by Pippa Grant
Publication: January 7, 2021
Series: Bro Code Series #4
**Jump to Review**
You don’t know me, but you do know me. I’m your neighborhood hot mess single mom, doing my best to keep my head above water while running my little slice of heaven and keeping my youngest from shoving marbles up his nose, which is exactly what he’s doing the first time Levi Wilson, pop star god, world’s sexiest man, and my all-time number one celebrity obsession, walks into my bookstore.
Related: I’m writing this from beyond the grave, because I’ve died of mortification and am now residing in an alternate universe.
I have to be.
Because Levi Wilson came back.
And we had a moment.
Like, a moment moment. The kind that makes me remember that adult pleasure isn’t all about hoping the lock holds in the bathroom so your kids don’t interrupt on the rare occasion you feel like taking an extra-long mommy-time shower.
So when he proposes a no-strings fling?
Count. Me. In.
Thrill of a lifetime, right?
Surely, nothing will go wrong…
The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob is a rockin’ fun, sexy romantic comedy featuring a celebrity panty-melter who doesn’t know what he’s been missing, a sassy single mom hanging on by a string, three adorable children who would never burst in on a woman when she’s on a toilet (ha!), and shameless ovary-busting moments between a guy who never thought he’d be a dad and a family who thought they got along just fine without him. It stands alone and comes complete with a happily-ever-after (though you’d never go wrong to read the other Bro Code series books first).
Bro Code Series
(click for Goodreads link)
EXCERPT from The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob
One day. I would like to go one single day without someone in my orbit making a poor life decision.
“Stop squirming,” I order my four-year-old son, who should be at preschool, but who’s been banished for the week because of lice.
Heaven forbid we have one issue at a time.
Adding to my list of issues? Being that mom who can’t get her shit together while Levi Flipping Wilson is watching. And not only watching, but actively engaging in trying to help. “Hey, bud, I bet I can hold still longer than you can. Wanna see?”
I know my agenda on any given day will include interruption for something my children do that I never would’ve expected in a million years, but that’s a lot easier to deal with when I don’t have an audience.
Especially an audience made up of one famous man whose songs get me through the day—and night—when I don’t have enough free focus to read or listen to an audiobook, and who keeps stealing glances at me like he’s trying to figure out what kind of rabid creature I am. Normally, customers aren’t allowed back in the stockroom with me, which is where I dragged Hudson when I realized what he’d done to his nose, but leaving Levi out there with the customers who’d figured out who he was seemed like a bad idea.
Especially when his date skewered me with a look that clearly said get him out of here or I’ll burn this place down.
It’s a bookstore.
Not taking chances.
Especially if there was a reason they were looking at maternity and early childhood development books. His date doesn’t look pregnant, but god knows that’s when pregnancy is hardest.
Hudson finally stills, and I manage to smear a little more Vaseline gently around his nostril. “How did you get a marble in your nose?”
“I pushed hard.” He beams. “I gots stars in there too.”
I squeeze my eyes shut and count to two, because I know if I get as high as three, he’ll find a way to suck the marbles deeper into his sinus cavities, and I don’t know how a doctor will get that out without having to cut his nose open, and oh my god, he’s four and he’s about to be disfigured for life because I thought he’d actually sit still and listen to Yasmin reading books for neighborhood storytime while I re-stocked a few shelves.
“How many stars?” I inquire through clenched teeth.
“Four. Or maybe seven. Or maybe one. I forgets.”
“You are so lucky you’re cute.”
“Do you have a vacuum?” Levi asks.
I twist my head to gape at him.
He shoots a help? look at his date, then shrugs at me. “If he won’t blow it out, maybe you can suck it out. Like with one of those sucky tools the dentist uses.”
“That’s…possibly not a terrible idea.”
“Happens on occasion.” He grins, which makes my heart basically stop because he’s stupidly gorgeous.
I could stare at him all day, but I have a preschooler with marbles up his nose to attend to.
“Mama,” Hudson says, “look.”
He scrunches his nose, which makes his nostrils swell, closes his mouth, and blows, and one shoots out and lands on Levi’s shoe.
My son has just snotted my favorite musician’s Italian leather loafers.
“I win! I holded still!” He breaks into his preschool dance routine, but the poor kid got his moves from me, which means to a casual observer, he probably looks like he’s having a seizure while choking on a piece of gum and tripping over barbed wire.
Levi Wilson, however, is not fazed. He squats down to Hudson’s level. “Rematch.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pippa Grant is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes romantic comedies that will make tears run down your leg. When she’s not reading, writing or sleeping, she’s being crowned employee of the month as a stay-at-home mom and housewife trying to prepare her adorable demon spawn to be productive members of society, all the while fantasizing about long walks on the beach with hot chocolate chip cookies.
**I was provided a copy of the book by Give Me Books as part of the promotional campaign. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**
In prior posts, I’ve gushed about how much I enjoy Grant’s books. They’re hilariously absurd with a lot of heart, and there is more than one of her male leads I will gladly accept as my book boyfriend–Beck Ryder currently reigns supreme. The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob and Levi is not an exception to this. Surprisingly, it started off relatively tame. (I KNOW RIGHT?!) No burning fires, no jilted brides, and no kidnapping. (WHAT?!) It was sweet, saccharine even, and I found myself “teeheeing” within the first few pages of the book.
Grant sure knows how to capture the feelings of meeting an idol you adore…in the most mature, non fangirl way of course…of course. Okay, there is inner fangirling (just breathe) and also the horror when sh*t hits the fan at the same time. HA. She manages to get in some hilarious moments throughout the book, but I liked this book particularly for its heart. I don’t know how she does it. Just when I think I’ve read all there is, Grant concocts something that makes me laugh or something that turns me into a puddle of goo.
I enjoyed the chemistry between Levi and Ingrid. Ingrid’s kids are her world but they can be a handful. Levi is patient and adores her kids. Ingrid isn’t as confident in herself as she used to be, but Levi looks at her like she’s the best thing in the world. (Sigh…Can someone look at me like that?) It isn’t a passionate, off the charts whirlwind romance. It’s better. It’s the kind that seeps into your skin and crawls into the corners to fill the holes you didn’t know you had. Yup, I’m pretty sentimental so there were quite a few times that I had to dab my eyes.
If 2020 was a difficult year, and you’re looking for something to help you start 2021 on a happy note, pick up The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob. While #4 in the Bro Code Series, it can be read as a standalone but you’d be doing yourself a favor in reading all the books. (Book boyfriend Beck Ryder’s book is America’s Geekheart, Bro Code #2)