprotective hulk any time their Super Group goes out in public definitely isn't helping her single status. But after a near-tragedy lands Russell in her bed for the night, Abby's suddenly fantasizing about what he looks like shirtless. Chest hair and tattoos—who knew?
As Russell struggles to keep Abby at a safe distance, she begins to see through his tough-talking exterior—and acknowledge her own feelings. Now she's ready to turn the friend-zone into foreplay…and make him lose control.

This is actually the first novel I've ever read by Tessa Bailey (though I've heard great things) and seeing as I'm a huge fan of friends-to-lovers romances and have always had a thing for construction workers, this really wasn't one I could miss. Abby isn't your typical rich girl. She's doesn't flaunt her wealth and doesn't really care about where she hangs out as long as she's with her friends. Friendship and a sense of belonging are the most important things to her and Russell has always been the person with whom she felt them the most. While most people are overly sweet and cater to her, Russell isn't afraid to push her buttons and throw a disapproving scowl her way. And she absolutely eats it up because he's one of the only people who has ever made her feel normal. She knows no matter how much they bicker, he'll always be there to for her.

Russell has had the hots for Abby ever since they first met and their Super Group of friends was formed. Because of the way their friends paired off he always seems to end up with Abby sitting in his lap at social events, drowning him in the feel and smell of her body. Her innocent gestures of affection never fail to turn him on but he keeps a tight lid on his feelings believing that he has nothing to offer a rich, gorgeous girl like her. His own insecurities and painful past keep him for pursuing the love (and passion) brewing between them. 

God, this book is seriously hot! Russell has such a deliciously dirty mind and mouth. As much as he wants to go slow and be gentle for Tessa's sake, their desire just overwhelms them with a need for fast and hard. Russell and Abby not only have amazing chemistry in the bedroom - or against wallsbut a wonderful friendship. The foundation of sweet moments, humor and banter makes their romance so much richer and deeper. Although I was a tad frustrated with Russell for limiting the relationship based on financial status and prejudices which had nothing to do with who Abby really is, he is such a sweet, loving guy that I can't really hold it against him in the end. Abby might be a bit naive and new to the world of friendships and sex but she is far from a pushover and I really loved the way she stood her ground both with Russell and with her family. 

I will definitely be adding the other two books in this series to my TBR list because Tessa Bailey is rocking my contemporary romance world. This book had heart, humor and tons of heat and I can't wait to read more from her. Uptown/Downtown romances are not exactly groundbreaking in the genre but she really gave her characters personality and scars and struggles the reader can really connect to. Plus, shout out for representing Queens! Whoop, whoop! Also, for using the expression "wood for days". Possibly the best, and most authentically Queens way a hero could say that he was constantly hard in the heroine's presence. All the applause emojis for you, Ms. Bailey. EVERY. LAST. ONE. 

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.


  1. Hi Cris :) I'm commenting now even though I have about a fourth of the book to finish - I don't want to forget to visit!

    So far I am LOVING the book! Of course, I've read three-fourths of it, and I'm enjoying it, so I hope the last fourth doesn't take a nosedive. It looks like it doesn't :D So you have not read the first two? I read Need Me (book two) and really did not like it :/ I was going to ask if you'd recommend me read Chase Me (since I didn't like book two but am liking book three), so I will pose this question for the AA ladies when I finish Make Me!

    I'm so glad you loved this book, Cris. Have you read any of Tessa Bailey's Brazen books (Entangled: Brazen being the publisher). Super SUPER good, and very hot! *fans self*

    Fabulous review, Cris! Have a lovely weekend :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books! (fellow AA member)

    1. I actually don't think I've read any of her Brazen books yet. Are there any that you would specifically recommend?