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Hard to Love #2


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Take one outspoken actress, put her under the same roof with an overworked lawyer, and watch the slow burn bring down the house.

A standalone novel.
Books in this series can be read separately and out of order.

Amber Jones is in a pickle. And when I say pickle, I mean a world of trouble.

She knew she shouldn't have gone to her ex's New Year's Eve party. And she reeeaally didn't mean to almost burn down his house.

Now she needs a good lawyer, stat. But where to find one?

Ethan Vaughn is a very busy man.

He really shouldn't have agreed to spring Amber Jones out of jail. As the most sought after lawyer in professional football, he should be focused on representing his NFL clients--not an accident-prone, struggling actress.

Now she's remanded on bail, and living in his house.

The woman is a walking talking disaster. And considering his track record, he needs to stay as far away from this one as possible.

Problem is, he's finally met the one he's willing to risk it all for.

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 11, 2017

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About the author

P. Dangelico

21 books3,516 followers
"If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” ― Elmore Leonard

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USA Today Bestselling author P. Dangelico loves romance in all forms, furry creatures, the NY Jets (although she’s reconsidering after this season), and to while away the day at the barn (apparently she does her best thinking shoveling horse poop). What she’s not enamored with is referring to herself in the third person and social media. Although she was born in Milan Italy, she’s been Jersey Strong since she turned six.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 624 reviews
Profile Image for ✰♊ Angie ♊✰.
327 reviews147 followers
September 12, 2017
Well, it's official.....
I'm a fan of Ms. Paola Dangelico and her delicious weaving of a slow-burn tale.


Since reading Wrecking Ball, I have been itching to get my hands on this book. I'm so glad Ms. Dangelico took the unsolicited advice I offered in my review of Wrecking Ball and focused this story on Ethan and Amber.


Okay... yes, I know... it wasn't me who influenced her to put Ethan and Amber together for Sledgehammer, but I am so glad she did!

Ethan is a hawt-as-hell-with-muscles-to-spare sports attorney with a serious alpha male, protective streak. Be still my heart.


He's pressed and proper and definitely hangs on the "all work, no play" side of life. He's so perfect, in fact, that Amber has officially named him Fancy McButterpants. Imagine how thrilled she is when she finds herself in a jail cell on New Year's Eve with only Fancy to save the day. And, to make life just a pinch peachier... the judge lessens her bail on the condition that she becomes a ward of Fancy McButterpants until her court date in 3 months. Well, my, my, my...


It's a recipe for an enemies to friends to lovers romance, folks... and IT. IS. GOOOOOOD!

That being said... the angst toward the end of this book knocked it down a bit for me. I love some serious angst in a story, but this was a tad too frustrating for my liking. For a bit, I was just pissed off at both of the MCs. Of course, it all worked out in the end and we get our HEA.

This book is a well executed slow-burn told solely from the heroine's POV. It's steamy hot, full of sexual tension, loaded with wit, with well fleshed out characters and the added bonus of catching up with beloved characters from the previous book in this series. I can't wait to read more of this fantastic series by Ms. Dangelico!


Profile Image for Jen .
804 reviews580 followers
September 19, 2017
4.25 Fancy Stars

I’m convinced that men like Ethan Vaughn are put on this planet to make the rest of us feel bad about ourselves. He’s too... perfect.

Amber Jones is having a rough night. On top of finding out her ex-fiance is engaged (at his parents New Years Eve party, no less) she might have overreacted just a scosh and accidentally set their kitchen on fire. Her one phone call from jail leads her to expect her bff will be springing her from the joint. What she gets instead is her yummy frenemy and lawyer extraordinaire, Ethan.

Ethan Vaughn is a bit of a mystery to Amber. Wealthy both from his family and in his own right, Amber pegged him as a spoiled and plastic manho at first sight. When Ethan volunteers to let Amber stay with him as a condition of her bail, she's all but certain the two will strangle each other by the end of the week. Let the fun begin!

Guilty as charged. I name my vibrators after my book boyfriends. If you have a problem with it, get on your high horse and go file a complaint with the Bureau of I Don’t Give A Stinking Shit.

If you read Wrecking Ball, you've met and probably already love both Amber and Ethan. To say I was anticipating this book would be an understatement. I was expecting kind of an Odd Couple situation, but that's not quite what I got. Did Amber try and ruffle Ethan's seemingly unflappable exterior? You betcha. Luckily that quickly turned into something deeper and Amber's snark was matched with equal amounts of connecting between the two.

Sledgehammer is told entirely from Amber's point of view. Normally I miss the dude POV in these stories, but this book was so well done Ethan's thoughts practically reached off my kindle and smacked me, at least where Amber's concerned.

The only thing keeping this book from 5 star rating was the slight lull I felt in the middle. I loved the slow burn pace of the story but I could've used something else in the middle to keep things interesting.

From the moment I first experienced Amber, I knew I wanted her story told and I'm so glad Ethan got to come along for the ride. I'm hoping this isn't the last we see from this group.

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for The Sassy Bookworm.
3,370 reviews2,307 followers
August 29, 2017


descriptionThis is an OK cover. It's fairly generic but the hero does wear a suit, so it's a good representation of him. Good composition and title work as well. The yellow makes the title POP on the black and grey background.description

descriptionThis book is going to be a pain in the ass for me to review. It started off great and it ended great. The middle...not so great. It was funny and charming from beginning to end. The heroine was a hoot. The writing was good. The hero seemed sweet (if a little underdeveloped) but then at 40% I just started to lose interest. This couple hadn't even kissed yet (gotta wait until 53% for that) and nothing was really happening. I was bored. I needed these two to do SOMETHING to move this "relationship" to the next level. Even after the first kiss, we remained stuck in limbo until 73% when they FINALLY get it on.


I am not a fan of a slow burn. Never have been. Never will be. Oh, I can stomach it if there is a lot of sexual tension, but honestly, these two felt more like best buds that found each other attractive than two people who couldn't keep their hands off each other. On top of that this book REALLY needed Ethan's POV badly. Having no idea whatsoever what the hero was thinking or feeling disconnected me from him and frankly, his character felt underdeveloped because of it.

After they finally have sex it did pick back up again. I even shed a few tears near the end. So, the first 40ish% was good. The last 28ish% was good. The middle 30ish% bored me to tears. You can see why finding a fair star rating for this one is a bit tricky for me. Since I did enjoy over half the book, I am going to settle on a 3-Star rating for this one and call it a day.description


Profile Image for Alex ♈.
1,568 reviews1,185 followers
December 18, 2018
3.5 stars

I want to crawl under the bed and weep…

Let’s pretend it’s not my review…

I had very high expectations, I anticipated this book for months… and it was the reason I was slightly disappointed.
Another brushstroke to my critical image of weird reader… After reading and rereading Wrecking Ball, I created Amber’s character in my head. I wrote my Amber in my mind; and when my vision of her didn’t match the book’s character, I was floored.

Isn’t it weird?
Just stop, Alex!

Don’t rely on my opinion. Definitely it’s-me-and-not-the-book case.

In short: I didn’t expect Amber to be so vulnerable and insecure (nothing wrong with being human, but I pictured her stronger/cooler and less affected by the hero and especially by her ex); I didn’t expect her to lust after the hero from the very beginning of the story, and I never expected her to be so obviously jealous. My Amber had a better poker face.
And my Amber was definitely less judgmental/disparaging.

I floved her sassy mouth. I just wish she would also live her attitude.

In my line of work, pretty boys are as common as flies on dog excrement. They’ve never been of any particular interest to me. I place them in the same category as exotic cars – typically useless and generally time consuming because someone’s always trying to jack them.

My favorite one!!!

If you have a problem with it, get on your high horse and go file a complaint with the Bureau of I Don’t Give A Stinking Shit.

Not sure what to say about the hero.
I didn’t understand what was the purpose of showing all these OWs, who apparently semi-stalked him. It didn’t make him more attractive in my eyes…

I hope I’ll stay in the minority here.
I need to reread Wrecking Ball again – flove this book! One of my favorites ever!

Looking forward to Paola’s next book.
And this time I switch off my vivid imagination, and just wait till December.

P.S. I deleted my previous post/pre-review incl. all likes. Fair’s fair!
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,652 reviews3,235 followers
March 10, 2021
4 Slow Burn Dance Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free -Quick Only 99CENTS!!!
In January of 2017, I discovered P. Dangelico and it made me a very happy camper. She started my New Year off to a flying start, reading-wise. In this series Hard to Love, she gave us people who were not the easiest... people who had flaws... and people who loved hard.

In Sledgehammer, she has stayed true to her concept. These two characters may not be the easiest to love, but when they love each other, it is hardcore through and through. This gives us a journey for both characters and journey, we do.

We start in the middle of a huge crisis of circumstances for Amber Jones.
She is an actress/bartender in NYC, has had horrific luck in romance, and feels after all of her life experiences with it...it is right up there with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus when it comes to reality...It just doesn't exist...

Well, on rare occasions, she will say it must...because her best friend found it in the unlikely person of Calvin Shaw, quarterback man mountain. But their love is a fluke of nature and if you look at it too closely, you will be sucked in the black hole of Happily Ever After.

Now, crazy, outlandish experiences are nothing if common for this gal. She has a personality that cannot be contained...and as an actress that is a good thing. She has a deep loyalty to her bestie and they share everything together. Her loyalty also extends to the grandmother who raised her.

Amber's home life was not hearts and flowers and when her mother decided she couldn't be one anymore, Amber went to live with her grandmother. They developed a bond after much teenage trial and error and now with dementia taking her away bit by bit...it kills Amber every time she visits the care facility she is in now. Amber has put her career on the back burner and not pursued her dream the way she should... she will not leave her grandmother to move to Los Angeles... Grannie was there for her when she needed it...and now it is her turn.

Ethan Vaughn is the one you want negotiating your contracts and deals if you are a sports star. He knows all the pitfalls and works to steer his clients, new and established, away from them. He is driven to be the best and someday be the general manager of one of the best football teams out there. He is on his way and by staying true to all the methods he has incorporated into his life... things should fall into place.

Well, that is until the Force that Shouldn't Call To You, Amber Jones...

You see these two met because Ethan manages Calvin and Amber is Calvin's wife's bestie...So when Amber first opened her door thinking it was someone else and saw this Man from GQ in front of her...she sort of had a Brain Freeze from all that sexiness, perfection standing in front of her...

And when she is in sweats, hair sticking out from God knows what thing she had wrapped around her head...She did what she always does when defensive... she becomes this sarcastic, lash-out machine... quips galore...
Ethan just took it all in... which annoyed her even more and their relationship/friendship was off and running. She came up with nicknames to annoy him; he would look at her and handle them all. Neither would ever admit there might be something there... hahaha never.... and that was that.

Until right now...Because once again the forces of evil are aimed at our Amber. She had dropped her last ex... Mr. Wanta Be Director... he wooed her and then did everything he could to change her...

Sounds familiar? So, after all the doubt and emotional backbends, Amber did in this relationship, Amber had had enough... cut him loose. Well, that wasn't how this thing could end... so Mr. Ex dogs her into coming to his family's New Year's Eve party... and unfortunately Amber goes...

With the need to flaunt things in Amber's face, he sets her up to be once again emotionally hurt...and then Like Murphy's Law... everything goes haywire...somehow a kitchen fire happens, Amber is blamed and she is now in the pokey...hoosegow... the big house...Yup, she is in Jail!

Getting her one call, she reaches out to her bestie and who do you think she sends... you got it... Ethan. Amber cannot believe this is happening...can things get any worse...well sort of...

The judge insists Amber be under a sort of house arrest until the trial and Ethan's home is where she is assigned. These two Oil/Water/Opposites will now be roomies and we get the benefit of it.

This book had a lot of charm and over-the-top sarcasm happening. Amber is a huge personality. She is like one of those friends that is an acquired taste... you know she is just so much fun yet you need to be in the right headspace to always appreciate it. You also know sometimes she may be using it as a shield to keep herself protected...Her heart is huge, her ability to love bigger and when she allows herself to feel she is deserving and accepting of it from others... then you see the real person she is...

Ethan is a man who had to overcome a lot as a kid... he wasn't well and when he was finally able to control things... he went about making his body and mind equal... brilliant, beautiful, and solid. He is ambitious...but also so slyly caring and giving... he has been hurt in his last relationship... over it and has a thing for Amber but will not cross the Attorney/Client line.

These two are hot together... before it happens, while it happens and continues to happen. They have their ups and downs... but when it all comes together ... we, again as I said... Benefit.

P. Dangelio has a solid voice, a distinctly smart, sassy style and she gives fun hardcore. I will be curious who else is up her sleeve and Hard to Love...

Wrecking Ball (Hard to Love, #1) by P. Dangelico Wrecking Ball (Hard To Love #1)
Sledgehammer (Hard to Love #2) by P. Dangelico Sledgehammer (Hard To Love #2)
Bulldozer (Hard to Love #3) by P. Dangelico Bulldozer (Hard To Love #3)

~~~~~ Before Reading ~~~~~
So excited to start this...
P. Dangelico bring it on... I am ready :DDD
January 2017
This next entry to the series is called Sledgehammer....
This is PERECT!

Because if this is about Abby and possibly a handsome, dashing attorney...
Then yup,
He will be the willing victim of Abby's...

Sledgehammer (Hard To Love #2)-Publishing 2017

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Optimist ♰King's Wench♰.
1,765 reviews3,851 followers
October 22, 2017
2.5 stars

Talk about a bell shaped read. I had to sit on this one a few days to really think about it. There are things that I liked about it, but the beginning and the end were rough.

Hard to Love is an apropos series title in more ways than one if you catch my drift which made my relationship with Amber… complicated. She’s all bark and no bite, but she has a good heart and she keeps her head in *most* crises. I understand her defense mechanism is to be abrasive and she hides behind it but that does not change the fact that she annoyed me. Often. My annoyance went supernova at the end but I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, we meet Amber in the clink after she’s been arrested for setting her ex’s parents house on fire accidentally, meaning Amber’s a wee bit impulsive. Ethan Vaughn comes to her rescue at the behest of Cam and Cal, who I’m assuming were the MCs of book one with Cam being Amber’s BFF. Almost immediately it was necessary for me to suspend disbelief because the judge makes a stipulation of her release that she live with Ethan.

Alright. Whatever. Pressing on.

Ethan is old money and there’s definitely a Cinderella undercurrent happening that appealed to me. What we get of Ethan I liked, but he is a little cookie cutter, perfect male specimen and whatnot.

Amber narrates this story and she is funny. There were moments when I lol’d at her antics, sayings, nicknames for Ethan and general attitude. The “hot pocket/corn dog” scene made my sides hurt. She’s gaga over Ethan and they begin to engage in the cat and mouse game of taunting each other. They banter. They’re witty. They kind of drive each other crazy. The tension builds. They become friends. He introduces her to his family and p.s. the grandma is a hoot! Their relationship is well developed. It’s good stuff. It had 4 stars in the bag at this point.

It was pretty clear to me that Ethan is head over heels over her even without his POV, so when he suggests they become friends with bennies I was taken aback. I struggled with why he didn’t lay his cards on the table, but the more I pondered his decision the more it made sense. He didn’t think he had another option. All’s fair in love and war and all that jazz.

Why, you ask, did he feel that way? BECAUSE OF HER! And this is where it started to fall apart.

My first issue, which is petty of me and I totally recognize that, is as the tension builds and builds until over 70%, all that time she’s talking about what she wants to do to him, that the things she would do to him are illegal in most states. I gotta tell you I was getting primed for some epic Bone Zone shenanigans. So when there was a little dirty talk from him, a few thrusts, an ass grab and then the big O I was flabbergasted. Where’d the dirty, naughty girl go? Where’d the girl that was going to rock his world go? It’s not like I was expecting her to dom out on him or anything, but I at least thought she’d give as good as she got. I also expected it to be hot. A couple of thrusts does not a hot scene make. For me.

Between the lame sex and the antics at the end this thing was dead in the water before I knew it. SPOILERISH He makes a mistake, there’s no doubt about that, but her reaction is so ridiculous I don’t even have words. One of my pet peeves is people who don’t take responsibility for their own actions and Amber created this shit storm with her game playing and deceit, leaving him with few options. At least he apologized and owned his shit though, whereas she plays victim and freezes him out.

For someone seemingly so intelligent to be so obtuse not to mention intractable was too much for me. The OTT cheesy AF ending was the cherry on top of my what the efff sundae.

Lastly, I hope there was a thorough once over before it was officially released because there were A LOT of mistakes. I also thought she was too young for some of the movie references, though she is an actor so… possibly?

Anyone interested in reading this I would encourage to look at other reviews because I’m definitely in the minority. There are things that the author really excelled at but the drawbacks are leaving me confused as to whether or not I’d be interested in trying her again.


A review copy was provided by NetGalley.
Profile Image for Denisa.
1,196 reviews290 followers
October 1, 2017
3.5 Yay!

First off, I gave it 4 stars not 3 because it was better than I expected.
So maybe it wasn't all that memorable or edgy, but it was cute and fun. Even more, it made me smile from time to time. I know, I know, these are not reasons to give a book 4 stars, but I can't help it, I feel the need to reward it for making me curious.

Anyway, it's a pretty normal romance. I can't say I liked it at first, the female MC was pretty annoying, but I grew to love (ok, more like "like") her. Fast, cute, fun read. Give it a try, prove me wrong.
Profile Image for Mia.Mi.Jou.
259 reviews75 followers
February 13, 2022
I loved the humor and writing style so much! My only reproach is for only one POV. This is actually one of my big pet peeves in a romance, but OK, I rolled with it because the main characters were just amazing. Even though we saw Ethan only through Amber's eyes. These grumpy-but-very-soft-on-the-inside heroes and strong-and-slightly-quirky heroines are simply my weakness.
September 13, 2017
This is clearly the case of "it's me, not the book" or maybe "I'm the minority here"
So I'm really torn apart on how I should rate this one.

I loved the heroine when the book started, LO.VED.HER.

Here's some of her quotes.

“Hurting my feelings would require that I care what you, or any man thinks, and I assure you I don’t. Quite frankly, after tonight, I am this close to moving to the Isle of Lesbos”

“If you have a problem with it, get on your high horse and go file a complaint with the Bureau of I Don’t Give A Stinking Shit”

And my favorite, I haven't read a heroine who calls out a hero.

“You’re one to talk, Typhoid Mary! When it’s pretty damn clear you’ve slept with half the women of Manhattan!”
“What did you call me?” The look of shock on his face would be funny if I wasn’t so pissed right now.
“I called you a purveyor of disease. But here’s a term you’ll understand––slut!” I’m on a roll now, no end in sight. “When was the last time you had an STD test? You should’ve warned me that I needed to bleach the toilet seat every time I need to use it.”

But then she started having her moments.

"Get on your knees. Let’s put that pretty mouth of yours to good use.”
Any other time in my life, with any other person, that would have earned a punch to the nut sac. But with him? Without having to be asked twice, I drop to my knees at the altar of Ethan”

That was just one of many.

I really wish I could have read the hero's POV, I would have love to read his thoughts.

There was also plenty of OW drama sightings who made the heroine feel jealous and insecure.

Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,574 followers
August 13, 2018
5 stars

Omg omg this book *sigh* why havent I read it sooner??? It was amazing! P. Dangelico delivers a refreshing,funny,sweet,romantic and sexy story! I fall in love with Amber and Ethan ! Amber is the girl I would love to have as best friend!! She is funny and sassy and omg Ethan just stole my heart and make me swoon over him! He is protective , sweet and cute!! I enjoyed their relationship a lot and I couldn’t get enough of these two together!!! More to come soon!!


Profile Image for Milla .
628 reviews329 followers
July 13, 2021
5 stars!
"I hate you."
"You love me. You can't stand how much you love me."

First things first: was this a 5 star read or am I just overly excited that my book slump has been defeated? I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say it was an honest to goodness 5 star read.

Sledgehammer had everything I like: a loud-mouth heroine, a grumpy but very soft on the inside hero, forced close quarters, enemies-to-lovers, the list goes on really.

What I liked best about it though was that there was no my lust has overridden my otherwise functional brain so I must surmise that I am in love! The power of a good dicking has me falling in love!

Seriously, there's nothing I hate more in a book than the sex causing people to have feelings. Ok hate is strong word. I strongly dislike when friends-with-benefits or hate fucking magically turns into romantic love. It makes no sense and I immediately lose all trust in the MCs. These two were already on a runaway freight train speeding towards Dummies In Love Ville long before they ever jumped in the sack.

And for that I say ✨ty😌✨
Profile Image for Jennifer.
374 reviews570 followers
September 19, 2017
5 Fancy Stars!!!

Confession: I have a THING for lawyers. And when I say a THING, I mean an OBSESSION. Maybe it’s the suit. Maybe it’s the ego. Maybe it’s the brain. I don’t know, but I cannot resist a lawyer.

Vaughn. (Aka Fancy McButterpants ) Oh, the brood. Be still….my heart…and my ovaries….Ok, let’s be honest, my ovaries weren’t very still during this book. He is the perfect hot lawyer that gets my juices flowing. What’s crazy is that he isn’t your everyday, neighborhood asshole. In the beginning, he seems like he is, but he slowly reveals his softer, almost introverted side. Definitely a “Mr. Darcy” feel where he seems harsh at first but only because he doesn’t know how to express himself. With all of the humor and hotness, I did not expect THE FEELS. Triple sigh with a back flip.

Amber. She is so funny! She reminded me of one of my favorite bloggers/comedians/writers Jenny Lawson!! This type of humor is RARE and I ate it up!! Pretty sure I’m in love with her. Serious girl crush happening. If only I could think and say words out of my mouth like her. Amber has found herself in a pickle, and guess what? She needs a lawyer. Vaughn and Amber do not like each other, but they have to tolerate each other. I loooooved everything about these two. Witty dialogue is my kryptonite, and this book destroyed me with wit.

This book is Opposites Attract in all its glory. Hilarious. Feel-good. Snarky, swearing heroine. Swoony. And did I mention hilarious? He is broody & sweet & the slow burn. THE SLOW BURN!!! Oh, ad the effing smorgasbord of feelings !!

A new-author-to-me that I FLOVE!! Aaaaand…..I’m reading the first book next because I HAVE to. My body refuses to not read it next. What can I say? I listen to my body. A herd of snarfling (snarfling? Yeah, I said it.) wildebeasts couldn’t stop me from reading the first book.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for Al *the semi serial series skipper*.
1,658 reviews670 followers
August 26, 2017
***I received this arc courtesy of Netgallery in exchange for an honest review***

The verdict is in, people. I loved it!

You absolutely have to read this book, its was freaking fantastic. Amber is my spirit animal. I loved her. I haven't laughed/smiled so much in a while, my facial muscles ache, way to cure my disuse athrophy.

I used to think MZ was the only queen of slow burn but PD is trying to prove me wrong with this book. Amber was such a strong character, she was witty, had a backbone and didn't take a nonsense from anyone. Ethan was just the cutest, he was this sexy carebear and I'm claiming him as my book boyfriend(called first dibs :D).

I was really iffy about picking this one up because I vaguely remember reading the first one and then after seeing my note I remember I was miffed about the similarities with one of my favourite books. It was a wrecking ball smashing into the wall of Winnepeg, didn't enjoy it that much but this, you just have to read. I really can't gush enough about this book.

Not to forget the sex scenes, Ethan was...whew

Thanks Netgallery and PD for approving this arc because I would have missed this beaut and I would have been none the wiser
Profile Image for NiCoLeTa E. {Addicted To Books}.
1,349 reviews85 followers
March 21, 2019
***4 "What are you wearing???" stars***

“I guess some people only get one chance at love.”

I'm blaming the reviews!!!! Yep, exactly, as you heard it!!! I'm blaming the reviews for my delay to read this book, to continue with this series when i loved the first book!!!!
The most people were comparing it to the first book, so they were saying that they didn't enjoy it as much as the first one and because I'm a person that can easily be affected, now i'm literally kicking myself because it took me so long to get my hands on this book!!!!
And imagine that i was waiting like crazy Ethan and Amber's story!!!! Arrrr...

"He is so good. This man is as good as it gets. Strange how someone you think you have nothing in common with could turn out to be someone who understands you implicitly."

Well, this was a one-sided hate to love, slow burn romance, between two very different persons...
She was a loud and mouthy bartender/actress...
He was a very busy lawyer involved with NFL players...
How those two came closer???
It all started with a fire and a night in jail...
Then Ethan bail her out, but Amber stucked with him for the next few months under his roof...
And now, those two opposite personalities have to be roommates...
So, what will happen when they seemed to hate each others guts??? Or this is not the deal???
Well... I'll leave the rest for you to find out!!!

"None of me is soft. I'll admit it. I'm all sharp angles and sharper words, but am I really that hard to love?"

"What is it with this guy? He's like catnip, or crack cocaine- totally intoxicating, completely irresistible, and most importantly, a very bad habit."

I really loved Ethan and Amber...
We met them in the previous book since they are both best friends with the previous couple... and they were the reason that Ethan went to help Amber that night in jail....
I think that Ethan always wanted her, but he was just binding his time, because Amber was a free bird and it was so difficult to catch it!!!
Honestly, i wasn't expecting Ethan to be so... wonderful, kind, generous, sweet... But at the same time, he wasn't!!!
Amber was a crazy, but hilarious woman and of course, i loved her!!! I liked witnessing her antipathy for Ethan to become something entirelly different... But that woman was so damn stubborn!!!

"You're like this sledgehammer."
"Loud and destructive. And here I was thinking you liked me."
He shakes his head, his eyes search mine. Serious. So serious...
"A force to reckon with... The type of woman a man holds onto with both hands and never lets go."

I'm always enjoying stories that their pace seem more normal... I usually dislike insta things and here, we had it...
The couple passed many stages to their relationship and i enjoyed them all...
They were so perfect together, even though they were taking their sweet time...
What can i say??? I'm blaming the sledgehammer!!!! LOL!!! And the grand gestures!!! *Sigh*
After all, the unicorns are real!!!

"You think you can walk away from this?... I'm going to make it impossible for you to leave me."

"Fancy McButterpants, you're my unicorn. Without you, my story has no happy ending."

***ARC kindly provided via NetGalley for the exchange of an honest review***
Profile Image for Malene.
1,200 reviews527 followers
May 23, 2020
Ethan and Amber was so much fun. A fabulous slow burn friends to lovers romance. Only the way P. Dangelico makes them. Amazing bantering and sizzling chemistry. The author knows how I want my slow burn. The dialogue between Amber and Ethan really showed how compatible they’re were and how well they worked together. Every scene with them was filled with that instant connection that proved that they’re the perfect match.
Amber was a hoot. Man she doesn’t hold back and just says what she thinks. Honest and loyal to the core. Ethan Ethan Ethan. The quiet lawyer and manager but damn when it comes to Amber he’s all man. He cares and protects. That delicious mouth of his took me by surprise.
Calvin and Camilla from Wrecking Ball made an appearance or two and it was so good to have them there.
Sledgehammer is just as fabulous as Wrecking Ball all because of some kick ass characters and terrific dialogue.

4 Fancy Pants Stars
Profile Image for Bookphenomena (Micky) .
2,420 reviews384 followers
March 14, 2019
More of an angsty read than book one with a heroine I liked (eventually) but didn't love; I just wanted to her to get real, stop hiding and show her vulnerability. Ethan however, made up for a lot (a real lot). I do love a good guy and he was one of those. It was slow-burny and delicious heat. A fun addition to the series.
Profile Image for Ira.
1,064 reviews91 followers
August 27, 2017
4.5 stars.

I love it!!
You will love it too if you like characters driven story type of book.
It feels better than Cal's and Cam's story.

Also, you can see that Ms. Dangelico is not a MZ wannabe and she certainly as talented as MZ.
She managed to change how I feel about Amber from dislike to like then love her at the end.
Amber is not a typical heroine I would normally read in my book, she is full with anger and always had this feeling that she always mad with the world.

And Ethan? He is a perfect guy of course!
He is kind, gorgeous, successful, well you know, everything all right in the world until he is not. Everything is not what it seem. I won't say much though, because I wanted you to enjoy the experience like me, and don't worry there is no unnecessary drama to make the story more interesting.

I do really love Amber more than Ethan at the end, and her actions after that 91% 'Oh Shit!!' situation made me admire her too. Take notice girl, yes you made mistake after mistake but please for god sake don't made mistake for the same things!

Now, if I love it so much, where is my 0.5 star gone?
While I adore the epilogue, I feels like there is something missing between the last chapter and the epilogue. I wonder, if this become a trend with the authors now?

But don't worry it wasn't ruin the story:)

And thank you so much for NetGalley for give me ARC of this wonderful book!:)
Profile Image for MoodyJess.
413 reviews31 followers
November 2, 2017
I seriously didn’t think this series could get any better. Well, I stand corrected. SLEDGEHAMMER is one hell of an epic ride and I’m sitting here with a giant smile wishing like hell I could go back and re read this piece of awesome.

I literally loved everything. Not one thing is wrong with this fabulous book. Ethan, you wonderfully sexy adoring man you. I simply couldn’t get enough. You’ve stolen my heart and you can keep it. You’ve won me over ten fold. LA SIGH.

Everyone, drop what you’re doing and read this book. Dangelico is a star! I swooned, nearly cried, laughed my head off and was full of butterflies and couldn’t put this down. Obsessed comes to mind when I think of the wonderful characters Dangelico writes. What am I going to do with myself now?

Talk about book hangover. Stick a fork in me I’m done. Where’s the wine. Bravo. BRAVO!!!
Profile Image for ✵Damjana✵.
428 reviews63 followers
October 17, 2017
3.75 - "slow burn romance from haters, than friends to lovers" stars
Profile Image for Rê .
455 reviews56 followers
September 4, 2017

4.5 “Slow burning me” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you!!!!

Last year, I was going through a reading slump when I started Wrecking Ball, the first book in the Hard to Love series (P.S.: the series title is wrong, because these books are super easy to love). The same thing was happening when I decided to start Sledgehammer. The result was the same: I’m now cured.

I was going to wait to start this book until next week because I have other ARCs that needed my immediate attention due to their release dates, but all the books I’ve read for the past few days have failed to WOW me. Some I liked more, others less, but nothing stuck with me, even though other people have loved them.

That’s the thing about this reading business: subjectivity rules. Sometimes I have a hard time explaining why a story didn’t work for me. All the elements were there, but nothing did it for me. Other times, a simple story has this extra sparkle and I’m done for. Sledgehammer fits in this last category.

If you haven’t figured it out by now I am absolutely, irrevocably in love with this book.


To be completely honest, I went into this knowing I’d probably enjoy the heck out of it. The blurb is great. The first book was amazing. P. Dangelico has a whole Mariana Zapata vibe with her slow burn romances. So, yeah, it was a recipe for success. But the thing is, I didn’t just like it. I inhaled, breathed, lived and died with it. It gave me all the FEELS, to the point I had to take a break because I was hyperventilating. And I’ll tell you this. Although I loved, loved, looovveeedddd Amber, the guilty party here is Ethan Vaughn.

Ethan Freaking Vaughn.


Book boyfriend Ethan Vaughn was amazing. A-mazing. Everything I needed and a little more. The angst was alive and real and making my chest burn because this dude, the things this dude did, the way he spoke, the dirty talk, the proclamation of love…. Every-freaking-thing was perfection. I don’t care if you disagree. I don’t. He was it for me.


So, yeah. I’m dead. This guy killed me.


I don’t even care that the whole “I’ll post her bail and let her live with me” thing sounded a little weird. Does that even happen in real life? I’m not sure, but who cares? Because that landed them exactly where I needed them to be. Together. Living under the same roof. Getting to know each other, and OMG the slow burn. The “we don’t like each other” to the “we’re friends” to the “we can’t get enough of each other” gave me life. Slow burn is my thing. The more I read authors like P. Dangelico and Mariana Zapata, the more I’m convinced I want, need and will give all my money for hot, real and well-done slow burn.

Now, Amber… This chick was awesome. I knew I’d love her when I highlighted the first paragraph and wrote: “YES!!! VOIIIICEEE!” I know the concept of voice is a little hard to grasp (at least I have a hard time explaining it), but when it’s there, you just can’t miss it. It sort of hits you in the face and gives you pause. It happened here. I read one paragraph and I knew I’d love Amber because her voice got me. She was funny AF, loyal and smart. She was also surprisingly down to Earth considering everything that she had gone through. I couldn’t have asked for a better narrator for this story.

I don’t even know what to say about the romance without getting a little spoiler-y. I’ll just say that it developed exactly the way I’d hoped it would. There were tons of bantering, tons of heat, and it went through the three stages that will make a romance extra special for me: a little bit of animosity >> friendship >> love. And I also got a little The Hating Game by Sally Thorne vibe when it came to Ethan, so it was real perfection.

Aside from Ethan, Amber and their romance, I also loved the whole NFL vibe (I’m a fan) and all the side characters. I loved seeing Cam and Calvin living their happy ever after, getting a little bit more of Justin and meeting Amber’s little sis. I even teared up with a minor side character: the driver Ethan hired who’d been out of work for two years. Dude, that got me right in the feels.

This entire book got me right in the feels. It was fabulous. It was everything I wanted, and more than I needed. It’s the reason I’m going to be stalking this author until she releases her next book. P. Dangelico, get back to your computer and start writing your next story because I need it. Right now.


It's this simple:

Profile Image for Bindi Boo .
578 reviews116 followers
October 5, 2017
4 stars

First book by this author and it was well written, witty and super sweet.
I however detested the heroine a little, especially at the end. She just kept shoving the hero away! Perhaps i'm a bit sick of that trope but nothing gets me like a woman ready to fight for her relationship. Also, it took me a while to like the heroine- she was very brash, obnoxious with a I-don't-care attitude but we later find out that is all a big cover up to an otherwise kind hearted, endearing little girl.
Profile Image for maggieandteddy.
1,053 reviews122 followers
January 3, 2018
This book starts off with a bang. Almost literally. Amber's in jail for arson. She's accused of starting a fire at her ex's parents home.
Amber's got a surly, snarky abrasive attitude. Which came first, the attitude or the fire?
The next pages told me. Amber told me. This is first person POV. Amber's inner monologue is very funny. This is her story to tell.
Then Ethan appears to save the day. Tall and hunky Ethan. He's not a criminal attorney but gets her referred to one that can help her.
I haven't (yet) read book 1- Wrecking Ball. I just realized I own it. Amber's bff Camilla was the h in book 1. Book 1 H, Calvin is Ethan's best friend.
I didn't feel lost at all. I do know that I want to go back & read Cam & Calvin's book too.
The author's phrasing and humor was very entertaining. I cracked up throughout the story.
Ethan is a sports attorney for several professional football players. He's very GQ on the outside, but Amber soon discovers that Ethan is really a great guy on the inside.
I found Amber to be on the defensive-a lot. She kept expecting her relationships to end.
She had a few good reasons why she thought and acted that way. Amber's mom was very neglectful. Amber's maternal grandmother is an advanced stage of Alzheimer's. Amber's steps in to visit her grandma in the nursing home and make sure that she is well cared for.
Amber is a struggling actress, but her day job (at night) is as a bartender.
This was a slow burn romance. Amber spends more time worrying about not being worthy and pushing men away.
Ethan is very patient with Amber. She even thinks, "He's too good to be true".
There are some great romantic scenes a little later in the book than I'm used ot. I was surprised to uncover Ethan's vulnerability. Without his POV, I learned about Ethan right along with Amber. I was surprised that she wasn't more sensitive to his struggles with his health and self esteem.
A couple of reviews mentioned the slow middle. I did notice it too. Up until 40% or so, the story was moving right along. Amber had a lot of growing up to do. She needed to think of Ethan too. He gave a lot of himself.
I enjoyed the writing style. A lot. This was an ARC from Netgalley, so there were minor typos and misspelled words. 4.25 stars!
I recommend this book. I will go back and read book 1. I already have it, so yay.
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC
Profile Image for Francoise.
756 reviews32 followers
September 24, 2017
A sweet and funny enemies to lovers story! Paola Dangelico always manages to make every story unique and immensely entertaining. The great thing about this book is that it grabs you from the moment you start reading and the story flows very naturally. You really get involved with the characters as their story unfolds, and we follow Amber and Ethan in a delighting adventure of friendship and love.

Amber Jones is an aspiring actress who has sworn off relationships and is focusing on her desire for a career on the big screen. When she is conned by her ex’s family, falsely accused, arrested and charged with arson, she avoids jail time thanks to Ethan Vaughn’s assistance and hospitality. Ethan is an attorney, managing the career of top athletes, and Amber’s fancy knight in shining armor.

Frankly, I fell head over heels for these two irresistibly flawed characters. Amber’s cheeky and devil-may-care personality was in total contrast to Ethan’s “Mr. Perfect” character. And when Bad Amber takes over, their battle of wits was total bliss.

Despite her blasé attitude, Amber is anything but self-assured and she has absolutely no filter! She is unfair at times but Ethan handles her teasing well. He usually relies on his charm and intelligence to negotiate his way out of a problem, but with Amber he definitely had his work cut out for him. I loved that he remained stoic most of the times! Ethan is a wonderful hero. He’s sexy as sin, caring, sweet and protective. His relationship with Amber is complicated, but they have a natural connection that can’t be denied. I loved their interactions, the flirtation and the realistic way their unlikely friendship progressed. Amber is swept away by Ethan’s tenderness, but she is scared of getting hurt.

Amber and Ethan are intriguing to watch as they dance around their feelings. They both have their faults and shortcomings. I loved how the author develops their relationship and its evolution from enemies to lovers. Despite the completely satisfying and altogether perfect ending, I wouldn’t hate to see these two again, in the next installment in the series!
ARC kindly provided by the author, via NetGalley.
For more reviews, follow me on my blog!
Profile Image for Annika.
450 reviews101 followers
May 19, 2021

First read: 08/2017 - 5 stars
Second read: 05/2021 - still 5 stars

"Fancy McButterpants, you're my unicorn. Without you, my story has no happy ending."

Aaaaand 5 stars go to... Amber Jones and Ethan Vaughn... aka Fancy McButterpants, Fancy Pants, His Holy Fanciness, Tommy McPervertpants, Typhoid Mary... Want me to go on?

No surprise. I knew without a doubt that I would love this book when I read the blurb. Even before that, actually, when I learned that it was going to be centered around two of the most amazing romance sidekicks ever. And I wasn't disappointed - I got everything I wished for and even more.

This was absolutely beautiful. Funny, sexy, sweet, emotional and empowering, revolving around two main characters that are so different from but perfect for one another.
No-filter Amber with her potty mouth, heaps of sass and a gigantic attitude, but with a heart to match.
Sweet, intense Ethan who, deep down, isn't really the laid-back charmer we've gotten to know in Wrecking Ball, but so much more.
"You're like this sledgehammer."
"Loud and destructive. And here I was thinking you liked me."
"A force to reckon with. The type of woman a man holds onto with both hands and never lets go."

Paola Dangelico knows exactly how much heartbreak, comic relief and angst to add in order to create an engaging, easy but oddly profound read, which tore on my heartstrings with ease, only to make me burst out laughing the next minute.
I bet he rinses his recycling before placing it in the blue bin. Probably farts perfume.

I'm so happy I found this series. And one more author to add to my one-click list, for that matter.

ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Mizz.
1,074 reviews347 followers
February 8, 2018

Beware of Spoilers!

Star Ratings:
Heroine (Amber): 29yrs old
Hero (Ethan): 33yrs old
Plot: 5/5
Grovel: yes
Cheating: none
HEA: yes with kid
Triggers: none

Average score: 5/5

Best Line: “You can count on me.”

Worst Line: “This isn’t some romance novel. This is real life”

Personal Review:
A great romance between a loyal lawyer and a spunky actress.

Random Ramblings:
•I am really hoping the h will do this book justice because I loved the previous book
•I applaud her for not caring what she looked like
•Yay…a walking dead reference!
•I loved that he snored
•Scenes with her grandmother had me in tears
•I loved her fiercely protective nature
•Dan was too good for her
•I wonder what happened to his relationship with his brother in the end

Overall Feeling:

“She should go after whatever makes her happy.”

Profile Image for Ilaria &#x1f338;.
590 reviews39 followers
October 9, 2022
Well I freaking loved Ethan and Amber story
The vibrators names made me laugh to tears
Paola Dangelico has written a tasty juicy and funny slow burn
I purchase this book after Wrecking ball then I did not opened it until some days ago I was afraid to be disappointed
Well I was not
Thanks Paola.
Waiting for Justin book now 🥰
Profile Image for Lučka.
337 reviews68 followers
October 14, 2017

I (probably) would have loved this book if I was reading it at another time. But when you binge read an amazing MC series for three weeks straight and your state of mind is still floating on a cloud nine, every other book has flaws. I know, it sucks, but it is what it is. So, take this review with a grain of salt.

The writing style of Ms. Dangelico works for me. It's light, humorous and the words are fast flowing, making me read her books quickly with no chance of boredom. The narration is in the h's POV and she is ridiculously hilarious. I couldn't help but like her. Rude, foul-mouthed, stubborn, loyal, crazy and bitter. At times I felt her bitterness come out in full force and didn't like it very much.

I tought the H was the second coming of JC, in a "I adored you since my eyes fell on you and I'll do anything for you", sweet alpha hottie.
Until somewhere in the middle of the book when he changed into a beta/omega pussy and I was like
The weirdness continued. He became an alpha dirty talker when sex scenes came into the pic and was OTT possessive of the h. Where did that come from? Even the heroine asked herself that.

His character gave me whiplash, I still can't decide in which category I should put him. He was extremely loyal, over the moon for the h, sweet and he seemed so selfless. Until he wasn't. But then he was. You see how many conflicted emotions I'm having?!

Overall, it was a funny and pleasant read, completely safe, a slow burn romance from hate-best friends-lovers with endearing moments and HEA. I'll continue to follow this author's work.
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