Narrator: Zachary Webber

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

Posted August 20, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Huge Deal by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Huge Deal by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Samantha Cook, Zachary Webber
Series: 21 Wall Street #3
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Huge Deal , Hot Asset , Hard Sell , Huge Deal , Hot Asset, Hard Sell
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 7 hours and 19 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

This is the second book that Rowena chose for both Holly and I for our Summer Reading Challenge. While this book was Rowena’s favorite in the series, it comes in second for me.

Kate Henley is Kennedy Dawson’s executive assistant. She keeps his life running smoothly, both professionally and personally. It’s been years since Kate first came to work for the three best friends. Years since Kate fell in love with Kennedy Dawson. After years of not being noticed and then overhearing Kennedy say that she’s not appealing in the least, Kate works on getting over Kennedy. Which she does.

Kennedy Dawson is very old-fashioned. He likes his life well-ordered and boring. After years of being single, he’s dating a model which is out of the norm for Kennedy. Everything is going along exactly how Kennedy planned, which involves no messy emotions and certainly not love. Then he starts seeing Kate in a way that he’s never seen her before.

Kate doesn’t want Kennedy to notice her. She got over her crush on him years ago and she’s not looking to go back and pine for him. Kennedy ends up being more persistent than she ever expected and pursues her with a single-minded focus that she’s only ever seen in him.

I really did enjoy this book. I expected Kate to be love sick over Kennedy, but that was not the case at all. She was a very strong woman, which I always appreciate. Kennedy was very likable as well. I really enjoyed their story. I feel that this was a good conclusion to the 21 Wall Street series.

I listened to this book on audio and really enjoyed it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

21 Wall Street

four-stars


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Review: Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely

Posted August 15, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Zachary Webber
Series: Ballers and Babes #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 1, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 306
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Hands down, my favorite thing in the world is to score. Touchdowns.

Don't let the fact that I'm the leading pick in the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction fool you. These days, I'm only a player on the field. I've kept my pants zipped all season long because nothing's more important than leading my team to victory every week. Except maybe escaping from the team owner's recently-widowed and handsy-as-hell sister who's dead set on winning more than a date with me.

Enter Violet and a well-placed Hail Mary.

She's my best friend's sister with a smile as sweet as cherry pie and a mind that runs quicker than the 40-yard-dash. After Violet saves the day with the highest bid, I don't even give her a two-minute warning before I kiss her in front of the whole crowd and then announce that she's my girlfriend. Which would be fine except my agent tells me we have to keep up the act while he's negotiating my contract.Violet takes one for the team and pretends to be mine, but our boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage quickly turns into a full contact sport, and I want it to go into overtime. The problem is--I've been riding the bench for years.

How can a guy like me, who finally has a chance to prove his worth on the field, convince the girl she's most valuable to his heart?

*MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is a brand new standalone sports romance written in the guy's POV!*

Most Valuable Playboy is the first book in Lauren Blakely‘s Ballers and Babes series. I listened to the prequel novella last week, which is told solely from Violet, the heroine’s, point of view. This is told solely from Cooper’s point of view. This is an Audible Escape (formerly the Audible Romance Package) find. It was a cute, light listen. I really like Zachary Webber as a narrator. He did a great job with the story.

Cooper is finally where he wants to be professionally – the starting quarterback for the San Francisco Renegade’s NFL team. He was a first round draft pick, but he ended up sitting on the bench while the man he thought he’d replace continued to dominate. He has some big shoes to fill, and his entire career is riding on him doing well this season, especially since his contract is up for renegotiation. When the owner’s sister gets a little too handsy and makes it known she wants more than a platonic date when she wins him in a charity playboy auction, he asks his best friend’s little sister to rescue him. He’s known Violet since second grade, they’re great friends and both know the score. So he has no trouble asking her to play his girlfriend for the rest of the season to keep the owner’s sister away.

I’ve come to expect a fun, easy to fall into story from Blakely, and she easily delivered here. Cooper and Violet’s friendship came through well, and I loved how they came to know each other in a more intimate way. I liked the progression of friends to lovers and how the fake relationship turned into a real one. Violet was a lot of fun, but I think I got more out of the story for having listened to the prequel novella, Most Irresistible Guy, first. It gave me a better understanding of where she was at with Cooper and why she agreed to the charade.

There isn’t a ton of football in this book, but there was enough with the team and coaches to make this feel like a well-rounded story. I’m looking forward to the next book.

If you’re looking for a sweet, fun romance, this is the one for you.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Ballers and Babes

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hard Sell by Lauren Layne

Posted August 14, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hard Sell by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Hard Sell by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Samantha Cook, Zachary Webber
Series: 21 Wall Street #2
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Huge Deal , Hot Asset , Hard Sell , Huge Deal , Hot Asset, Huge Deal
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 243
Length: 7 hours and 8 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

He’s a Wall Street wolf. She’s been hired to tame him. From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes a wildly sexy novel of business and pleasure.

Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.

For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have an explosive history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse—she can’t stop thinking about him. So who’ll dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.

Matt Cannon and Sabrina Cross have a non-conventional relationship. The day they met, Matt took Sabrina to bed. Then he said something to her that cut deep. Since that night they have a love-hate relationship. They love to hate each other, but they can’t quit each other. They both know that their unhealthy relationship has to end, but neither is willing to put an end to it. Their relationship changes when Matt is photographed at a party in Vegas. His image at Wolfe Investments takes a dive. His bosses want him to “change”. The only person that he can go to for help is Sabrina.

Sabrina is a fixer. She fixes problems for people. She’s in the know for just about everything in New York. If you want something done, Sabrina is your girl. When Matt comes to her telling her that he needs to change his image in order to keep his job, she doesn’t want to help. Matt isn’t asking her to help him from the sidelines. He’s asking her to be his pretend girlfriend for a month. Sabrina has long been in love with Matt even though he destroyed her with his words during their first night together.

Both Matt and Sabrina find it too easy being a couple. They just have something together. Matt decides he’s not going to let it go. Until, like an idiot, he fucks it up. He thought that they wanted the same thing, but the woman who seemed so grounded in reality now wants to marry for love instead of a simple partnership. After growing up with unhappy parents, Matt wants nothing to do with “love”.

I loved this book. It was my favorite in the series. Matt and Sabrina were fire. I loved their banter, I loved how they both pretended like they only wanted their relationship to be pretend. Their relationship wasn’t easy for sure, but it was a pleasure to read. The only thing that confused me was when Jarod Lanham, Matt’s potential client showed up. I didn’t understand why he wanted to be involved in their situation. He stirred shit up and I still don’t understand why he was even a character. It was strange and it took me out of the story a little bit.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

21 Wall Street

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Posted July 24, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hot Asset by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Hot Asset by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Samantha Cook
Series: 21 Wall Street #1
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Huge Deal , Hot Asset , Hard Sell , Huge Deal , Hard Sell, Huge Deal
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 266
Length: 7 hours and 39 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A sexy agent hounds Wall Street’s hottest new wolf in an exhilarating novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Hot Asset is one of the books Rowena chose for me for our Summer Reading Challenge. For that reason alone I wanted to love this book. Truly. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Ian Bradley is a stockbroker on Wall Street. He works hard and plays hard. After being in multiple foster homes as a child, all Ian wants for himself is stability of the financial nature. He never had that growing up and he was determined that he would never go back. The shit hits the fan when the SEC gets a tip from an anonymous source saying that Ian has been involved in insider trading. Suddenly the life he’s worked so hard to cultivate and maintain is at risk. Ian knows he’s innocent, he just has to convince the SEC. Easy, right?

Lara McKenzie’s dream has always been to be a FBI agent like both her parents. She wants to work in the white collar crime division and she’s certain that working for the SEC will get her where she needs to go. She only needs a shining recommendation from her current boss. When she’s put on the Bradley case, Lara is sure that this is the case. Her golden ticket. Her way into the FBI. Then she meets Ian and realizes that it’s not going to be easy to prove that he had anything to do with insider trading.

Lara was almost a heroine that I could dislike. She took one look at Ian and decided he was guilty. End of story. She didn’t care what she had to do to prove it. Some of it was because she wanted to get into the FBI. The rest was that she wanted to teach him a lesson. Prove to him that he can’t get away with breaking the law. Ian was nothing but cooperative with her and she continued her investigation. My feelings for her did eventually change when she started investigating to help him. She also admitted to herself that she had become so jaded that she stopped thinking that the people she was sent into investigate could be innocent.

Ian and Lara’s romance was okay. Nothing great, but not horrible either. They were both instantly attracted to each other. Lara was determined not to let it interfere with her job while Ian was going to make it interfere. Ian is bewildered by his feelings for Lara. He’s never had a woman distract him before and Lara distracts him in more ways than one. I think Ian’s thoughts on being in a relationship with Lara were what made the book so good.

Lara really did get better in the end, but I was already invested in Ian so shrug.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

21 Wall Street

three-half-stars


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Joint Review: Getting Played by Emma Chase

Posted July 16, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Joint Review: Getting Played by Emma ChaseReviewer: Casee and Holly
Getting Played by Emma Chase
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Zachary Webber
Series: Getting Some #2
Also in this series: Getting Schooled (Getting Some, #1), Getting Schooled (Getting Some, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 241
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A magnificent new romance by New York Times best-selling author Emma Chase - available in audio first!

Dean Walker is all about keeping life simple. He's effortlessly talented and intelligent - spending his summers playing drums in the local band and the rest of the year teaching high school in the same Jersey town where he grew up. He likes his love life simple too, enjoying the commitment-free hook-ups his good looks and sexy charm have always made oh so easy.

Then he meets Lainey Burrows. And his simple, easy life gets turned upside down.

One wild one-night stand was all it was ever supposed to be, so Lainey is shocked when she discovers that her sizzling summer fling is also her son's new math teacher. But that's nothing compared to the most unexpected twist of all - their hot hook-up left Lainey knocked up, and now they're about to become parents. Together.

What ensues is an addictive, insatiable, sweet and tender romance that won't be simple, but it will be more than worth the fight.

Getting Played is the second book in Emma Chase’s Getting Some series. Dean Walker is a small-town math teacher that hits the road with his band during the summer. Lanie Burrorws is a successful DIY blogger who is out celebrating a new career opportunity. Their attraction is instantaneous, their one night together is unforgettable. They thought they would never see each other again, until Lanie shows up for parent-teacher conferences at her son’s new school.

Casee: I loved Dean in Getting Schooled and I loved him in this book. He was just so brutally honest with himself about himself, you know? I adored that about him. I also loved how open and honest Dean and Lanie were. No games.

Holly: I loved Dean in Getting Schooled, too, and I was so happy to see his book.

Dean was an all around great guy. He didn’t lie to himself or anyone else about who and what he was. He admitted to being a major player, but it was obvious he was ready for more by the time Lainey came back to town.

Casee: One of the things I liked most about this book was the Burrows’ family. When Lanie talked about how her parents went on their cruise and slept the whole time? Isn’t that every parent after all their kids are out of the house? I loved all her sisters and how they were there for each other. They were all so unique.

Holly: I thought Lainey’s family was so great. Her parents, her sisters, even her son. All of them were so well done. I loved getting to know them. It was great to reunite with Garrett and Callie, too. I like that they didn’t steal the show, either.

Casee: I think that Emma Chase is just such a stellar writer. Like you said, she brought back Garrett and Callie, but not too much. It was still all about Dean and Lainey.

Holly: I really liked Lainey’s lifestyle blog, too. I thought the added snippets of her Facebook Live posts were really great. I also loved that she was just real and out there. At one point she mentions something about lifestyle bloggers generally being totally put together, but that’s not her. She lets her viewers see it all. I thought that was great.

Casee: That’s another thing I loved about Lainey. She put herself out there. She let her viewers see the real her. She didn’t sugarcoat anything that was happening in her life, she just laid it all out for all to see. I also loved her relationship with Jason.

I also love Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt on audio. They are like the power couple of audiobooks. I heart them.

Holly: I really like Andi Arndt and Zachary Webber, but I like Sebastian York and Andi Arndt a little more. They’re my power couple of audiobooks. Still, this one was wonderful to listen to.

Casee: I have nothing bad to say about this book really. I loved just about everything. I loved the kids in Dean’s class. When they found out that Jason and Lainey lived in the haunted house on Miller St? Hilarious.

Holly: I have nothing bad to say about this book, either. I loved how open and honest Dean and Lainey were with each other. I loved Lainey’s relationship with her son, and how well Dean got along with him. Even when they were having drama, they didn’t let that affect their plans to parent their child.

Casee: I give this one a 4.25 out of 5. What about you?

Holly: I’m giving it 4.25 as well. It was such a sweet, well done story. I can’t wait for the next one.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4.25 out of 5

Getting Some

four-stars


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