REVIEW: “The Last Guy” by Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise write a fun Fireball fueled Sexy-Times newsroom Romantic Comedy.  This Rom/Com has witty banter, a rainbows-worth of colorful characters, and main characters who’re head over tea kettle smitten kittens.  A “Toddlers in Tiaras” character named Petal is a wise-beyond-her-years oracle; dispensing advice to the Heroine.  The Hero’s gay brother and the Heroine’s drag queen roommate are cheerfully diabolical matchmakers.  Cade’s the recently hired ex-pro football turned Sports Director at KHOT.  The heroine resents the ease with which he obtained the position.  Rebecca Fieldstone’s a features reporter who’s been at the station for years dreaming of becoming an anchor.  There’s an opening and her goal’s at her fingertips.  Recently some on air issues are diminishing her odds; especially since a younger and thinner new model reporter’s been hired.  Despite her experience the news director seems to be leaning toward giving the incompetent reporter the anchor position.

Rebecca’s covering a children’s beauty pageant.  She’s dealing with over-bearing stage mothers wanting their little darlings to get 15 minutes of television fame.  Rebecca’s tired, hot, and very sweaty in Houston’s heat when yet another mother requests she interview her daughter.  Surprisingly Petal Boo’s exactly what her earnest mother describes, “she’s not like the rest”.  Petal’s quite educated citing “To Kill a Mockingbird”; she also very inspirational.  She tells all of Texas, for the camera, “don’t settle.  You deserve the best, just like me.  Work as hard as you can and have some fun too.”  Petal’s confidence and words resonate with Rebecca.  It reminds her that’s the attitude she needs to have if she wants the weekend anchor position at the station.  Unfortunately, though the story is good, the news director focuses on Rebecca’s too tight skirt, sweaty face, and smudged make-up.  It seems everyone else notices it too.

Her once supportive news director calls a meeting with the production director and Cade, the Sports Director.  Who happens to be on the Board.  The news director’s hypercritical of Becca’s looks suggesting plastic surgery, radical diets, and hinting she looks like a mom.  He states the “powers-that-be” recommend she may be a better fit behind the camera than in front of it.  Becca’s mortified this meeting is in front of Cade and the producer when he should first talk privately to her.  When she runs into Cade she says as much thinking he’s going to agree with the “body shaming”.  However, Cade quickly disagrees saying he should have never been in that meeting.  They talk and she realizes though he may not have journalism experience; he’s not the “dumb jock” she thought.  They come to a truce.

In an effort to cheer Becca up her drag queen roommate convinces her to attend a show she’s performing in.  And drown her sorrows.  Coincidentally Cade’s brother’s celebrating his birthday and begs his brother to join him, and his friends, at a drag club.  After going to an agonizing dinner with his father Cade reluctantly agrees.  To his happy surprise while Becca’s at the bar with Chas; Cade, Trevor and the gang join them.  Trevor’s in a celebratory mood and shots appear and he demands Becca and Cade not be fuddy-duddies and drink.  Fresh shots keep appearing in Becca’s hands.  While Chas performs Becca and Cade are pretty loose and get dancey and touchy. Chas sees this taking the opportunity to play matchmaker coercing the couple into a ride to Rebecca’s coincidentally empty-for-the-evening apartment.  One thing leads to another and a few orgasmic time is had by both.

Things are awkward the next day and Rebecca takes the cowards way out leaving.  The next morning Becca starts anew with a jogging regimen.  Unfortunately she witnesses Cade kissing a beautiful skinny blonde outside his apartment building.  At the morning meeting, assignments are being doled out.  Rather than getting a hard news story Rebecca’s stuck covering a fluff piece at a petting zoo.  She blames Cade because he opened his mouth at the wrong time sticking her with this story.  The zoo it’s more elaborate than Becca anticipated making a potentially great story.  Things are going well and her make-up’s on point.  She has a new shirt that’s not well made but she does a makeshift repair job.  Rebecca makes a last minute decision to include an adorable monkey on her broadcast.  This combined with a lost button makes for a memorable story but “not ready for Prime Time” television.

Getting Rebecca’s in serious trouble.  Not only is the anchor position looking like a lost cause but her job as a reporter’s in jeopardy.  She decides that she needs to focus on her work and not Cade.  She tells him she needs to take a break from him.  Chas puts Becca on an online dating site and somehow ends up on a last minute date.  Cade’s mother decides to play matchmaker and sets up with an old college friend’s daughter.  Again via another coincidence they end up at the same restaurant.  Both Cade and Rebecca’s have absolutely have nothing in common with their dates.  But their dates get along famously.  Again one thing leads to another and Becca and Cade have many orgasms.  Becca gets a serious news story leading to an unexpectedly amazing journalistic coup.  She believes this’ll make her a shoe-in for the anchor position.

However being on the board Cade learns things about staffing changes.  The news producer’s adamant about giving the anchor position to the young, perky and inexperienced new girl.  The board gives him the final word and even though Cade fights it the judgment is made.  Cade must  and he has to make the decision to tell Rebecca sooner or later.  He knows he needs to definitely tell her before an official announcement’s made.  Unfortunately things don’t work out that way and Becca feels as though Cade betrayed her.  She quits the station.  Becca stops all communication with him giving up on him without listening to his side of the story.  They are at an impasse and an end.

“The Last Guy” is funny, sexy, and a little thrilling.  Cade’s my favorite kind of Alpha Hero … a sexy dirty talker.  Grrr!  A little Caveman-ish.  Growly and possessive.  Mine.  Becca’s a Heroine who’s driven, intelligent, and pushed to the edge.  She’s good at what she does and knows it but is hitting the wall of male sexism.  Old white guys looking for younger, skinnier, and perkier women.  Ones who’re willing, and with no self-respect, to do whatever the geezers what to get the job.  Becca learns, from a wise person, that “The dream is not the destination, but the journey”.  And “what good is that if you’re alone”.  Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise write so flawlessly together making this novel wonderfully steamy and entertaining.  The secondary characters are a blast, adding so much color to an already rich read.  “The Last Guy” is a read I definitely recommend.

I’m giving “The Last Guy” 4 Lightning Bolts and a Hurricane Warning

 

This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed.

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