Updated: Jan 22
by Avery Flynn
Published by Entangled: Amara
Book #1 in the Hartigans Series
It’s true. I’m not what most people would call “pretty” and, well, high school was rough.
Fast forward ten years and life is good…
Until a bunch of jerks think it’s hilarious to put the “butterface” (AKA me) on a wedding Kiss Cam with the hottest guy ever—and that old humiliation hits hard.
I recognize him immediately. The sexiest cop in Waterbury and totally out of my league.
But then he kisses me. And we totally forget the room, the crowd, everything.
Then he tells everyone we’ve been dating for months.
Soon everything starts to feel too real, from adorable fights over “necessary” tools to fix my broken porch to surviving a free-for-all dinner with his six siblings to picking up where our last kiss left off.
But there’s something he’s not telling me about why he’s really hanging around, and I’m pretty sure it has to do with my mob-connected brothers.
Because this is not a make-over story, and Cinderella is only a fairy tale…
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Rom-Com Feel Good
Butterface by Avery Flynn is the first book in her Hartigan's series. The series features each Hartigan sibling finding love in unexpected place. This first book focuses on Ford, one of the middle siblings, and the only boy in a set of triplets. He is the only male in three generations who didn't become a fireman, and ended up becoming a Detective with the police instead. His romantic interest is Gina Luca, a wedding planner, with a past of severe bullying because of her big nose, and with a family who is tied to the mob.
I really loved this book! I am always hesitant to read a book from an unfamiliar author (I'm not great with change, to be honest), but I think I found a new author to add to my favorites list! Romance is hard to make unique, and while I went into thinking this would be like the O'Brien series by Cecy Robson, it isn't like that at all. Yes, they are both Irish families, Catholic, with lots of kids, but that's where the similarities end. I had it finished in a day, because I couldn't put it down. It was fun, sexy, intriguing, and at times, a little sad ... especially when it comes to bullying. It does lead to one of the things I really loved about this book though. Every book I have come across, where the woman protagonist isn't your stereotypical beauty, and after a make-over she becomes beautiful and the man falls in love with her ... it falls a bit flat. This is the first time that not only do we have a female character that isn't your classic beauty, but in the end, she embraces her looks, and still gets the hot guy. We need more stories like this.
I LOVED the characters. Gina is both strong as hell, and vulnerable. The fact that she is still made fun of for something as simple as having a big nose (and eyes too big for her face) bums me out. She labels herself as an "undateable", which while I hate that, I also get it. She is super witty, and sassy, and there is just something I love about her personality. I gotta admit, I kinda fell for Ford. Yeah, he is awkward in a way. Doesn't always say the right thing. Totally OCD. But the guy is a sweetheart. I love that he was attracted to Gina from the first chapter, and in the end, he loves her for her. Not despite her face. Just her as a person. The chemistry between these two really pops out at you, and anytime they were together, whether it was just them, or with their crazy families, I loved them. The Hartigan's are a fun family, and any scene here there is more than one in the room is guaranteed to make you laugh.
Great characters + Strong, interesting plot = Winner in my mind. I can't wait to start the next in the series, featuring the oldest sibling Frankie and Rita's best friend Lucy. And more of Avery's works!
Top 3 Favorite Moments
1. When Gina runs into her brothers leaving the hotel room, and when Ford comes out, Gina says he is her boyfriend.
2. When Ford shows Gina one of his favorite action movies.
3. Gina coming to Ford's Saturday family lunch
4. (bonus) Their kiss at the movie theater
5. (bonus) The first time they have sex
6. (bonus) Ford punching his superior when he makes fun of Gina
7. (bonus) Ford calling through the porch
8. (bonus) Ford trying to crash a wedding to declare his love for Gina, and the groom's grandmother hitting him with her cane
9. (bonus) When Ford goes to get Gina back, and they both fall through the porch, and have to call the fire department to get them out, and Ford's family gives him hell for it
Where to Buy
Ford: "Oh man. You can see their tongues. I should never have to see Partridge's tongue. That's gotta be a violation of something."
Rocco: "Who's in there with you?"
She yanked harder, but Ford didn't take the hint. The obstruction remained.
Gina: "No one"
Paul: "If our mother heard you lie like that, she's be lighting candles at church."
Ford: "I've been where you're at."
Gina: "Standing in a hotel room with your panties in your purse?"
Ford: "Not quite."
Ford: "So, walk me through this again. You were throwing your sledgehammer -"
Rocco: "What were you even doing with a thing like that? You coulda killed yourself."
Gina: "Grandpa's body has been trapped between the walls in the attic for years, and you're worried I'll brain myself with a sledgehammer?"
Rocco: "Excuse me for caring about my only sister."
Paul: "You'd say all of this in front of our sister, your girlfriend, without even a twitch of revulsion?" She's fucking delicate."
Gina: "I'm not delicate. I'm a grown woman."
Rocco: "And we're here to protect you. Because you can't trust the cops."
Ford's jaw clenched.
Gina: "I can trust him."
Gina: "I'm not talking to you about that. Look, they might be assholes, but they're my assholes."
Ford: "Your assholes?"
Gina: "You know what I mean."
Gina: "Her bones are strong. She just needs some touch-ups."
Ford: "It's a makeover story, huh?"
Gina: "No way. She's perfect just the way he is, she just needs someone to love her like she deserves."
Gina: "I was too busy following my dad around to job sites, which brings everything full circle, since he was a contractor and now I'm up to my nose in renovations."
Ford: "Speaking of which, you have something ..."
Ford leaned across, reaching across the table and swiping a bit of foam from the tip of her nose.
Ford: "Got it."
Gina: "Damn thing always gets in the way."
Ford: "I like your nose. It gives your face character."
Gina: "Oh yeah, that's just what everyone says."
Gina: "This guy is nuts."
Ford: "He's saving a skyscraper full of civilians."
Gina: "And his estranged wife. You didn't tell me your favorite action movie is really a romance."
Ford: "Not in the least."
Gina: "You really think he'd be breaking that many rules and regulations for just anyone? Come on, if it was just a building full of strangers, he totally would have handled it by the book."
Ford: "He's a cowboy."
Gina: "He's doing it for love. Trust me. Love is my business, I know of what I speak."
Gina: "You know, you're not so bad for a cop."
Ford: "I guess I'll take that as a compliment?"
Gina: "From someone with my last name? You totally should."
Gina: "Don't worry about me. My life has gotten a lot better since I've accepted who I am and said a collective fuck-you to the assholes of the world."
Ford: "Accepted who you are?"
Gina: "And undateable."
Ford: "That's not right."
Gina: "The world is a visual place. People judge others on what they look like, from skin color to age to physical ability to prettiness, within seconds of meeting. You know it's true. They've done so many studies to show how beautiful people have more opportunities than those with average looks - or less-than-average looks."
Ford: You are not ugly."
Ford: "I wish you saw the woman I see when I look at you."
Gina: "Detective Hartigan. I never would have guessed that you're a romantic."
Ford: "I guess I'm full of surprises."
Gina: "Not gonna happen, Officer Bossy."
Ford: "Is it because of the price?"
Ford: "You know I trap people in lies for a living, right?"
He stepped in close, his next words brushing against the shell of her ear and sending her heart rate into overdrive.
Ford: " I know you're lying."
Gina: "How's that?"
Ford: "Because you're gonna make your bottom lip bleed if you chew on it any more."
Ford: "Your friends don't give you presents?"
Gina: "Is that what we are? Friends?"
Ford: "With handyman benefits. Don't forget that part."
Kate: "I'd always wanted a big family though, and boy did that fertility treatment take."
Ford: "Mom. She doesn't want to know that."
Kate: "What? It's not like I told her about the injections and the timing of certain things and the little cup your father had to carry around with him."
Hartigan siblings: "Moooooooom!"
A piece of ham had somehow ended up hanging from the ceiling fan, Finin had applesauce splattered across his shirt, and Ford had a glob of mashed potatoes on his cheek. It wasn't until she reached up to wipe it off that she realized quite how close she was to him. Really close. Like feel-the-heat-of-him-against-her-nipples kind of close. Then he gave her that super hot half-smile and all forebrain function ceased and she gave in to the wonderful want of it, as he started to lean down and she raised herself to her tiptoes to bring her right in line with his mouth. Her eyes started to flutter closed, she tilted her head, and -
Kate: "So, you two aren't dating?"
Gina: "No ma'am."
Kate: "Huh. We'll see about that."
Kate: "So. You and Gina, you're just friends?"
Ford: "In a way."
Kate: "What way is that?"
Ford: "It's complicated."
Fallon: "Yeah, so much so that he's not sleeping at his apartment."
He shot his sister a dirty look. She just grinned at him, no doubt all too aware of how she was stirring the pot.
Kate: "You're living with her but she's not your girlfriend?"
Ford: "I'm not living with her."
Kate: "Where are you sleeping?"
Ford: "Her house."
Fallon: "But you're not living with her. It's just an extended pajama party?"
His brother snort-laughed.
Finian: "Doubtful there are any PJs involved."
Ford: "Shut up, Finian."
Kate: "Boys. So help me understand what's going on, because she seems lovely and she's an Ice Knights fan."
Gina: "The tie makes you look like a cop."
Ford: "I am a cop."
Gina: "Don't remind me."
Ford: "So, you're saying you're not going to introduce me to everyone as your boyfriend, Detective Hartigan?"
Gina: "Oh God no, and don't mention it to my grandma, she's liable to curse you."
Gina: "I never thought I'd hear my grandma say the word blow job. That wasn't completely awkward at all, but she sent me home with homemade cannoli, guaranteeing it would make everything work out in the end."
Gina: "So. I'm losing another handyman."
Ford: "Afraid so."
Gina: "I'll kinda miss my fake boyfriend."
Ford: "You're fake breaking up with me?"
Gina: "Yep. If I don't get use of your hammer, you're no good to me."
Ford: "I need to see you."
Gina: "No. You need to feel me."
Ford: "You have no clue just how bad."
Ford: "I'm not other guys."
She shook her head no in agreement.
Ford: "I need you to say it. Say my name."
Ford: "That's right, and I'm gonna make you come so hard, Gina Luca, that you're going to remember my name when you're a hundred years old and can barely remember your own."
Gina: "Take your pants off and sit down."
One eyebrow went up in question, but being the smart man that he was, Ford took off his jeans and sat his fine ass down on the kitchen chair.
Ford: "I'm at your mercy."
Lucy: "You banged her hot brother?"
Fallon: "What? Ugh. No. Tell me no more. Hearing uptight Ford get called hot is bad enough, please do not let me hear about what he's like in bed."
Lucy: "If they even made it to bed."
Fallon fake gagged
Fallon: "I need a time machine so I can leave myself a note at the door to warn me not to come in."
Frankie: "Damn. Mr. By the Book got suspended. I'm gonna have to put this information in our family group chat."
Frankie: "Well, Mr. Detective, using the information you provided as well as my own keen observational skills, I noticed that you couldn't stop looking at your "just friend" as she gave you the hey-good-lookin' eyes during family lunch. Then, you defended her honor to the point that you broke police rule nine hundred and forty-six and tried to clean the clock of a guy who happens to outrank you. So, by putting on my Sherlock hat, I was able to deduce that you have a major hard-on for on Gina Luca."
Frankie's phone buzzes, and he glances down."
Frankie: "Felicia agrees, and since s he's the only one of us in a committed relationship, I'm gonna declare that means I'm one hundred percent correct."
Frankie: "You want me to limit the ladies of Waterbury's access to all this ginger firefighter hotness? I'm not that cruel."
Ford: "What am I going to do about the suspension?"
Frankie: "Dude. I have no clue on that one. I'm a man who loves two things in this world and they both start with F - fighting fires and fucking."
Ford: "You're so classy."
Gina: "I need to get help."
Ford: "Who are you going to call?"
Gina: "The fire department. They got one of my cousin's kids' head free after he'd gotten it stuck between two banisters at my grandma's house."