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Strength Check (Dungeons and Dating #1) by Katherine McIntyre

@Archaeolibrary, @debbiereadsbook, @PixieRants​,

#Contemporary, #FF, #Romance,

Roxie Esposito just opened a board game café in San Francisco and should be basking in success. Instead, she’s picking out shards from her last relationship and handling her perpetually drunk mother, both of which strain her finances and fuel the need for a roommate.

Melody Roberts finally got the promotion she’d been aiming for—across the country in San Francisco. The perfect escape from her stagnant life and the toxic relationship with her now ex-boyfriend.

The moment Mel answers Roxie’s ad for a roommate, the connection between them is explosive, warm, and real—everything they’ve both been longing for. Between horror movie marathons, board game nights, and deep talks, Mel and Roxie are falling for each other hard. Except the only problem with romance is they both seem to fail every single time, and when the grenade of exes, family drama, and their own insecurities drop, neither will escape unscathed.

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5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Melody moves clear across the country, to share with Roxie, for a new job. Both women are hurting from bad break ups and jumping into something new isn't on either of their agendas, but sometimes, the heart wins out. Can they leave their baggage behind?

This book, right? This book has a little bit of everything, and then some!

It's got a whole lotta love between the group of friends that Roxie introduces Mel to, and I loved the way they fully pulled her into their fold, very quickly. Very quickly, those friends pegged that Rox has feeling for Mel, and not in a roommate kind of way! That she continues to deny it, at least out loud, is amusing, especially as Mel is doing the exact same thing!

It's got drama, from both Mel and Rox. Mel's is her job and her ex. Rox' is her mum and the way her ex left her feeling about herself.

It's got steam! Mel and Rox do get there, yes they do, but it takes them time, and I wasn't sure if this book would come out clean, at first. It doesn't, but it takes til waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past halfway for them to get there. BUT! They needed that time, I think, to get their heads round how they felt about each other and getting over their past heartbreaks.

Loved the business these guys have, the Tabletop Tavern, a board game cafe. Some of the game references I didn't get, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of this book. Fully fledged gamers will get them all, I'm sure!

There are stories for the friends to be told, and I can't wait to read them! The next book is laid out here, but I've no idea what might happen there, and in future books.

A wonderful read, it really was.

5 full and shiny stars.

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Strong women. Strong words. Katherine McIntyre is a feisty chick with a big attitude despite her short stature. She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes--high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix. As an eternal geek and tomboy who's always stepped to her own beat, she's made it her mission to write stories that represent the broad spectrum of people out there, from different cultures and races to all varieties of men and women. Easily distracted by cats and sugar.

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