Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Spotlight and Review: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

21 Wall Street (Book 3)
Lauren Layne
Rel Feb 12th, 2019
Montlake Romance

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.

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Within a series, there's often a stand-out character who intrigues you more than the others. Cue, Kennedy Dawson. After meeting him previously in Hard Sell and Hot Asset, I knew his story would be something special, and it is.

With Ian and Matt, his friends and fellow work colleagues firmly seated in the 'in a relationship' status, Kennedy is feeling a little envious even though he has a 'nice' girlfriend called Claudia. All is well until he begins to be suspicious of the time his assistant Kate is spending time with Claudia. However, it isn't until his brother Jack turns up expectedly and asks Kate on a date causing a jealous reaction...the catalyst for him to finally admit who he wants to share his life with. Only, he made a pact with his friends to make Kate off limits…

Kate has given up any thoughts of getting any attention from Kennedy apart from acting as his assistant. After a long time, she's fallen out of love with him but still hasn't found 'the one' to move forward with. When Jack Dawson asks her out, she says yes, after all, he's good company, successful and looks like his older brother, only he isn't Kennedy...

'It's complicated' is an apt way to describe Kennedy and Kate and their journey to a happy ending is far from smooth. Kennedy has been totally clueless to the fact Kate loved him once. Kate never understood why Kennedy appeared to be indifferent around her in stark contrast to the warm, friendly relationship she shared with her other bosses. Both she and Kennedy are highly successful, intelligent people but when it comes to communicating matters of the heart, they are a pair of amateurs.

For me, this is in my top three favourite novels written by Ms Layne. It's is classic, with her trademark humorous banter and well thought out and written narrative. My favourite heroes are imperfect, and Kennedy falls into this category. He has an old-school charm which ventures often to clueless, astonishing for someone as accomplished and successful on Wall Street as he is. Kate is pragmatic about life, after finally falling out of love with her 'too blind to see' boss. She's not afraid to take a chance on someone else, however, the same bravado disappears when the opportunity she's dreamed about is there for her to finally take.

What stands out within this novel is the close-knit friendships of which Kennedy and Kate are part of. These close bonds shared between them all add a positive 'je ne sais quoi'. Typically, everyone can see what the protagonists can't and the amusing verbal exchanges shared between them all are perfection. I've enjoyed the previous novels in this series, but this one is head and shoulders above the rest.

About LL: @laurenlayneauthor 
Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in nine languages. Lauren's work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She’s based in New York City.