Review: Fluffy (Do-Over #1) by Julia Kent

Title: Fluffy
Author: Julia Kent
Publisher/Year:  Proasaic Press 6/22/22
Length:  284 pages


It all started with the wrong Help Wanted ad. Of course it did.

I’m a professional fluffer. It’s NOT what you think. I stage homes for a living. Real estate agents love me, and my work stands on its own merits.

Sigh. Get your mind out of the gutter. Go ahead. Laugh. I’ll wait.

See? That’s the problem. My career has used the term “fluffer” for decades. I didn’t even know there was a more… lascivious definition of the term.

Until it was too late.

The ad for a “professional fluffer” on Craigslist seemed like divine intervention. My last unemployment check was in the bank. I was desperate. Rent was due. The ad said cash paid at the end of the day. The perfect job!

Staging homes means showing your best angle. The same principle applies in making a certain kind of movie. Turns out a “fluffer” doesn’t arrange decorative pillows on a couch.

They arrange other soft, round-ish objects.

The job isn’t hard. Er, I mean, it is – it’s about being hard. Or, well… helping other people to be hard.

Oh, man…

And that’s the other problem. A man. No, not one of the stars on the movie set. Will Lotham – my high school crush. The owner of the house where we’re filming. Illegally. In a vacation rental.

By the time the cops show up, what I thought was just a great house staging gig turned into a nightmare involving pictures of me with an undressed star, Will rescuing me from an arrest, and a humiliating lesson in my own naivete.

My job turned out to be so much harder than I expected. But you know what’s easier than I ever imagined?

Having all my dreams come true.

My Thoughts

If I remember correctly back to the other stories that i’ve read from our author Julia Kent, I would have to say that the tone and speed that this one reads is similar to the others. It’s good to see an author with consistency. What we have here is a sweet story about a girl who’s now post college, but floundering – she’s not sure what to make with her life, especially when there were such high expectations of her after graduating at the top of her class. It’s always the ones that have such his hopes that end up in the unknown.

We start off this story watching our leading lady Mallory not meet her life’s expectations. She’s the girl who was valedictorian, the one that got into an Ivy League school and turned it down to follow her own path, and then she does nothing with herself. She’s living back in her home down, living in the past, and essentially is the same girl that she was all those years ago. She’s so naive that when she’s in urgent need of a job, she finds herself in a situation that most people with common sense would be able to avoid.

Mallory answers an ad to be a fluffer – and well, we all know what that means, or at least most of us do. She thinks that she’s going to decorate a house, when in reality she’s going to work on a porn set. When that goes wrong, very very wrong, she thinks that things can’t get worse, until they do.

Enter her high school crush – the guy that was #2 to her, and he was incredibly popular. He’s made something of himself and he’s building his own business. Her life hangs in his hands, and that means that we get to see how this plays out – with hopefully a lot of humor and some tears.

Will is the jock turned into nice guy in this story – something that we see a lot in the genre. A guy who was smart, and capable, and perhaps did things to keep his friends happy. What always bothers me about this type of character though is that they had the ability to change things when they were younger, to be nicer people, and yet they’re not. And because they’re nice now, the girl always forgives.

Anyway – the journey in this story is watching how Mallory finds her footing in life and in romance at the hands Will. Once Will bails Mallory out of her uncomfortable situation, he hires her for a project at his real estate company. This gives her an opportunity to spend time with the guy that she’s still ironically crushing on 10 years later, while also potentially making money so that she doesn’t have to crawl back to her parents. If she’s able to stage a house for Will and sell it quickly, she can get a decent commission and feel like she’s accomplished something.

That opens the door for an interesting dynamic between the two of them – we watch how they play around the idea of feelings for one another, and what’s real in today’s world v. what was built up in their minds.

Add to that the sub story of dating apps and lives continuing, and then wrap it up in a sweet high school level romance that comes along, and you think things are all smooth sailing. Until of course the high school reunion, and the mean girls. We see their dynamic shift that night and that of their close circle of friends…all hinting at interesting things to come.

So, what do I make of this story? it’s a cute one – it gave me something to read on a flight, but really nothing to write home about. On to the next….

Review: Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee (Shopping for a Billionaire #6) by Julia Kent


Title:  Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee
Author: Julia Kent
Publisher/Year: ProsaicPublishing 2/26/15
Length: 171 Pages
Series: Shopping for a Billionaire #6


All of our best dates end up in the emergency room….

I planned the perfect proposal. Plenty of lobster, caviar, champagne and–her favorite–tiramisu. The perfect setting. The perfect woman. The perfect everything.

Dad gave me my late mother’s engagement ring, platinum and diamonds galore. Shannon wouldn’t care if I slid a giant hard-candy ring on her finger instead of a three-carat diamond designed to impress. But my future mother-in-law, Marie, will pass out when she sets eyes on that rock, which will give us two minutes of blessed silence. That woman talks more than Kim Kardashian flashes her naked backside on the internet.

I was going to make it perfect, from the color of the tablecloth to the freshness of the roses. And it was perfect.

Until Shannon swallowed the ring.

My Thoughts

It’s kind of funny how over the top our author makes this story and i think that while there’s a chance that it could easily be ‘too much’ – it works here.  We have a sweet story about how a couple is so perfect but their family and friends are insane.

We know that Shannon and Declan are destined to be together and we know that they WANT to be together, but of course that’s never easy.  Declan’s father is determined to make him rethink things over and over again, and Shannon’s mom continues to make Dec so uncomfortable that he second guesses things.

If that weren’t enough, the stress of planning a proposal makes Dec even more nuts.  Add to that some drama with his brother Andrew and Shannon’s friend Amanda, and you can only guess how dramatic things will go.

We get a revisiting of ‘Toilet Girl’ here – appropriate as always, and i think that’s the consistency that we love.  Aside from that, it’s really just a sweet and enjoyable next installment to the series.

Review: Christmas Shopping for a Billionaire (Shopping for a Billionaire #5) by Julia Kent


Title:  Christmas Shopping for a Billionaire
Author: Julia Kent
Publisher/Year: Prozaic Publishing 12/14
Length: 46 pages
Series: Shopping for a Billionaire #5


When Shannon is called to the mall to work as a sexy elf, her billionaire boyfriend, Declan, gets roped into playing Santa. The mall mommies start tweeting pictures, and soon everyone is crashing the mall to have a seat on Santa’s lap.

My Thoughts

Its been quite some time since i’ve been with this series but i realized that i had #5 and #6 in my library and i ought to read them.  So…what we have here is a very short novella that takes us through some shenanigans with Shannon and Declan when Shannon is called to help out on another mystery shop as a sexy elf and some how Declan ends up at #HOTSanta

What we see here though outside of this fun is that Shannon sees this relationship as long term and wants kids but has NO idea what Declan is thinking.  since things are still so new for them, it’s also really up in the air and i think that she’s afraid to get hurt and doesn’t want to push Declan too far.

Sooo….nothing too complicated here – but some great insight into what could be from them along with the sexy body of mr Hot Santa himself.  Enjoy!

Review: Shopping for a Billionaire (#4) by Julia Kent


Title:  Shopping for a Billionaire
Author: Julia Kent
Publisher/Year: Julia Kent 8/15/14
Length: 146
Series: Shopping for a Billionaire #4


A confusing fight, a garbage-covered car, and a mom who shares her past as a stripper all drive Shannon to the edge of madness. When her big shot at mystery shopping luxury properties leads to another crazy toilet incident, it’s Declan to the rescue…but can they take the “plunge”? The Shopping series from New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent reaches its conclusion with heart, heat, and hilarity.

My Thoughts

Ahhh, we finally make it to the conclusion of all this craziness that surrounds Shannon’s life.  Like the summary says, it’s a luxury shop that really brings things to a close, but really, we have to remember where we left off in book 3.  The relationship between Shannon and Declan couldn’t be in worse shape, nothing makes sense, and everything seems to be going downhill.  Shannon can’t get the answers that she wants, and is left to wallow.  You know though that given Shannon’s personality so far, that her wallowing will be quite amusing anyway.

Where this final installment takes us is on a fact finding mission and we slowly learn more about the McCormick’s back story than we ever knew before.  Even how it all relates to James and Maria (the parents) and well, that’s quite a story in itself.  In learning about what happened 10+ years ago, we finally get a bit more depth to the characters that we haven’t had to this point and that’s something that i’m really pleased that our author took us to.

Like the overview says as well, we get to the luxury shop and this is where things get to be even more amusing.  It’s all been wonderfully coordinated and mastermind by Amanda- to get everyone to open their eyes and to be in the same place at once, and well that couldn’t have led to a better conclusion.  We see that people are forced to have conversations that they weren’t ready to have, and that means that we’ll see walls come down, and maybe not all of them good.

Where we are left is with someone losing their job, people becoming more receptive to one another, and the question being posed of what’s to come for everyone.  I think that the way that this story ends isn’t necessarily realistic, but still does the story justice since it’s interesting how it’s all been intertwined.

Given the pace of this story though, i don’t know that i would have stayed interested had i had to wait for each of the installments to come out – so i’m glad that i didn’t pick up this series until they were all published.  It’s entertaining for sure, but i think that it serves a better purpose of being entertaining reading as one longer book v. the 4 installments.  Otherwise though, i think that it’s a great read when you just want something enjoyable and light to pass your time.  Enjoy the final installment of the Shannon/Declan journey!

Review: Shopping for a Billionaire (#3) by Julia Kent


Title:  Shopping for a Billionaire
Author: Julia Kent
Publisher/Year: Julia Kent 6/30/14
Length: 121
Series: Shopping for a Billionaire #3


I don’t turn every date into a medical emergency, but when I do, I nearly castrate my man…

Shannon and Declan’s first real date ends with an ambulance trip and yet another test of their madcap relationship. Ex-boyfriend Steve insists on dinner with Shannon while Declan is overseas on business, but a surprise return leads to plenty of romance as Declan whisks her away for a ride over Boston (in more ways than one…).

Just as life and love look good, a misunderstanding takes on a sinister tone as a conspiracy brews to keep them apart. Julia Kent’s hilarious Shopping series continues.

My Thoughts

The story is now beginning to get juicy and so much more complicated.  We see that the romance continues to grow, and feelings are really beginning to develop in depth between these characters.  The downside to the speed of things though is that we know that there’s a past that Declan won’t open up about and it seems like Shannon just won’t push it right now.  The way that Shannon’s family opens their arms up to Declan though shows us that maybe there’s hope.

Anyhow, seems like Steve is really trying to get in the way of things for Shannon and in this 3rd installment we see things come to a head.  Fortunately for Shannon (although i’m still trying to understand how it was possible given that he was in NZ and now he’s with her in Boston), Declan shows up just as Shannon’s getting her anger out on Steve and well, that works out to her benefit.

The piece of the journey here though shows us that the relationship between these 2 is really growing, (declan and Shannon that is) and that the family really opens their arms to him.  His family is another situation though and one that Shannon’s not surprised that she’s found herself in, and partially doesn’t care that she’s in.

It’s not until the tail end of this installment that we see the waves really begin to form.  All as a result of a mystery shop that Shannon has to do and some of the cast of characters who are present to see it all go down.  The question that we’re left at in the end is what will it mean for Shannon’s happiness and will it mean that Declan’s out of her life for good in a romantic sort of way.  I feel like the odds are stacked against him, but given that he doesn’t really seem to care what others think, i’m game to believe the best.  I do have a sense though that maybe this will be the one time that he’s actually upset about something and Shannon will have an uphill battle.  I guess that will make for a good finale if that’s the case.  Anyhow, 1 more book to the series and we’ll see who nets out on top.  Enjoy!

Review: Shopping for a Billionaire (#2) by Julia Kent


Title:  Shopping for a Billionaire
Author: Julia Kent
Publisher/Year: Julia Kent 6/1/14
Length: 85
Series: Shopping for a Billionaire #2


New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent continues her Shopping for a Billionaire series as mystery shopper Shannon and (near) billionaire Declan explore a relationship (and each other).

The pair deal with a jealous ex-boyfriend, a new perk at work that makes Shannon rethink her job, and a cat that offers up quite a present when Declan takes Shannon out for their first non-business date.

My Thoughts

the saga continues with the new budding attraction – and where we thought that things were going awry before, they are taken to a new level in book 2. We see that Declan and Shannon really do share an attraction to one another, one that they begin to act on, and if that weren’t enough, there are many many forces trying to come between them.

Enter Steve, Shannon’s ex who’s a social climber – dumping Shannon since she wasn’t elite enough for him, and when he walks into the same restaurant that Declan and Shannon are at, he decides that he wants her back.  Granted i don’t know what the motivation is there but it’s funny to see the lengths that he’s going to in order to get her attention.  Texting Shannon, her sister, friends and even parents just to get her to agree to see him.

Then there’s Shannon’s mom – she’s amusing for any number of reasons.  She’s the embarrassing mom that no one wants to have – she says and does things that should never be done, and even in front of Declan which would be the end of any real relationship i’d imagine.  Not in a book though.

And then there’s the amusement from work – nothing is as it seems – and that allows for interesting situations to pop up, especially when Declan swings by.

So, as all those things happen, we get to know Declan and Shannon a bit more – we see that they have shared interests, yet there are hints at their back stories as well.  we know that they each have flaws, and that they probably even have their own pain that may come out (or not) and that’s what makes you want to root for them even more.

The journey continues – still keeping it light with this novella series and i guess it’s onto book 3 to see what Declan will do next to make Shannon swoon, what Steve will do to try to win Shannon back and what embarrassment the mom can bring to the table.  Enjoy!

Review: Shopping for a Billionaire (#1) by Julia Kent


Title:  Shopping for a Billionaire
Author: Julia Kent
Publisher/Year: Julia Kent 6/1/14
Length: 85
Series: Shopping for a Billionaire #1


When mystery shopper Shannon Jacoby meets billionaire Declan McCormick with her hand down a toilet in the men’s room of one of his stores, it’s love at first flush in this hilarious new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent.

My Thoughts

I have to say that i was really in the mood for a bit of chick lit which is exactly what we get here.  It’s funny – i’ve become really accustomed to Billionaire titled series to be in line with heavier erotica or BDSM, but it was nice to have something light and entertaining here.

So as the very short synopsis tells us, we meet our leading lady Shannon when she’s filling in on mystery shops for the company that she works for.  While she’s in her final location for the day, in walks a sexy man, dressed to the nines and she realizes that she’s in such a mismatched state that things couldn’t get any worse.  or could they?  It’s when she has to go into the mens room to finish the shop that things go wrong.  Said hot man comes into the bathroom when she’s in there and if that weren’t bad enough, she drops her phone in the toilet, loses her balance, he saves her and she has to find some way to get out of that embarrassing situation.

If only that’s as bad as it gets for her.  She continues her day into work and finds that they are pitching a huge account, goes into that meeting only to find said hot guy as one of the clients.  He calls her toilet girl, her friend calls him ‘hot guy’ and well, you can only imagine what happens from there.

The interesting thing here is that some how there’s an attraction there – and these 2 – hot guy Declan and messy girl Shannon find that they have a shared chemistry and see what comes of it.  That’s where this intro of the series leaves us off.  It’ll be interesting to see where things go both personally and professionally and i’m sure that it will be anything but dull with these folks.