As promised for my April 28th post, today I am reviewing Undertaking Love, book two in the Last Responders series, a contemporary romance.
Title: Undertaking Love
Series: Last Responders
Author: Megan Montgomery
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: April 1, 2023
Blurb: 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.
I enjoy a good enemies-to-lovers book, and if the author introduces two characters who own a funeral home, all the better. I’ve been looking for this type of romance for a while, so I was pretty excited when I read the blurb.
And since you’ve read the blurb, I’ll get straight to the review. First, I love the author’s voice. The novel is told in first POV, and those pages belonged to Bethany West and George Smythe. The writing is true to character, and smooth, with great descriptions and lots of internal musings. Each sentence flowed easily into the next. The dialogue was the same, very realistic.
As for the scenes at the funeral home and the conference in New Orleans, the author knows her stuff. I enjoyed everything about learning what it takes to run a funeral home, and what the process is for embalming. The setting was also wonderfully described. I was at every place the characters were.
As for the two main characters, they were complete opposites. Bethany is vivacious, a go-getter, and determined. She lets nothing stop her. A strong woman. As for George, I kept thinking of a turtle when it came time to describe him, because he’s very much like one—afraid to come out of his shell, living in his shell, and ducking inside his shell whenever life confronts him and his millions of fears. He’s got tons of fears. I wouldn’t even blame what happened to him in the past, because those fears drove George to become the workaholic that he is, and what dooms his first marriage.
I found these two were perfect for each other. They added balance, and made the romance between them realistic. Bethany is an easy to like character, and I adored George who’s colder than the many corpses he embalms. So when Bethany begins coaxing him out of his shell, it’s wonderful to read about his icy blood becoming red hot.
Now there were a lot of side stories going on that I will admit I wasn’t interested in. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed Bethany’s other job, but I found it detracted from the story. As for the family, that was wonderfully executed to complete George and Bethany’s character arcs.
This is a great read, and the author is a talented writer. Do yourself a favour and get a copy.
Have you read Undertaking Love? If so, do you agree with my review. If you haven’t read the book, would you be willing to now?