Roxeanne Mackenzie is in a tough spot. Her mom needs round the clock medical attention, which Roxy and her siblings cannot adequately give. She’s proud and with that pride, Roxy is forced to find a job she would have never considered otherwise. With her mom’s health rapidly declining, and the need to pay a 1/3rd of the medical bills, Roxy forgoes her college scholarship and begins stripping. She hates it, she can’t stand the clientele, and she panics on stage regularly, but she also acknowledges that the tips she makes from dancing gives her mom access to 24/7 kind and caring medical professionals.

With Roxeanne’s dreams of becoming a writer and attending school on hold, she falls into a funk. She hides her mom’s illness from almost everyone. She cuts herself off from her old friends, embarrassed about where her life has taken her but also not wanting the pity that comes when acknowledging your parent is terminally ill. One afternoon on her daily visit to her mother’s bedside, Roxy meets, Josie Calhoun, a psychology professor with a love for the Persian poet, Rumi.

Josie has befriended Roxy’s mother, she often brings books to read to the dying woman as they enjoy each other company and banter. Roxy is immediately intrigued with the gorgeous red head. A chance meeting at a nightclub brings them into each other’s orbit once again, and they confess their mutual attraction. Josie needs a relationship that is open and honest, she’s’ has been lied to one-to-many times while Roxy is battling with a secret she may be unwilling to reveal.

Roxy and Josie are so darn likeable. They each capture your heart and you cannot help but root for their happiness. You have to love a character that is so kind, intelligent but also imperfect. Crystal Chard has written a winner with Rough Around The Edges. I cannot believe that this is her debut into the romance genre. A great read, and I cannot wait for whatever this writer takes me next. You can guarantee I will be there for it!

4 out of 5 stars

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