Hello and welcome to another edition of No Wait Wednesday, where we take a look at a title that's sitting on our New Release shelf just waiting on a lucky reader to check it out. (And the best part? Just like it says in the title: no waiting.) With the post-Thanksgiving season upon us and the days getting shorter and shorter, some of our patrons might need something bright, funny, and romantic to spice up those dark and chilly nights. Luckily, we have a delightful, charming, and refreshing romance novel in Mickey Chambers Shakes It Up by Charish Reid to do just that.
As the novel begins, Mickey Chambers is going though a bit of a tough time. As a part-time professor at a local university, she's not teaching as many classes as she would like - or as many as she needs to survive financially. She's also dealing with some chronic thyroid issues that require medication that's on the pricey side. But with a sunny, sassy, can-do attitude, she looks around for a flexible gig to supplement her income, and lands on the seemingly perfect solution - a part-time bartender job. There, she meets her new boss and owner of the bar, Diego Acosta. Diego's also going through a rough patch, as his wife died several years ago and he's having trouble keeping his neighborhood bar open, with employees coming and going. He's also trying to better himself and make good on a promise he made to his wife, so he takes some classes at the local college to finish his degree - which is when he discovers that his English professor is the serving drinks in his very own bar.
Mickey Chambers Shakes It Up is at its best when Reid plays with the power dynamics between Diego and Mickey, who each have influence in their own spheres - Mickey confidently calls the shots in the classroom, while Diego is the boss at the pub where they work. The interplay between them adds plenty of spice to the romance, and Reid excels at witty banter that never feels rote or cliche - the sparks on the page feel both genuine and earned. Mickey and Diego are fully three-dimensional characters, as both have to navigate their own obstacles, with Mickey's frustration with her lack of classes on top of her hyperthyroidism and Diego's reluctance to open his heart after the tragic passing of his wife. Also, the ages of the two protagonists are significant - Mickey is in her thirties and Diego is in his forties, so both go into the relationship with eyes wide open and experience guiding - and, sometimes, burdening - them. In any case, the sparks between the two are absolutely undeniable, and Reid's grumpy/sunshine pairing will melt the hearts of readers. This refreshing, steamy build will absolutely satisfy, and romance readers of all stripes should give this one a try and put it on their hold lists.