Jillian Marshall has her dream job. She’s been a dolphin trainer for eighteen years at Tampa’s Marine Research Institute. She’s incredibly dedicated to her work, and her devotion to her marine mammals consumes her heart and soul. Her life is close to perfect, so a relationship is the last thing she’s looking for.
Laura Carter is getting her life back on track. After a tragic accident resulted in her dropping out of college, she’s back at the top of her game and ready to take on the thirty-six-week intensive training program at the marine institute. She might be much older than the rest of the students in her class, but her enthusiasm and eagerness to learn set her apart from the others. She’s a brilliant animal behaviorist, but when it comes to her PTSD, she’s often crippled by her past experiences.
When Laura confesses what she is struggling with, Jillian offers to help Laura overcome her fears. Jillian seems to know exactly what Laura needs, and Laura has Jillian’s heart doing cartwheels. Despite trying to fly under the radar, their relationship becomes public. The idea of a supervisor involved with a student doesn’t go over well with the institute’s board of directors.
Falling is love was the easy part, but is Jillian willing to put her career on the line for the woman who just might turn out to be her Ms. Right?
I enjoyed getting to know Jillian and Laura so much. I have a thing for intelligent women who are really good at what they do, so seeing them shine in their professional lives was a treat. Throughout the entire book, the draw between them is powerful and they constantly find themselves fighting it because Jillian is Laura’s supervisor. Jillian is smooth and unflappable, and I loved seeing her tender side when it comes to Laura. She offers Laura the same protection and support that she brings to her work with the dolphins. The interesting thing about Laura is the mix of vulnerability and determination in her character. Despite her own fears, she’s a constant source of support to other students in her program and eventually discovers she is stronger than she thinks she is. Michele created two main characters who are obviously meant to be together, but she throws up enough roadblocks to test their commitment to each other.
The Writing Style
The story is told in third person from both Jillian and Laura’s points of view. I enjoyed seeing how each of them processed their fears and vulnerabilities. Michele created a chemistry between them that begins from their first meeting and it grows naturally. There’s nothing forced about it.
When it comes to conflict in a romance, nothing frustrates me more than when a situation crops up that could be resolved with an adult conversation. The conflict that Jillian and Laura face is real. It’s something that could destroy their careers and dreams. I was so there for it, and I honestly feared for their happily ever after even though I know better. (Hint: It’s a romance!)
I love it when I can learn something new from a book. Fearless taught me so much about the care and preservation of dolphins and other marine mammals. The behind the scenes operation of the dolphin training and rehabilitation facility was fascinating. I got a real feel for the bond the two main characters had with the dolphins in their care.
I loved Fearless. I tried finding a more powerful synonym for “love”, but nothing came close. Watching Jillian and Laura awkwardly flirt with each other, get to know each other, and fall in love was beyond satisfying. Plus – dolphins! The plot is tight and there aren’t any missed moments that might’ve left me feeling that something was omitted from the story. I’ve never read anything by Tina Michelle until now, and I plan on rectifying that ASAP. This is a wonderful romance that hits all the right spots. Enjoy.
Excerpt from Fearless by Tina Michele
Another gorgeous smile, and Laura’s knees trembled. Good Lord. What is with me? The goddess slowly took Laura’s mug from her hands and replaced hers with it.
“How do you like it, Miss…?”
Laura leaned her hip against the counter, no longer trusting her legs to hold her up. “Laura. Black. Not Laura Black, Laura Carter. My coffee is black.” Black? Why did I say that? I hate black coffee. Only sociopaths drank their coffee black or so she had read somewhere on the internet.
Of course, she does. “Oh yeah? Well, that’s quite a fluke.” Jesus Christ, Laura, stop talking. No. No, she did not just say that aloud. What’s wrong with me? Laura closed her eyes and shook her head.
“Did you just make a dolphin joke?”
Laura covered her face and peaked out through the crack she made with her fingers. Her face was on fire, and she was afraid to open her mouth again.
“Was it on porpoise?”
Laura dropped her hand from her face and laughed. “No! You didn’t.”
“Why not? It’s not like you’re the only one who has terrible jokes.”
“I swear I’m not nearly this awkward in real life. I’m just crazy nervous about my interview.”
“Eh, don’t be nervous. I’m certain that you’ll do just fine.” She poured what must’ve been four teaspoons of sugar into her coffee, along with a healthy shot of half and half and gave it a long stir.
“I thought you said you liked it black?”
“Oh no. I just said that to be nice. Only sociopaths drink their coffee black.” She flashed another beautiful smile and took a sip.
Laura just stared at her for several silent seconds unsure of what she could or should say next. Had this been a bar, and six or seven years earlier, Laura would’ve pulled this woman into the nearest bathroom stall and jumped her bones.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781635554953
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Tina Michele Online
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