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Fired

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In this fiery series debut from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Brent, a workplace romance might prove too hot to handle. Still reeling from a nasty divorce, Melanie Cruz’s pride takes another beating when she loses her enviable job at an upscale resort. After a flurry of unsuccessful interviews, she finally—desperately—accepts a job managing a small In this fiery series debut from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Brent, a workplace romance might prove too hot to handle. Still reeling from a nasty divorce, Melanie Cruz’s pride takes another beating when she loses her enviable job at an upscale resort. After a flurry of unsuccessful interviews, she finally—desperately—accepts a job managing a small chain of family-owned pizzerias in a quaint downtown Phoenix neighborhood. The job also comes with Dominic Esposito, her overbearing but ridiculously handsome boss. Falling for him might be the last thing she expects, but maybe it’s the one thing she needs.As hard as they try to resist, Melanie and Dominic embark on a romance as hot as a brick oven, and Melanie has every reason to believe that maybe, this time, she’s finally found “the one.”But Dominic has a secret—one even his family doesn’t know. And the scandal could threaten everything he and Melanie have worked for…in business and in love.


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In this fiery series debut from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Brent, a workplace romance might prove too hot to handle. Still reeling from a nasty divorce, Melanie Cruz’s pride takes another beating when she loses her enviable job at an upscale resort. After a flurry of unsuccessful interviews, she finally—desperately—accepts a job managing a small In this fiery series debut from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Brent, a workplace romance might prove too hot to handle. Still reeling from a nasty divorce, Melanie Cruz’s pride takes another beating when she loses her enviable job at an upscale resort. After a flurry of unsuccessful interviews, she finally—desperately—accepts a job managing a small chain of family-owned pizzerias in a quaint downtown Phoenix neighborhood. The job also comes with Dominic Esposito, her overbearing but ridiculously handsome boss. Falling for him might be the last thing she expects, but maybe it’s the one thing she needs.As hard as they try to resist, Melanie and Dominic embark on a romance as hot as a brick oven, and Melanie has every reason to believe that maybe, this time, she’s finally found “the one.”But Dominic has a secret—one even his family doesn’t know. And the scandal could threaten everything he and Melanie have worked for…in business and in love.

30 review for Fired

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Get it here: Amazon US * Amazon UK I loved this start to a new series. Dom and Melanie had amazing chemistry and the difference in their personalities was very intriguing. Dom was this growly and quiet character while Melanie was more upbeat and the mix of that worked perfectly with the story. There was also a little angst involved in their relationship which added to how much I enjoyed the story. Definitely a book I would recommend.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Snow

    I have read several books by Cora Brent some time ago and all I remember is that there was a drama in it...lol, well duh?! But since I wanted smth light and funny again, after reading the blurb I 've decided to give this one a go... Coming across these lines after reading several pages... You’re telling me I’m fired.” “Yes, your employment has been terminated.” Terminated. My mind’s eye envisioned my body combusting in a cloud of white smoke, my black pumps remaining behind in some cruel, I have read several books by Cora Brent some time ago and all I remember is that there was a drama in it...lol, well duh?! But since I wanted smth light and funny again, after reading the blurb I 've decided to give this one a go... Coming across these lines after reading several pages... You’re telling me I’m fired.” “Yes, your employment has been terminated.” Terminated. My mind’s eye envisioned my body combusting in a cloud of white smoke, my black pumps remaining behind in some cruel, contemporary Wizard of Oz twist. “That sounds so final.” “Yes, I’m afraid it is final.” “Son of a bitch.” The human resources director’s bland, colorless eyes bulged, and his comically tiny mouth pursed into a sour, shriveled O. “Pardon?” “My apologies,” I said, standing and trying to gather the invisible shreds of my dignity. “I didn’t mean you." I found the heroine Melanie Cruz sassy & hilarious as she dealt with the disasterous fallout of her latest employment... I looked forward to some more of that... And even though, there were in fact, several more comedic situations, it was more of a romance drama with a slice of a forbidden relationship trope rather than the rom/com I was expecting... All in all, a solid read!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

    Fired is the first book in a new series by Cora Brent and I would say it was an excellent start. The story was emotional and heartfelt. Who says getting fired from your dream job is a bad thing? Melanie Cruz had the dream job at a posh resort but she’s fired and can’t find another job in her field. With the help of a friend she takes a managerial position for a family restaurant which is opening up at a new location. What Melanie didn’t realize is that the job may not be in her chosen field but Fired is the first book in a new series by Cora Brent and I would say it was an excellent start. The story was emotional and heartfelt. Who says getting fired from your dream job is a bad thing? Melanie Cruz had the dream job at a posh resort but she’s fired and can’t find another job in her field. With the help of a friend she takes a managerial position for a family restaurant which is opening up at a new location. What Melanie didn’t realize is that the job may not be in her chosen field but might be the right job for all different reasons. Dominic Esposito is all about the job and opening up a new location is all he can think about day and night. Work takes precedence over his personal life because once he let it get the better of him. His brother may have hired her but she sure is making it hard to stay focus when she’s around him. Both Melanie and Dominic were realistic characters with both good and bad flaws and I definitely could empathize with them. Melanie’s first marriage was based on all the wrong reasons and wondered if she was ever going to find someone to love and make her happy again. The death of her parents still has an effect on her even after years, and it shows how vulnerable she is when someone close to Dominic passes away. With a little introspection she realizes that her present situation is a good thing and that if she wants things to work out for her and Dominic she is going to have to be proactive and not reactive. I love when she talked to her cats and they had such adorable names as well. Dominic is a man with a big secret and the guilt makes him have tunnel vision about work. Trying to reestablish the Esposito name here in Arizona is his top priority and he is not going to let his family down. The one thing he can’t let happen is to let his attraction to Melanie make him lose focus on what is right and not what he wants. When he thinks he can handle both work and Melanie things get a little muddle for Dominic and things are left unsaid between them. It took a close relative’s death to make him see what is important and how he needs to clear the air finally and unburden himself of this secret he’s been keeping. I’m glad that he made attempts to keep Melanie in touch even if it was through other means rather than talking directly to her. Family is important to Dominic and I’m glad he made things right and the ending was a perfect way to show it. Overall I enjoyed the story very much. It was well written and it had both heat and heart. There was the slow build attraction between Dominic and Melanie, which felt a little too long for me, but definitely worth the wait. Both Dominic and Melanie learned that you can have it all if you set your mind to it and achieve a balance of work and play. Letting go of the past isn’t easy but it sure makes moving forward a whole lot easier when you are carrying less baggage. This was my first story by Cora Brent and I look forward to more stories in the Worked Up series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I really enjoyed this boss/employee romance. Dominic is trying to revive the family restaurant business with his brother and they're opening a second location. Melanie recently lost her job and is looking for something else when her friend suggests her for the position at a new restaurant. From the moment Dominic and Melanie meet, there are sparks and insane chemistry. Dominic won't touch an employee but there's something special about Melanie and he can't resist her. I really liked that these I really enjoyed this boss/employee romance. Dominic is trying to revive the family restaurant business with his brother and they're opening a second location. Melanie recently lost her job and is looking for something else when her friend suggests her for the position at a new restaurant. From the moment Dominic and Melanie meet, there are sparks and insane chemistry. Dominic won't touch an employee but there's something special about Melanie and he can't resist her. I really liked that these two actually got to know each other before anything sexual happened between them. They had a great connection and I liked both characters a lot. Dominic could be a little rough around the edges but overall he was sweet and kind. Melanie was independent, driven and smart. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more in this series!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    So bored I simply stopped reading at 70%. I kept wondering when the book was actually going to start and then noted I was 70% done. It is still on my kindle but I can not imagine I am picking it up again. I don;t hate the characters but I don't like them either. I am simply bored.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This was a really good quick and easy read but GOD do I now need pizza! The main characters are Melanie and Dominic. Melanie is a recent divorcee who has lost her job and is looking to start a fresh, and that's exactly what she gets when she gets hired as an assistant manager at a pizza restaurant with bosses Dominic and Gio. Dominic is very family based and has gone into his family business of pizza with his brother, he has a secret but the sparks flying between him and Melanie cannot be This was a really good quick and easy read but GOD do I now need pizza! The main characters are Melanie and Dominic. Melanie is a recent divorcee who has lost her job and is looking to start a fresh, and that's exactly what she gets when she gets hired as an assistant manager at a pizza restaurant with bosses Dominic and Gio. Dominic is very family based and has gone into his family business of pizza with his brother, he has a secret but the sparks flying between him and Melanie cannot be ignored. There are secondary characters but as this is the first book in a series I think they will get books of their own. The storyline is quick and easy to read and the romance between the two main characters is exciting and well paced. 3 stars a good read

  7. 4 out of 5

    April Symes

    Fired is book 1 in a new series called Worked Up by Cora Brent. Dominic is determined to bring his family restaurant back to its #1 status, where it used to be. Dominic and Melanie first meet when Dominic’s brother hires her to work for them and it’s very apparent that there is a sizzling chemistry between them and sparks begin to fly. Melanie has come to Dominic and his brother after having been fired from her other job that she was fantastic at and the firing left her feeling displaced. She is Fired is book 1 in a new series called Worked Up by Cora Brent. Dominic is determined to bring his family restaurant back to its #1 status, where it used to be. Dominic and Melanie first meet when Dominic’s brother hires her to work for them and it’s very apparent that there is a sizzling chemistry between them and sparks begin to fly. Melanie has come to Dominic and his brother after having been fired from her other job that she was fantastic at and the firing left her feeling displaced. She is also reeling because she has just gone thru a horrible divorce. Now she is starting over with a new job , in a new place, and her new job she will manage a small chain of family-owned pizzerias in a downtown Phoenix neighborhood. Dominic as Melanie’s boss was awesome , for he didn’t know what to make of Melanie. Dom cannot stand the fact that he is highly intrigued and attracted to his newest employee and he was adamant that he would never cross that line of the boss/employee relationship and take it a step further yet he continued to pursue Melanie and they continued to do that dance all couples do who are afraid to take things further yet so badly want to… So finally they give in to the pulsing desires they are both feeling and they end up agreeing to keep their “relationship” a secret. What they don’t realize is others are so aware that Dominic and Melanie like each other A LOT and that they have something going on, so it really isn’t worth it to keep it a secret because others are more aware than they think. See Dom is the classic Dominant – one who has to control everything. And he has this secret… one that is going to blow up in his face if he doesn’t tell anyone about it. So he blows hot and cold with Melanie. Dominic is so sexy, intelligent, loves his family , mysterious, alpha male to a T. Yet he doesn’t see the forest for the trees at times. Melanie is a good woman, strong, intelligent, faithful, sweet yet has been dealt some rough blows in her young life of recent and she is just looking for that place that can be her port from the storm, and she believes she has found it, believes she has found her MR. Right even though Dominic does this push/pull with Melanie. What happens to Dom and Melanie when the secret comes out? This is an emotional, angsty, passionate, steamy romance read which was a great read and I enjoyed every moment. I loved reading about the main characters and even the secondary characters . I look forward to the next book in the series. My Rating: 4.5 stars ***** "I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***

  8. 4 out of 5

    BookSmacked

    Fired is book 1 in a new series by Cora Brent. I was excited to see this and immediately wanted to read it being a huge fan of her Gentry Boys series. Dominic is determined to bring his family restaurant back to where it once was. He and his brother Gio want to honor their grandfather as they start a second restaurant and have hired Melanie to help with all the administrative aspects of the business. Dominic at first comes across as a bit gruff, not very friendly and it's clear that his focus is Fired is book 1 in a new series by Cora Brent. I was excited to see this and immediately wanted to read it being a huge fan of her Gentry Boys series. Dominic is determined to bring his family restaurant back to where it once was. He and his brother Gio want to honor their grandfather as they start a second restaurant and have hired Melanie to help with all the administrative aspects of the business. Dominic at first comes across as a bit gruff, not very friendly and it's clear that his focus is on the restaurant and he isn't looking for distractions. Melanie comes in and it's an immediate distraction for Dominic. Melanie was sweet and I could tell that she was such a genuinely nice person.At first these two have a bit of a rough time just being around each other. The attraction is there on both parts but he's doing what he can to avoid it by almost being a bit of a jerk. I liked this storyline, I thought it was cute, I loved the idea of the two brothers carrying on their grandfather's tradition. There were also some moments between Melanie and Dominic that were sweet as they seemed to eventually find a rhythm with each other once they decided to go for it. I had issues however with feeling the relationship between the two of them. I just couldn't quite connect to the them as much as I would like. Overall it was an ok read that had some sweet moments.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kodie Mackay

    Feeling all kinds of mixed signals in Cora Brent's latest release. I love the humour laced through this story and I really enjoyed the fresh take on the o'l sleeping with the boss storyline. It definitely has Cora's stamp on it. The plot was pretty decent and it's written well with a good mixture of emotions and a smoking hot slow burning build up of sexual tension. Melanie starts the book in a bit of a pickle. Having been fired from her job through no fault of her own, doing a job she wasn't Feeling all kinds of mixed signals in Cora Brent's latest release. I love the humour laced through this story and I really enjoyed the fresh take on the o'l sleeping with the boss storyline. It definitely has Cora's stamp on it. The plot was pretty decent and it's written well with a good mixture of emotions and a smoking hot slow burning build up of sexual tension. Melanie starts the book in a bit of a pickle. Having been fired from her job through no fault of her own, doing a job she wasn't even employed for.. my heart went out for her. I enjoyed her as a character, I liked that she had her crazy melt downs because it made her super relatable. She was funny and sweet and a all round pretty likeable character. Dominic is your typical brooding alpha asshole. Short tempered, he had that love to hate attitude that has you wanting to kiss and throttle him all at the same time. A wall build a mile high around him and so many regrets and skeletons in the closet he can't see what's standing right in front of him. Running himself into the ground trying to finish the second restaurant on time for the opening, a distraction was definitely not what he needed nor wanted when Melanie strutted in the door. Now my issue with this story is that I didn't connect to them as a couple therefore the romance was at a blank for me. The foreplay went on so long!. I felt like they didn't really know if they wanted eachother and it made it hard for me to be excited when the did eventually get together. I've never had this issue with any of the previous stories I have read by this author so it shocked me. I also wasn't a fan of Dom's brother. He came across a whiny tool who didn't even give Dom the chance but instead always expected the worse acting like the disappointed parent instead of his brother. I love all of Cora's previous books that I have read, I don't dislike this it just didn't click for me is all. That's not to say I didn't enjoy a lot of the story... there's a lot of well placed funny entertaining moments. I enjoyed it ok it just wasn't my favourite of hers so far. I kindly received this ARC from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jos

    4.5 Nearly Perfect Stars:) OK, can I say that I had been DYING to read this and when it went on sale recently I snatched it FAST!!!!!!!! It was everything that I had hoped it would be for sure:) I LOVED the writing, storyline, the characters, Dom and Melanie were FANTASTIC characters and I adored the secondary characters. My only wish is that we could have had a story on Gio and Tara BEFOREHAND but hey, they were THAT great of a couple that I had wished for more on them. The storyline flowed 4.5 Nearly Perfect Stars:) OK, can I say that I had been DYING to read this and when it went on sale recently I snatched it FAST!!!!!!!! It was everything that I had hoped it would be for sure:) I LOVED the writing, storyline, the characters, Dom and Melanie were FANTASTIC characters and I adored the secondary characters. My only wish is that we could have had a story on Gio and Tara BEFOREHAND but hey, they were THAT great of a couple that I had wished for more on them. The storyline flowed beautifully, slowly, sexually charged before and after they get together, it was done just right. The backstory on both of them was heartbreaking at times and yet it made them THAT much more of their connection so beautiful. The storyline surrounding Donna, the grandmother was absolutely touching, I mean I cried some heavy tears, simply fantastic job by this author!!!!!! OK, so why not 5 Stars, hmmmm, it wasn't anything major and nothing truly "bad" so to speak, I guess I had some personal issues with the "Beth" storyline....I just didn't "like" it or really "buy" it and honestly I have to say I really didn't see that coming either, kudos to the author for keeping that element of surprise tucked away but for me I had wished it was a different twist, again, thats just me. I can't wait for the next story and to be honest before I read who it would be on I was actually disappointed that Lucy, Melanie's sister wasn't the star heroine, lol. I really thought that she would be featured with either Jason OR even the cousin Steve now that he's back lol. Well, I guess I can be hopeful for her story, hehehe!!!! All in all a near PERFECT story for me:) I loved it!!!!!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    ***ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Since I've discovered her, I've been a fan of Cora Brent's books. When I was given the opportunity for an early read I was ALL IN. I wish I could say I loved this as much as I wanted to. I didn't NOT like it but I felt it was missing that reader connection between me and the hero/heroine. For much of the book the push and pull Dominic had about Melanie and the "secret" left me feeling disconnected and not as invested as I like to be ***ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Since I've discovered her, I've been a fan of Cora Brent's books. When I was given the opportunity for an early read I was ALL IN. I wish I could say I loved this as much as I wanted to. I didn't NOT like it but I felt it was missing that reader connection between me and the hero/heroine. For much of the book the push and pull Dominic had about Melanie and the "secret" left me feeling disconnected and not as invested as I like to be in a romance. And once the "secret" was out my first thought was "that's it?".

  12. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    4 stars Fired by Cora Brent is a beautifully written and entertaining read. I enjoyed the storyline, it was easy to follow, held my interest all throughout and I loved watching Melanie and Dominic's relationship unfold. This was a lovely, heartwarming read and I highly recommend it. Looking forward to the next book Nailed It, in the Worked Up Series. *Purchase Links* Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2z0w4Lt Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2lqFP28 Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2gM9rBZ Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2z2xUxl 4 stars Fired by Cora Brent is a beautifully written and entertaining read. I enjoyed the storyline, it was easy to follow, held my interest all throughout and I loved watching Melanie and Dominic's relationship unfold. This was a lovely, heartwarming read and I highly recommend it. Looking forward to the next book Nailed It, in the Worked Up Series. *Purchase Links* Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2z0w4Lt Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2lqFP28 Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2gM9rBZ Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2z2xUxl *Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the advance copy.*

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lorie

    67%... I need a break. This took off from the start and had my undivided attention but now my interest in waning. :(

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bookgyrl

    After getting fired from her job after an unfortunate incident which was not even her fault, Melanie Cruz is happy to find a job as assistant manager at the pizza-restaurants of the Esposito brothers. Dominic Esposito is working hard on the second restaurant and he and Melanie are both immediately attracted to each other. But Dominic promised his brother Gio to stay away from employees, so Melanie and Dominic suffer a bit from afar. Until... yes ofcourse :-) I really liked this story about - in After getting fired from her job after an unfortunate incident which was not even her fault, Melanie Cruz is happy to find a job as assistant manager at the pizza-restaurants of the Esposito brothers. Dominic Esposito is working hard on the second restaurant and he and Melanie are both immediately attracted to each other. But Dominic promised his brother Gio to stay away from employees, so Melanie and Dominic suffer a bit from afar. Until... yes ofcourse :-) I really liked this story about - in essence - family. Melanie has lost her parents and has only one sister. Dominic has been raised by his grandparents and the restaurant for him stands for family values. His family plays a big part in his life and especially his grandmother Donna. The writing style is flowing and pleasant and I read the whole book in a couple of hours. So it definitely kept my attention. No overdramatics. Just a romantic story of love and family. I give it 5 stars as I enjoyed the storyline and really want to read the next one in the series. *** I requested and received an ARC via Netgalley and this is my honest review. ***

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heather 123

    I struggled with this book. I didn't feel the connection between Dominic and Melanie, especially in the beginning. We're to believe that from the moment he lays eyes on Melanie, that Dominic is completely taken by her. I just didn't feel this. His avoidance of her didn't make sense because I didn't feel that he was so taken by her. Eventually you feel the attraction, but it's in such a way that you still don't feel get his actions. The huge "scandal" is really not that huge and really isn't that I struggled with this book. I didn't feel the connection between Dominic and Melanie, especially in the beginning. We're to believe that from the moment he lays eyes on Melanie, that Dominic is completely taken by her. I just didn't feel this. His avoidance of her didn't make sense because I didn't feel that he was so taken by her. Eventually you feel the attraction, but it's in such a way that you still don't feel get his actions. The huge "scandal" is really not that huge and really isn't that much of a scandal. I mean yeah it was a sucky thing to do, but the kid was 18 at the time. He was young and stupid. They made a huge deal out of this one small incident that when it was finally revealed was disappointing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    nick

    I was excited to try Fired out because it featured a restaurateur and a pizzeria at the center. I’m all for foodie romances as it combines two of my favorite things. How could I say no to that? I’m sad to say though, this book wound up falling flat for me. I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters as they were very much one-dimensional. Melanie was a typical spunky heroine, while Dominic was the gruff douche. They were lacking in layers, in my opinion, which made them both very I was excited to try Fired out because it featured a restaurateur and a pizzeria at the center. I’m all for foodie romances as it combines two of my favorite things. How could I say no to that? I’m sad to say though, this book wound up falling flat for me. I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters as they were very much one-dimensional. Melanie was a typical spunky heroine, while Dominic was the gruff douche. They were lacking in layers, in my opinion, which made them both very forgettable. I also didn’t think there was much chemistry between the two of them. Even the sex scenes fell really flat for me, and I wound up skimming them as they bored me. I think the only reason I kept pushing through the book was because of the actual pizzeria, and because I really liked Dominic’s bond with his brother. Other than that, I can’t remember much from Fired. It’s a shame though because if the book had been executed a bit more differently, this could have been a really fun boss-employee romance! But hey, we can’t love them all, so I’m fine with not loving this one! If you’re curious though I recommend giving it a try!

  17. 5 out of 5

    A Klue

    All systems get fired up each and every time this main couple lay eyes on each other, folks. Honestly, I think my favorite part was them trying to steal glimpses of one another without getting caught. However, they both are bound and determined not to give in to their moth to a flame attraction, especially the hero, at least not for quite some time. But like trying to convince a volcano not to erupt, they just couldn’t stop nature from taking its course. This slow burn romantic tale eventually All systems get fired up each and every time this main couple lay eyes on each other, folks. Honestly, I think my favorite part was them trying to steal glimpses of one another without getting caught. However, they both are bound and determined not to give in to their moth to a flame attraction, especially the hero, at least not for quite some time. But like trying to convince a volcano not to erupt, they just couldn’t stop nature from taking its course. This slow burn romantic tale eventually ignites into some very hot, dirty talking, after hours smexy scenes. Unfortunately, doubts, insecurities, and a very unwelcome big reveal near the end almost doom them before they fully commit to one another. I must say I was extremely disappointed to learn the dark, dirty secret and truly wish the author had not included it. It cheapened that person’s character and made the epilogue less believable. Told by alternating dual point of views, we see Melanie and Dominic tip-toe around each other in silent infatuation and reluctance to be the first to admit their feelings. Melanie’s sassy, feistiness was a great counter to Dominic’s brooding, keeps to himself, intimidating to most people demeanor. She was patient but also quick to put him in his place, yet was not the clingy, nagging type. He continues to hold her at arm’s length thinking she deserves better. After the skeleton in the closet comes out to haunt him, I had to wonder if he was right. As a lover of relationship angst and restaurant themed romantic tales, I was all set to give this book a 5 star rating. However, after the details of a decade old vengeful past transgression comes to light, I just couldn’t see the people involved putting it behind them and working together like it never happened. Sure, there was remorse, but I found it hard to forgive an act that almost destroyed a family. Fortunately, the writing did flow, and I stayed fully engaged. I’m just still upset about what crossed a line in my personal main character code of conduct rules. Romance Safety Gang: (view spoiler)[ When Dom was 18 he had an affair with his cousin’s wife (during a separation). He did it deliberately to get back at the man who he mistakenly thought had hurt his family’s business. Supposedly, he started to care for her and was hurt when she broke things off and went back to her husband, who she already had a child with. There is a crude retelling of how they got caught. Some people thought her 2nd child was Dom’s, but it wasn’t. It didn’t help matters when we find out Mel and this OW looked a lot alike. Mel’s ex-husband makes a brief cameo with his wife, who he was seeing while married to her. Both of the main couple had been celibate for some time. They each go on a date with someone else at one point, but nothing happens. (hide spoiler)] Title: Fired, Series: Worked Up (Book 2), Author: Cora Brent, Pages: 318, stand-alone but part of a series, slow burn, instant attraction but determined not to give in, very graphic steamy scenes, unwelcome big reveal about a hurtful, vengeful past transgression, both celibate for some time, no love triangle, both go one one date with someone else but nothing happens. Rating: 3.5 stars (I received a free advanced reader copy provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No type of compensation was given to this reviewer. There is no relationship or affiliation between the reviewer and the author/publisher/NetGalley.)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Felicia

    This was a kind of spur of the moment read. I seen it was on Kindle Unlimited and needed something to read yesterday so I just dove right in and I ended up really enjoying it. I thought I would get more smut than was included in this book. But the story ended up being super cute and I liked the book without a lot of smut. At first, I was a little bored. Because it goes through Melanie's getting fired at a previous job. And while that has a lot to do with the story line and how she ends up at This was a kind of spur of the moment read. I seen it was on Kindle Unlimited and needed something to read yesterday so I just dove right in and I ended up really enjoying it. I thought I would get more smut than was included in this book. But the story ended up being super cute and I liked the book without a lot of smut. At first, I was a little bored. Because it goes through Melanie's getting fired at a previous job. And while that has a lot to do with the story line and how she ends up at Dominic's pizzaria I was bored finding out about that part in her life. But as soon as she started working at the pizzaria and that sexual tension between Mel and Dom. Man that was intense! I loved them two together. They were so sweet. And they seemed to fit one another so perfectly even though it took awhile for them both to figure that out. I also really enjoyed the side characters. Gio was a good character and I liked Melanie's interactions with Tara as well. And Donna's sassy old lady self. She was such a sweetheart! :D This was a cute read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Danny Jeffery

    This was an enjoyable boss/worker romance. This is what I would consider a slow building romance but I really enjoyed the initial too and fro of the main couple and the sexual tension between them that is evident from the start. This book had a nice dose of humour but there was plenty of drama too. Looking forward to the next book from this series. I was provided with a copy of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley; there was no inducement or obligation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zaylis ZR

    OMG!!!!! Did anyone else noticed that Cord and Saylor from Draw (The Gentry Boys book one) made a cemeo in this book!!!!????

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    3.5 This was a nice foodie contemporary romance. This review is based on the ARC provided by the author and/or the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michella

    Wow! Another fabulous read by Cora Brent. The chemistry between sexy, broody Dominic and sweet yet feisty Melanie is hot from the start. A fun and flirtatious storyline that steams up with a dash of angst. Loved the cameo and highly recommend this book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    My Pink Fairytales

    5 Sweet Amazing Stars! WOW! I can't believe how much I loved this book! It was awesome! Extraordinary! Unbelievable! I feel like a kid on Christmas Day, that's how excited I am. :) Let me tell you a little bit about it. It's the story of a man, who wants nothing more than to redeem himself. His focus is solely on work, on opening a second family restaurant, but a beautiful, smart, new employee turn his world upside down, in the sweetest way possible. The author does an amazing job putting the story 5 Sweet Amazing Stars! WOW! I can't believe how much I loved this book! It was awesome! Extraordinary! Unbelievable! I feel like a kid on Christmas Day, that's how excited I am. :) Let me tell you a little bit about it. It's the story of a man, who wants nothing more than to redeem himself. His focus is solely on work, on opening a second family restaurant, but a beautiful, smart, new employee turn his world upside down, in the sweetest way possible. The author does an amazing job putting the story together and creating such strong characters. Dominic might appear a huge jackass, but as his sister-in-law said, he has many layers and he's mysterious, so it's a thrill to peal each of those layers and discover a fine man, whom you can't help falling in love with. Melanie is lovely, a little sassy and not shy to ask for what she wants, when she wants it. Try as you might, you won't find a flaw in her character. Working hard to be a part of something great, she takes her part in making this story amazing. I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have received the honor to read this ARC. THANK YOU SO MUCH! ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ps: you might wanna order a pizza, because this book will make you crave one really badly. :D

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kim Vanravenswaay

    The beginning of this book is so funny. I guess if you have to get fired, then it's best to have a story like this to share from the experience. Dom is all about family. They have a small family, but that doesn't matter. I think that's one of the things that drew Melanie to him. She has her sister and her two cats, so a larger family would be nice. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to see what's next.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    Warm hearted, multi-layered love story Cora Brent did a wonderful job in creating a story of romantic love and family love and loyalty. Melanie and Dominic try to deny their intense mutual attraction. After all it's not smart getting involved with your boss or employee. But the attraction couldn't be denied and they are soon in each other's arms. As the relation grows the reader is also treated to a story of family love, loss and loyalty. I look forward to reading more books by this author. I Warm hearted, multi-layered love story Cora Brent did a wonderful job in creating a story of romantic love and family love and loyalty. Melanie and Dominic try to deny their intense mutual attraction. After all it's not smart getting involved with your boss or employee. But the attraction couldn't be denied and they are soon in each other's arms. As the relation grows the reader is also treated to a story of family love, loss and loyalty. I look forward to reading more books by this author. I received an advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Miekenstein

    Fired is the first book in a promising new series by Cora Brent. I found the storyline and characters entertaining and likable and I can't wait for the rest of the series. Melanie (our heroine) and Dominic (our hero) are both damaged and struggling with their pasts. I found Dominic to be a darker character than Melanie. Melanie was basically a spunky, just keep swimming type of girl (but not annoyingly perky) and Dominic more or less reminded me of a honey badger. I enjoyed watching their Fired is the first book in a promising new series by Cora Brent. I found the storyline and characters entertaining and likable and I can't wait for the rest of the series. Melanie (our heroine) and Dominic (our hero) are both damaged and struggling with their pasts. I found Dominic to be a darker character than Melanie. Melanie was basically a spunky, just keep swimming type of girl (but not annoyingly perky) and Dominic more or less reminded me of a honey badger. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop in the book and felt that they belonged together in the end. I also liked that Melanie was not going to be bowled over by Dominic's strong personality. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance. I received an ARC in exchange of an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Fletcher

    OOOOOH surprised!! Not really sure what i was expecting. I love Cora and am used to her badboys but oooooh Dominic is a business hottie!! I loved him!! Mel is at a bit of a low point in her life. Having just been fired for something she should never have been doing she's on the lookout for a job. She needs a job. She's been on her own for a while after her divorce and is kind of content with her two cats for company. She's far away from her sister so the cats are it! An encounter with someone she OOOOOH surprised!! Not really sure what i was expecting. I love Cora and am used to her badboys but oooooh Dominic is a business hottie!! I loved him!! Mel is at a bit of a low point in her life. Having just been fired for something she should never have been doing she's on the lookout for a job. She needs a job. She's been on her own for a while after her divorce and is kind of content with her two cats for company. She's far away from her sister so the cats are it! An encounter with someone she knew years ago leads to a job opportunity at Esposito's a family run pizza place. It's a few steps down from her last job but she needs this right now so she applies. Dom is busy preparing for the grand opening of the second restaurant in the Esposito's empire. Its his goal in life to bring the family name back up where it belongs. He owes it to his grandparents and brother Gio to succeed. Nothing else in his life really matters. No time for anything else he throws himself in wholeheartedly. He's not one for paperwork so he and Gio employ an assistant manager to help with the new business. On his first meeting with the prim and proper Melanie he knew he was done for. He knew she would bring him to his knees. Determined to keep her at arms length Dom knows he can't have her. Boss and employee does not work and he needed her for the restaurant not for himself. His secrets keep him in the past. Her present might just drag him into the future. Awwwwwww i loved it!! It's not fast action and edge of your seat. What it is, is a beautiful story told in way to make you slowly fall for these two. The first bit makes you want to know more. Makes you care about both of them and wonder about their pasts. The middle makes you wanna bump their heads together and hope they sort it out. The end makes you shed a tear for the past and one for the future you know they'll have. Although it was over a short time frame i loved how their relationship developed. It was hot and heavy but you knew that wasn't all there was there. Their inner monologue actually made me smile. Dom knew she was for him. She didn't know he felt like she did. The too and fro was just perfect to keep you with them. Mel was so lovely. Often quirky and funny i loved her. She's jut that chin and challenge the world but she'd blush while she did it. It was also great to see her more or less walk straight in to the Esposito family and become enveloped by them. It was really good for her, having not many friends and her sister living far away you could tell she needed it. I mean cats are great but not very conversational! lol Dom although outwardly grumpy at first had a heart of gold. He knew he could be grumpy but he made sure to apologize when need be and make up for it. I felt the weight of his family on his shoulders and really felt for him. I wanted to shake him and tell him to accept help for goodness sake!! lol He was so proud and honorable though so i could forgive him his stubborn streak lol The chemistry between the two smoldered and then burned bright. Phewwwwwww *fans face* i need an Italian hottie!!! The writing was bang on. The storyline gave me the warm fuzzies and a smiley face. The side characters were all great. I kinda hope there's going to be book going back over how Gio and Tara met. And i'm excited for Dom's best friend Jason's story and hopefully Lucy and Stevie too! Great story to fill your heart and make you smile!!! Bring on Nailed!! Highly recommend!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Sylva (The Book Bistro)

    I Want To Be An Esposito! Let me tell you how drawn to this book I am - in love - completely and totally in love with this book! Cora Brent left no stone unturned and yet left a whole lot for the unforeseeable future. Yippee!! This book took you into not just two main characters lives but a whole families worth. How she did this with such ease is simply amazing to me because that’s not an easy task to do. I fell in love with the two main characters of course yet I also fell in love with the I Want To Be An Esposito! Let me tell you how drawn to this book I am - in love - completely and totally in love with this book! Cora Brent left no stone unturned and yet left a whole lot for the unforeseeable future. Yippee!! This book took you into not just two main characters lives but a whole families worth. How she did this with such ease is simply amazing to me because that’s not an easy task to do. I fell in love with the two main characters of course yet I also fell in love with the supporting characters in this book too. The author invites the reader to lots of conversation and communication between everyone in the book so that you get the true feel of what she’s trying to convey - I felt it all throughout and I am frothing to read more from this series. (I’m so hoping for a certain BFF and say .....someone JUCY??? - get it hahaha!! I can not say nothing more) *prays the author reads my mind and agrees - running away now! Here you have an insta-attraction and not an insta-love, seem pretty realistic to me. Actually, the whole novel was written with brilliance, plain and simple. The whole story plays out in perfect sequence. So you have your scary yet yummy looking man that is a workaholic whose trying to squash his demons by doing his family proud and then comes her. She’s also a workaholic who is trying to find what many woman want - to not “live to work” but “live and work”. She definitely has plenty of reason to want this for herself and somehow stumbles into the Esposito Family before she even realizes it. “I’m actually left-handed. And I’m going now. Alone. Just me and my dominant and nondominant hands.” This book gives it all to you - Cora Brent wrote this book so thoroughly that it could’ve been 800 pages and I would still hold this book in front of my face until it was done. I’m overwhelmed with feelings and I love every single freaking page of this book - EVERYONE! especially the super hot, combustible ones - whoa! I’ll take a slice of Dominic’s pie please! “You’re honest, Dominic. I may not always like what you have to say, but you’re always authentic.” She stopped tracing hearts and snuggled closer. “That’s why I’m crazy about you.” /b> You really do want to read this book for many reasons. First and foremost, due to the amount of detail that Ms. Brent put into this book, she brought it to life in your head and in your heart, that is worth in spades alone. And also, it’s the first book to a series of standalones (I’m assuming??? and ones I can not wait for). It is an absolutely stunning read. *this review is affiliated with The Book Bistro

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kari Davis

    When I saw this on Netgalley I thought it's Cora Brent, yes. I was drawn in by the cover and blurb. I knew I had to read it. After I finished this I wasn't sure how I wanted to rate it. I had to think a bit on how I felt. While it definitely is a great storyline...sleeping with your boss turned into more. I has a slow build of them, but I felt like I need some more connection between the two main characters. Now don't get me wrong this is some good writing and it has some entertaining parts too When I saw this on Netgalley I thought it's Cora Brent, yes. I was drawn in by the cover and blurb. I knew I had to read it. After I finished this I wasn't sure how I wanted to rate it. I had to think a bit on how I felt. While it definitely is a great storyline...sleeping with your boss turned into more. I has a slow build of them, but I felt like I need some more connection between the two main characters. Now don't get me wrong this is some good writing and it has some entertaining parts too it. Melanie has just been fired from her job at a prestigious spa. The whole reason she lost her job was quite funny, yet I felt bad for her as it truly wasn't her fault. But someone has to take the fall. I liked that she was smart, driven and normal. Yep she was normal and was relatable. She didn't hide behind her faults, she owned up too them. When she lands a job in a field she's never worked, she's grateful for the opportunity. What she wasn't expecting was to be attracted to her new boss. He does something to her body without even touching her. Can she resist him or will she give into her desires? Dominic comes across as a bit frightening to his employees, but he's not. He's just driven and has some guilt from his past that he needs to succeed. He's trying to do everything and has a hard time delegating tasks to others. It has to be perfect, his families legacy is depending on. When he meets the Melanie the new assistant manager his brother hired, he's taken aback by the feelings she is stirring in him. He can't cross that line with her. Or can he? So here is my problem, I felt that the build was too slow. I get it's a slow build with some sexual tension between them, but it lacked some communication. I get that he had some secrets from his past, but he didn't seem like he truly was into her at times. The secrets aren't revealed until right at the end and they weren't that big. However, I did like both of the characters and their love story eventually won me over at the end. Nice little surprise in their Cora. When you read it, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. This was good story. I liked it but didn't love it like her other series. It has some funny moments, sexy moments and some hmmm moments. But I'm excited to read another book and I'm hoping it's Steve's story. I was intrigued by him. 3.75-4 Stars! ARC received for honest review from Netgalley .

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bec

    4.5 Stars losing her job at an upscale resort might have been the best thing to happen to Melanie Cruz, especially now that she's working for Dominic Esposito and his brother as a manager for their small chain of family-owned pizzerias. However, working alongside Dominic isn't as easy as Melanie thought it would be, especially with the strong chemistry between them. Will Dominic realize that Melanie is the right woman for him, or will he lose the woman that's coming to mean so much to him because 4.5 Stars losing her job at an upscale resort might have been the best thing to happen to Melanie Cruz, especially now that she's working for Dominic Esposito and his brother as a manager for their small chain of family-owned pizzerias. However, working alongside Dominic isn't as easy as Melanie thought it would be, especially with the strong chemistry between them. Will Dominic realize that Melanie is the right woman for him, or will he lose the woman that's coming to mean so much to him because he's afraid to take a chance? What an extremely entertaining, fast-paced, captivating read Ms. Brent has delivered in this first book of her Worked Up series where the main characters were enchanting and their wonderful banter had me determined to discover how long it would take for Melanie to win Dominic over because it's palpable he doesn't want to want her. Will he realize that Melanie is his Ms. Right before he loses her? The way this started had me sympathizing with the heroine, as she made a huge error in judgment that leads to a terrible aftermath for her when it comes to her job. Will she be able to bounce back and prove she's responsible and can follow orders passed down from her bosses? As for the dialogue, it was intense due to the main characters back stories; what the heroine goes through in the beginning that makes her feel like a failure because -- what if she can't find another job; and everything this couple go through on their journey to happy ever after including whether the restaurant will succeed. Will media coverage (reporters) prove to be the restaurant's downfall, especially when it comes to the hero's past? Moreover, the heroine was strong and brave the way she's managed to pick herself up and move on after what happened to her with her previous job, which could have caused plenty of trouble for her when it came to finding a new job. I also liked how the heroine handled the hero and that she didn't let him get away with how he treats her in the beginning, as if he's too busy to interact with her for long. Yet, what I liked most of all was how hard-working she was and that she did everything she could to help the hero interact with his employees better so they're not afraid of him. While the hero, he's done everything to make up for his past mistakes in what he did to his cousin. Will he be able to make things right between them? I also liked the tight bond he shared with his brother and how hard they've worked to accomplish their dream of re-opening their family restaurant, which seems to be doing so well. I also liked how the hero took a chance on the heroine, despite their rocky start in the way he treats her since he knows that getting close to her could end in disaster not just for himself but for their family's restaurant. Overall, Ms. Brent has delivered a fantastic read in this book where the chemistry between this couple was wonderful; the romance nicely-detailed and showed how good these two are together; and the ending had me loving the hero's determination to win the heroine's heart, as he needs her in his life to be fully happy. I would recommend Fired by Cora Brent, if you enjoy books by authors Terri Anne Browning, Kaylee Ryan, Samantha Towle and Scarlett Cole.

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