Curb Appeal Meets Sex Appeal in Tessa Bailey's 'Fix Her Up'

Posted by Goodreads on June 1, 2019
Imagine a home renovation where the construction crew gets busy during their lunch breaks. There's an exchange of sultry glances from across an open-concept floor plan and a kiss behind a freshly painted barn door. Oh, if these shiplap walls could talk...

Welcome to the world of Tessa Bailey's new Hot and Hammered series, where hunky men in hard hats try to nail down "the one." In the first book, Fix Her Up, professional clown Georgie reunites with her childhood crush—the former baseball star who also happens to be her brother's best friend—at her family's HGTV-esque house-flipping business. One fake relationship and a few demolitions later, they can't keep their hands off each other.

Bailey, who also wrote Protecting What's His, talked to Goodreads about partially naked food fights, married couples in romance novels, and this unforgettable piece of advice: "Write sex like your mother will never see it."

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Goodreads: Tell us about your main characters, Georgie and Travis. It looks like these two share some childhood history!

Tessa Bailey: Long, gangly legs. Braces. Pesky. That’s how Travis remembers Georgie.

He’s in for a big surprise now that he’s landed back in his hometown after an injury gets him cut from Major League Baseball. She’s not your typical welcoming committee! (Spoiler: There's a food fight.)

GR: Why do you think Georgie is the only one who gets through to Travis?

TB: I’m guessing it has something to do with the lo mein she throws at his naked body...but it’s probably more than that! Georgie and Travis have more in common than either of them realize. Neither one is taken seriously—but for very different reasons. It surprises them both when they speak the same language.

GR: Both of them have very interesting jobs. Did this allow you to do some fun research?

TB: Most of my research for birthday party clowns has been conducted over the last seven years with my daughter, but I did have a fun afternoon of testing out magic tricks! I’m terrible at it, so I’ll leave it to the pros!

GR: "Falling in love with my brother’s best friend" is a hugely adored trope in romance. What, in your opinion, makes it so compelling?

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TB: This trope has truly had me in its grip ever since I can remember. I think it’s just the right amount of forbidden! And the stakes are real. You could really implode friendships in the name of true love.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that creeping around to keep everything a secret is quite hot!

GR: Speaking of beloved tropes, Georgie and Travis eventually enter “an agreement” (i.e., a fake relationship that turns into something more). What was the most fun about writing that?

TB: Blurring that line between what’s real and fake is so juicy. One of the characters is always wondering, "Was that real—or an act?"

The "agreement" keeps the mystery alive. And then it's all the more satisfying when they reveal at the end that it was real the whole time. One of my favorite romance moments!

GR: What’s one of your favorite lines from Fix Her Up?

TB: “How do you do that? You accept me. Exactly as I am. But you still change me for the better.”

This is a line from my favorite scene, when Travis and Georgie are playing baseball in the rain. I had already envisioned that scene when I began writing the book, and then raced toward it. Those scenes are a gift!

GR: Many of your fans hail you as an absolute genius when it comes to bedroom talk. Any tips for aspiring romance authors who want to spice up their dialogue?

TB: Write sex like your mother will never see it. It took me a long time to write sex scenes without thinking of myself as someone’s daughter or mother. I’m a woman and I want the dirty details! So sue me.

Writing sex can be about you, not anyone else. You can allow yourself to love and embrace the heat, the movements, the words. I’m a total sucker for bedroom talk because the walls come down in those moments and everything out of the characters’ mouths is very honest.

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GR: What do you have planned next for the Hot and Hammered series?

TB: Rosie and Dominic are up next in Love Her or Lose Her! I’m beyond excited to have written my first married couple. These two display some marital discord in Fix Her Up. Then in the first chapter of their book, their house of cards comes tumbling down.

It’s still humorous, but this is a marriage we’re putting back together, so it’s a heart grabber!

GR: Which books or authors made you fall in love with romance?

TB: Julie Garwood is the author who spoke to my little romance soul. She wrote what I desperately needed to read (and now strive to write): faithful, protective heroes and brave, honest heroines. I’ve read every single one of her books a dozen times.

GR: And finally, which books are up next on your Want to Read shelf?

TB: I’m diving into the world of Sierra Simone. I’ve read some of her work, but after my most recent experience with her work, I now have to scour the world for everything she’s ever released. She’s flat-out phenomenal. I’m starting with the New Camelot series. Wish me luck!

Fix Her Up will hit bookshelves on June 11. Add it to your Want to Read shelf here.

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Shatarupa (new)

Shatarupa  Dhar "Write sex like your mother will never see it."
I will always keep that in mind. Thank you for the advice!

"I’m a woman and I want the dirty details!"
My heart shouted (coz it's the dead of night here in India) - Hell yeah! I want the dirty details.

message 2: by Mel (new)

Mel Awesome interview, Tessa! Really loved Travis and Georgie's story. Looking forward to Dominic and Rosie!

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Don't bother reading this book, BIG waste of time and money.

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