The Au Pair Affair by Tessa Bailey: My Review

Tessa Bailey is the queen of romcoms and she delivers yet again in this must-read sports romance with the strongest of heroines and the sweetest hero. Check out my book review to see if The Au Pair Affair is a book you’d enjoy reading.

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Check out She Reads Romance Books' book review of The Au Pair Affair by Tessa Bailey to see if this is a sports romance book worth reading.

The Au Pair Affair
by Tessa Bailey

Category: Contemporary Romance
Tags: Nanny, Age Gap, Hockey, Sports, Strong Heroine, Single Dad, Forced Proximity
Series: Big Shots
Published July 2024
Amazon Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★
Book Boyfriend: ★★★★★

The Au Pair Affair Summary:

Tallulah is smart, vivacious, and studying to be a marine biologist. She’s also twenty-six and broke. So when Burgess, a battle-scarred hockey veteran and newly single dad, offers her a job as his live-in nanny, she jumps at the opportunity to get paid while living in a super fancy neighborhood and being around Lissa, his cool but introverted tween.

Her tween charge isn’t the only one who could use some help fitting in, though. According to…well, everyone except Burgess, he needs to get back on the dating scene, and adventurous Tallulah is just the girl to show him how.

But as boundaries are slowly crossed and Burgess finds himself pulled between his daughter, who wants her parents back together, and his insane chemistry with Tallulah, a huge rift is formed, and Tallulah does the “right” thing—breaks her own heart and walks away.

Though Burgess knows it’s for the best—he’s too jaded, with too much baggage—a chance meeting, and a new push from his daughter, forces him to put everything on the line and fight to prove he learned his lessons well and is worthy of a happily ever after with Tallulah. 

The Au Pair Affair: My Review

I was totally blown away by Fangirl Down so you better believe that I was going to grab The Au Pair Affair hoping it was going to be another sports romance romcom to adore this year.

Baily already wrote the BEST scene in Fangirl Down where Burgess and Tallulah meet for the first time and he extends the offer for her to move in and become his au pair and the tension between those two already was off-the-charts so yeah…no brainer I was clamoring to read this!

First off – I love these two characters. With SO MANY books under her belt already, I don’t know how Tessa Bailey keeps creating new characters with unique personalities and life experiences but I’m here for it.

Burgess was a great juxtaposition. A huge bruiser of a man known as Sir Savage on the ice because he was the enforcer of his NHL hockey team and yet with Tallulah he was so gentle, empathetic and caring. He immediately became her safe space when on paper and at first glance he should have been someone who terrified her.

He is top book boyfriend material because he never pushed Tallulah. He instantly became her protector and “bodyguard” for her adventures and only wanted the best for her. He was a total goner when it came to her from the very start.

His hang-up about their age gap really didn’t gain steam and I’m glad because it just didn’t seem to be an issue because both were just mature adults. I also liked that there wasn’t any drama with the ex which can happen in single parent and nanny romance books.

I loved the scenes with him and his teammates, especially the rookies. Hilarious. I loved how he took Tallulah’s suggestions for how to understand and communicate with his daughter and teammates because they were spot on.

And don’t get me started on this guy and his dirty talk. Holy moly….Tessa Bailey should honestly teach a course on writing dirty talk because she is AMAZING at it.

I mean it didn’t take much for me to fall for the man so I couldn’t blame Tallulah. How he could say exactly what he wanted in such a hot and filthy way was fire. And the date he planned….Genius. Thank you Tessa for this amazing hero.

Tallulah was a gem too. While you understand that she’s a grad student and loves marine biology, this story really just focused on her trying to overcome her fear from a past event that occurred in her life.

God my heart bled for this woman when she confessed the incident to Burgess and yet it makes you cheer her on in her bravery throughout the rest of the book.

This book also sets up another book in the series which is going to be a taboo romance between one of Burgess’ teammates and his soon-to-be stepsister. I love Sid not sure how I feel about Chloe who’s a bit ditzy but of course I’m going to read it!

As someone who lived in Boston for over twenty years it was really cool to have the city as the setting for this novel. I have been to the Aquarium and could totally picture their place in Beacon Hill!

There were just a few things that stood out to me given my tastes as a reader, but they didn’t prevent me from enjoying this book.

For example, this is definitely an insta-love romance which I have no problem with but they really knew nothing about each other before falling head over heels and they really didn’t have that many heart-to-hearts besides Tallulah’s big one that showed me they really go to know one another.

I didn’t really get their big moment of conflict either…seemed a bit out of character for Burgess and yet I can see why he did what he did.

Also, this is about her being the nanny and yet was she really? I mean we get a few instances of her with Lissa in the evenings but this is totally glossed over.

I think this is one of those instances that if you’re going to make her a nanny then give us more of her in that role. I think it was only used to provide the moment of conflict with Lissa in the story, which again, didn’t keep me from loving this, but it’s not what you come to expect when reading a nanny romance.

Just make her a grad student he falls for then. Plus, the time after the moment of conflict…how did that work with Lissa? Who was watching her? What happened there?

I honestly will read anything by Tessa Bailey at this point and I’m so enjoying her sports romance series. I definitely recommend this one if you love hot hockey players, dirty talkers and strong heroines. Now to wait for the next one…

*Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader copy. All opinions are my own.

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Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

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Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion and she cultivates her book lists with the best books worth reading in the genre. Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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