Making Him Sweat (Harlequin Blaze Series #740)

Making Him Sweat - Meg  Maguire Making Him Sweat starts off an opposites-attract based series, symbolized by two businesses that share a building -- Spark Matchmaking and Wilinski's Fight Academy. Jenna Wilinski is eager to begin a Spark franchise in the building her father left to her, but his mixed martial arts academy is an eyesore, in the red, and still tainted by association with a nasty money laundering scandal. By the terms of her father's will, she has to keep it open for several months, but she's doesn't expect time to change her mind.Then Jenna meets the gym's manager, Mercer -- "six feet of unflappable muscle wrapped in a white T-shirt" and her unexpected housemate in the building's apartment. At first she's bitter that Mercer knew and loved her absent dad, when she only remembers speaking to him two or three times in her life, but gradually she discovers there's more to the story -- and the gym -- then she realized. This is an entertaining, sexy story without much conflict. Mercer and Jenna quickly fall into lust, which for her starts as a newly discovered "rough trade" kink:"They were bathed in yellowy streetlight, harsh and gritty and urban, just like the man beneath her. The honk of a car horn, the screech of brakes, the quarreling of strangers below on the sidewalk… bring it on. Whatever happened, she wanted the quintessential Boston experience, as brash and unapologetic as this fling."But Mercer is also easy to get along with, observant -- "Leave it to a boxer to read all her little cues. Probably an ace at poker, too" -- and comfortingly solid. In one affecting scene, an upset Jenna goes to his room when he's away: "She crawled under his rumpled covers and breathed him in, swaddled herself in a facsimile of his warmth and strength."This was a good, easy read -- not particularly original, but satisfying. My only real complaint was that the characters were all much too fond of smirking. We get a 19 smirks in all -- it's hard not to count when you have an ereader -- including a "humorless smirk," a "good-natured smirk," and even a "thoughtful little smirk," which I'm having trouble visualizing. I'd recommend Making Him Sweat to readers craving a Harlequin starring a blue collar hero with a regional accent, rather than a continental one. Fans of the erotic novella [b:Willing Victim|8812286|Willing Victim|Cara McKenna||13686547], written by Maguire's pseudonym Cara McKenna, might also be interested in seeing a similar hero/heroine dynamic (sans role play or kinky sex) that comes with a traditional romance happy ending.(reviewed from e-arc provided by netgalley)