In Stripped we meet Detective Sawyer Matthews, who goes undercover as a stripper, and his partner, Brooke Simmons, who *has to* watch him perform every night. I’m sure we can all agree she has the worst job in the world.
STRIPPED by Tara Wyatt
Series: Blue HEAT #1 Publication Date: May 15, 2018 Publisher: Avon Impulse Genre: Contemporary Romance Purchase: Amazon Source: Edelweiss Story Rating: 5/ 5 Romance Rating: 5/5
Detective Sawyer Matthews isn’t just having a bad day—he’s having the worst day. His hunt for the criminal who killed his team member has stalled and now… he’s got to play nice with his new, totally unwanted partner. It’s not that she isn’t qualified, or that he doesn’t like her—it’s because he knows what she looks like naked. So very, very naked.
Brooke Simmons finally landed her dream job working for H.E.A.T, an elite undercover detective squad, and she’s not giving up simply because she had a one-night-stand with her sullen—but undeniably sexy—new partner. They’ll just have to keep it professional. Easier said than done, considering their first case requires Sawyer to infiltrate a drug cartel operating out of a male strip show. Watching him do his best Magic Mike impression every night isn’t just hot—it’s torture.
Sawyer doesn’t need any distractions, yet his attraction to Brooke is explosive and he can’t resist going for round two. Or three. Or four. But as their investigation progresses and danger mounts, they’ll have to put their jobs, hearts, and lives on the line to fight… for each other, for survival, and for justice.
So, let’s talk about this cover. Hot damn! I think the cover sums the book up perfectly. He’s a stripper, but he’s actually an undercover detective. As far as book boyfriends go, this is like a two for one special!
First thing in this book, the author did an amazing job of humanizing Sawyer, he’s not just a detective or a stripper, or even a hunk of good-looking man-candy. He felt like a real person, with feelings and struggles just like everyone else. We get a glimpse into the mind of a man raw with grief over the loss of his best friend. Truth be told, I’m sure I was in love with him before I even finished the prologue!
Now, who wants to talk about sex? I do, I do! But I’m sure you all knew that already. Even as far as fictional sex goes, this was phenomenal. The first instance happens early in the book, so it only seems fitting to talk about it early in the review.
Sawyer and Brooke meet at a hotel bar. They have one night of uninhibited passion. You know those nights where your hips are bruised; you have beard burn in weird places, and he’s got scratches up and down his back. Yep, everyone should have at least a couple of those.
The sex was one of my favorite parts of the book. Like the entirety of sex, not just the consent, or a creative position, all of it was wonderful. To be honest, there was nothing all that unique about what they were doing, it was the passion and intensity that made it so great. This is the first time in a long time I found myself jealous of a character – I totally wanted to be her.
This book also taught me something very, very important. Something I’ve been doing wrong for the last several years. Have you ever seen the part in the movies or when you’re watching strippers and they rip their shirt off? Literally rip it off, like it’s nothing more than a piece of paper? I’ve never been able to figure it out, and oh my goodness, I’ve tried an embarrassing number of times. I’d blush, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. Anyway, if you pre-cut the shirts, just a little bit, they rip like nothing. You can thank me tomorrow!
Ok, now, I understand I’m supposed to talk about the book, not just the steamy parts so here we go!
This book was shelved as romantic suspense. Which mean’s I was hesitant to read it because so often the romance is pushed to the side in favor of the suspense. That’s not the case in this book. It’s very much a love story with most of the suspense happening in the last 20%. I enjoyed the extra element the suspenseful parts added and appreciated it not being the focus of the book.
Both Brooke and Sawyer were well developed and relatable. I think pretty much everyone will relate to their struggles on some level. Losing a friend, finding out you’re dating a married man (oops!), having your one night stand become your co-worker… Who hasn’t been in at least one of those situations?
Overall, Stripped was a well-written and engaging tale. It kept a goofy grin on my face the whole time I was reading it, taught me a very important lesson in shirt removal, and steamed up my kindle. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a steamy read with enough of a story to keep things interesting.