Publication date: April 1st 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Bethany West upgraded her lucrative career as a sex worker for her dream job as a death worker when she partnered at Smythe & Co. Mortuary. She expected her eco-friendly innovations and death positive attitude to blow the roof off the Victorian-era relic. But that was seven months ago, and during that time, she’s only managed to piss off her embittered business partner, George Smythe, a man dead set on maintaining the status quo and driving Bethany out of his namesake business.
When the pair reluctantly travel together to a mortuary conference in New Orleans—and compete in dueling embalming demonstrations—George finally recognizes the value of Bethany’s business model for the first time. He’s also starting to recognize a growing attraction to his blonde bombshell business partner. Meanwhile, Bethany learns the truth behind George’s cold contempt, and it’s much worse than she thought, stemming not from a single incident, but from the constant on-call status, the compassion fatigue, and the overwhelming stress of the job.
Bethany has 4 days to crack open his tough outer shell to reveal the compassionate man she knows is inside, and she has a plan, but unless George learns to open his heart and lean on her, at the risk of succumbing to their cremation-level attraction in a dangerous way, he’ll jeopardize both the business and their hearts by refusing the true partnership they both need.
Great enemies-to-lovers slow-burn romance set in a very unique industry!
Undertaking Love is the second book in author Megan Montgomery’s unique Last Responders Romance series. To be sure, this could have been a much darker story, the main characters are partners in a mortuary business, but their very public head-butting and surface-level standoffs mask the fact that both are deeply attracted to the other. This made for an entertaining enemies-to-lovers story where the passion is steamy and not for the kiddies (no matter how adorable that cover is!)
Bethany is a bright spark in a world where staid and stuffy seems to have found a permanent niche. I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes glimpses into the mortuary business and her intriguing career trajectory from model to mortician. However, George is a man on the edge of collapse. With too much heartache, too much stress, and no time to recover, his on-call life of service to those in need has just about taken its final toll on the man. It’s up to Bethany to break him down before he can heal and love again. When you think it’s all going to work out, the story takes a couple of steps back. It’s a slow-burn story before the final resolution.
I loved that the story unfolds in the perfect setting of New Orleans. The author conveyed the feel and atmosphere of the city from the characters’ very first steps out of their Ubers, too. The story involves characters working in the death industry at a mortuary, so there are discussions of death and dying and the processes involved after that occurs. So, be aware if that is an uncomfortable, frightening, or off-putting topic.
With its unique premise, wonderful characters, and slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance, I recommend UNDERTAKING LOVE to readers to enjoy quirky and fun but passionate romances.
Megan Montgomery writes romance. Sometimes they're funny. Sometimes they're morbid, but all her characters have cool jobs. She and her husband, Johnathon Olavarria co-host Forced Proximity podcast, a weekly romance book and movie club.
Her debut novel, Well . . . THAT Was Awkward was inspired by her homesickness for southern Maryland. She now lives halfway across the US on the prairie with her husband, son, and mom.
When she’s not writing, reading, lifting weights, or cooking dinners her son won’t eat, you’ll find her toiling in the garden or brewing potions from her medicinal herbs.
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