Dillon Alexander has been Kit Derby’s nemesis since third grade, when he beat her in the school spelling bee. They’ve been competing ever since, driving each other to be the best at everything from science fairs to bake sales. While working together one night during their senior year, they stopped bickering long enough to share an emotionally charged kiss. But a tragedy that same night left them both racked with guilt, driving Dillon out of town and leaving Kit determined to keep her distance.
Now an emergency room physician, Dillon has returned to their hometown of Chance, Nebraska. Soon he and Kit fall back into old habits, sparring in public while trying to stay out of each other’s arms. But when a blizzard traps them overnight at Kit’s grandmother’s farmhouse, the real competition begins: Who will be the first to give in to the feelings they’ve denied for a decade?
**Note: I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Turned Up is the third book in Erin Nicholas’ Taking Chances series. Admittedly, I have not read the previous two books, but that didn’t stop me from getting totally invested in Dillon and Kit’s story from the second I picked up this book.
There are few things I like better in a romance than two characters with strong, but likeable personalities. And Turned Up ratchets it up even more, by giving us two characters who are not just strong and likeable, but compassionate, competitive and crazy…for each other. The beauty of this book for me, was how it got me to root for each character individually—most of the time when they were going back-and-forth with each other—but how ultimately my investment in them separately, made me feel personally victorious when they finally ended up together.
If you like to feel like you’re a friend of the characters, rooting them on from the sidelines, this book is for you!
I loved Kit from chapter one. She was smart, confident, and competitive in the kind of playful way that makes a woman attractive and awesome, not bitchy or bratty. So often, strong female characters are written as icy or stuck-up, and from hello, I never felt like Kit was either of those. In fact, the more you get to know Kit, the more you like her. Not only isn’t she either of those things, she’s the exact opposite—having dedicated her life to helping others and making her town a better place. The fact that Dillon is part of the reason for that, doesn’t bother me, because ultimately, we all have those people in our lives who push us and make us better, Kit’s just happens to be a guy, and as it turns out, a good one, worthy of everything Kit has to offer. It also doesn’t make Kit any less badass and awesome because a guy makes her better, which can often be the way females are written, but not here! Erin Nicholas does a fantastic job writing a female character who is awesome and realistic, which makes Kit even easier to identify with and invest in. In my opinion.
Dillon pissed me off at first. Though I knew deep down, there was a romantic reason for his ruffling Kit’s feathers, I still kind of wanted to smack him a few times early on. But the more you get to know him, the more you get to love him. Which, if I had to imagine, is how Kit ended up falling for him too. He’s a genuinely good guy, there is absolutely nothing that turns up, which ever makes me question his genuine goodness. And that he appreciates a woman who can push back and keep him on his toes? Well, if Kit ever wants to get rid of him, she can send him my way. Because, yes please.
And the ending? Well, I won’t give it away, but it’s my romance-reading happy place. A poetic circle, bringing us back around to a scene similar to where we met the characters. Except now both our characters have grown, they are the same, but changed, and because of that, the stakes are now different. Erin Nicholas does such an amazing job with her characters, that by the end, the stakes are personal and the reader needs a happily ever after just as much as the characters.
I highly recommend this book if you enjoy spunky, strong characters and slow, steamy relationships that come to a boil at just the right time. The one thing I struggled with, personally, was the point of view the book was written in. Third person, dual point of view is always a little tricky for me to wrap my head around in the beginning, and that was no different here. This is obviously a personal preference, and didn’t take away from how invested I was from the start. In fact, I never once wanted to put this book down, even at two-thirty in the morning, when I knew my alarm was going to sound in less than four hours. Plus, even with this one caveat, as soon as I finished this book, I went to purchase the first two books in the Taking Chances series to read on an upcoming vacation, because now I just have to know about all the Chance residents and friends!
If you’re considering purchasing a romance, I would definitely recommend this one. Links to purchase Turned Up are below for your convenience. (Note: These are NOT affiliate links, and I do not earn any money if you use them.)
If you don’t want to purchase yet, you can always add Turned Up to your Good Reads list here:
If you’ve read Turned Up, let me know what you thought in the comments below! Or if there is another book you’d like me to review, let me know there too!
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