KISS ME, SWEETHEART (Something Borrowed #2) by Codi Gary


The bridesmaids and groomsmen for hire at Sweetheart, California’s Something Borrowed have the cure for celebrity wedding headaches. But even a job that’s strictly business can lead to the real thing . . .


Rylie Templeton had big dreams, until she quit culinary school to take care of her father and signed on with Something Borrowed. Suddenly years have gone by and she’s still a bridesmaid-for-hire, with her idea to open a gourmet bakery on the back burner. Scoring a high-profile wedding could help turn her life around, if only she didn’t have to share the spotlight with her coworker, the insufferable—and undeniably gorgeous—Dustin Kent.

Instructed to make it work, Rylie plunges into the wedding festivities with Dustin by her side. If only she could convince him to turn his spectacular charm on someone else! But the enigmatic, reformed playboy has his own ideas about romance, and they all include Rylie. As the nuptials get closer, Rylie realizes that Dustin’s wooing is actually working, and that the two of them might make a good team in more ways than one . . .


I was first introduced to Dustin in the first book in the Something Borrowed series, DON'T CALL ME SWEETHEART and honestly, I wasn't very intrigued by the idea of him finding love. He was an arrogant, entitled millionaire who was more than a bit of a manwhore. Some bits of that jackassery can still be found in the beginning of KISS ME, SWEETHEART, but when you start to see what has made him the way he is and the way in which he grows to care for Rylie, you kind of fall for the whole package anyway. You see a very different side of Dustin – one with deep scars and a kind, generous heart. And somehow, the progression from jerk to book boyfriend seems incredibly natural. He won me over more and more with every sweet thing he did for Rylie and his flirtatious attitude became much more adorable when he stopped being indiscriminate with his attention and realized the only woman he wanted to get closer to was Rylie.

Some characters might think of Rylie as a doormat who puts up with abuse and lets people walk all over her because she wants people to like her. I wouldn't characterize her in that way at all. She's kind and loving but she doesn't let Dustin's charm or good looks go to her head like most women in town. She has serious dreams she wants to accomplish and a future she's trying to build. Yes, she was in an abusive relationship but she made the decision on her own that it was time to leave, not knowing where she was going to live. I think that's incredibly brave. She isn't afraid to speak up for her creative ideas with clients and even defends herself physically when she needs to. I think Rylie has too much flair to ever be considered a doormat.

I loved that there was a bit of conflict thrown into the story to help bring the characters together. It wasn't just emotional scars and insecurities being used over and over again to create drama like you find in some novels. That push and pull between the lovers can become a bit exhausting if it's reused too often. Rylie and Dustin have a lot going on in their lives which keeps things interesting but it always feels natural and like it really fits into the story and who they are. It's not just tacked on as filler. I totally misjudged the twist in the story and was actually still genuinely surprised by who was creating all the drama.

I seriously loved reading Dustin and Rylie's story. I still think that the idea for a series that revolves around a bridesmaid rental service is a brilliant one and offers infinite possibilities. I loved getting to see Rylie and Dustin work together on the planning process and being forced to live with each other as well. It gave you so many opportunities to see them interact and grow closer, which I think is part of what made the transition in their relationship so seamless.

If you're looking for a sexy contemporary romance but love 'the reformed rake' trope, KISS ME, SWEETHEART has your name written all over it. It's sweet, fun and an absolute pleasure to read. I couldn't put it down and I'm seriously hoping that this will become an eight book series. At the moment I'm really excited to see Charlie, Dustin's brother, fall in love and fall hard. Can you please get on that, Codi?




An obsessive bookworm, CODI GARY likes to write sexy small-town contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows, and playing with her children. She lives in Idaho with her family.

No comments