Genres: Contemporary Romance
Narrator: Mason Lloyd, Kendall Taylor
Also by this author: Execution Style, Charlie Foxtrot, Coup de Grace, Right to my Wrong, Shock Advised, Hail No, Beard Mode, Lights To My Siren, Fear the Beard, I Like Big Dragons and I Cannot Lie , Dragons Need Love, Too , Oh, My Dragon, Kevlar To My Vest , Keys To My Cuffs, Life To My Flight , Hissy Fit, Talkin' Trash, Lord Have Mercy, Hide Your Crazy, How About No, I'd Rather Not, Make Me, Sinners are Winners, If You Say So, Just Kidding, Herd That, Fries Before Guys, Crazy Heifer, Maybe Swearing Will Help, Keep it Classy, Chute Yeah, Get Bucked, May Contain Wine, Jokes on You, Somethin' About That Boy, Join the Club, Any Day Now, Say It Ain't So, Officially Over It, Nobody Knows, Depends on Who's Asking, Repeat Offender, Conjugal Visits, Jailbait
Sean is a man with needs—needs that a lot of women were ready and willing to fulfill. Yet, the only woman that he wants to fulfill them dumped him for another man. A man who’s a member of his MC and is someone he has to see every single day and twice on Sundays.
He’s bitter and angry. He’s definitely not in the right frame of mind when it comes to dealing with women. Which is unfortunate for his new partner, Naomi, a fresh-out-of-school and totally green paramedic.
Naomi’s got enough problems on her plate. A brother who’s self-destructive and doesn’t care who he takes down with him. A man who she’s in love with but who doesn’t love her. A job that she hates because it is a constant reminder of what she can’t have.
Desperate to distance herself from her problems, she runs, taking the first job in her field that she finds willing to take on someone with so little experience.
The last thing she needs is a perpetually pissed off partner, especially when he sets her blood on fire.
But life doesn’t ask how much you can handle when it dishes out challenges. It just keeps piling them on until you’ve bested them or you’ve buckled under them.
Sean really doesn’t want to like his new partner, Naomi. He just wants to be left alone to live his life however he damn well pleases and without complications.
Naomi doesn’t care what he wants, she can’t be anything but herself. It isn’t long before she’s breaking down his walls and making him feel again. She’s trying to pull him closer and he’s pushing her away.
It’s not long before Sean sees the error of his ways.
It’s too bad, though, that by the time he realizes she’s the one, Naomi’s already gone.
I’m Only Here for the Beard is book 4 of the Dixie Wardens Rejects series but it is a stand alone. You have met Sean in previous books, so it was about time he had his own! Sean is a genuinely nice guy. He isn’t a man whore, he isn’t looking to hit it and quit it, but he can’t seem to find a woman who wants to stick around. Naomi recently uprooted her life and moved to Mooresville after her brother hit her with his car and the man she had a crush on married someone else. Yeah, these two are kind of sad sacks!
Naomi’s character was instantly interesting to me because of what she was going through when the book starts. She had been hit by her brother in a drunk driving accident and was seriously injured. She had to have a colostomy bag! This type of issue is unheard of in romance novels (I mean, there is nothing sexy about a poo bag). I am so glad Vale created character who is going through this because its REAL. Sean was dealing with his own heart break when Naomi shows up in town and is assigned to be his new partner at work (they are EMTs).
The story lacks an overarching focus. There is the initial meet-cute, then a strange bike accident, then Naomi getting her surgery, then distance and anger between the two, then a murder, and then its over. I guess the general plot of the book is about how Sean and Naomi cope with the day to day life but the lack of focus sometimes made me feel disconnected.
I really liked Naomi. She is honest and realistic. When she makes a mistake, she owns up to it (even if it takes her a bit to recognize the mistake!). Sean was mostly likable but near the end I really struggled with some of his actions. I understood where he was coming from, but it was just not okay.
Overall, I’m Only Here for the Beard was enjoyable and light with enough suspense to keep me wanting to hear more. Lloyd and Taylor are excellent narrators and I continue to enjoy their storytelling!
- POV: dual 1st
- Tears: no
- Trope: MC, coworkers
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes with multiple epilogues « Hide Spoiler