Title: Stripped Bare
Series: Vegas Billionaire #1
Author: Heidi McLaughlin
Publication Date: 28 March 2017
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
They don’t call it the Strip for nothing. . . .
In this sinfully sexy Las Vegas romance from bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin, a man who has it all reunites with a woman who takes it all off.
Living in Sin City, Finn McCormick is no stranger to one-night stands, but the last person he expects to find losing big on the casino floor is a former high school fling. Even though Macey Webster’s clearly down on her luck, she’s still a knockout, and she’s dressed like a stripper—because she is one. Drunk off an unfamiliar cocktail of lust, pity, and compassion, Finn offers to pay Macey’s debts if she cuddles up to him around town . . . and does whatever he wants between the sheets.
Macey came to Vegas for one reason only: money. She’s got a young daughter to support, and the tips really are bigger in Vegas. But when she blows her earnings on blackjack, her guardian angel is the rich boy who once stole her heart and never called her back. Although Macey would love to turn the tables on Finn, she can’t afford to refuse his proposition—and soon she’s enjoying herself much more than she cares to admit. Macey’s used to baring her flesh, but baring her soul will take far more courage.
Macey is a single mother struggling to provide for her daughter. Having grown-up on the wrong side of the tracks as the daughter of an alcoholic, Macey is determined to give her daughter the life she wasn’t able to achieve after finding herself pregnant following a carefree night with a high school crush. My heart went out to Macey, as a single mother myself it is easy to understand Macey’s motivation in putting aside her pride and dignity in order to earn enough money to support her daughter, even if it means stripping. Macey holds onto her integrity while trying to pursue a better life for herself and her daughter.
It is easy to understand the situation Macey finds herself in, a vicious style when you are economically challenged, low wages and high bills ensure there is no spare money to buy better attire to dress appropriately for higher paid jobs or even additional education in an effort to better your career.
Finn is arrogant but honourable, a rich casino owner and playboy he holds himself back from relationships. The plot where Finn and Macey are concerned is a little obvious but it is their individual characterisations that make the story both endearing and compelling. For me, Stripped Bare had a Pretty Woman vibe to the narrative – poor stripper and hotshot billionaire (who doesn’t kiss) reach a deal for one week together!!!
For all intents and purposes initial impressions of Finn should have made me dislike him. Finn’s emotional barriers have been instituted following his mothers death and are the driving force behind his avoidance of emotionally intimacy; however, it is also this insight that provides an underlying vulnerability to Finn that makes him charming.
Finn and Macey are drawn to each other and not just in the electrifying physical capacity they share. As the revelations are brought to light, the emotions that brew between Finn and Macey intensify adding to the romance within the narrative.
Stripped Bare is the stuff adult fairy-tales are made of.