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Monday, September 3, 2018

The Best Frenemies-To-More Romance I've Read: Hard Sell by Lauren Layne

HARD SELL

by Lauren Layne 
Series: 21 Wall Street #2 
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Source: ARC received for review 
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

If you have been following me for a long time, this review is going to seem redundant. I adore Lauren Layne's books and she rarely ever disappoints. My review for Hard Sell is going to be all rainbows and cupcakes because I loved it! I mean what's not to love though? It had some of my favorite tropes including fake-relationship and enemies-to-lovers!

It never takes much for me to fall for Lauren Layne's heroes and as always, I was head over heels in love with Matt Cannon. At 28, he was one of the youngest brokers on Wall Street. The guy had quite the brain for numbers and had gotten filthy rich as a result. When an unflattering photo of Matt is published in the Wall Street Journal, he is urged by his bosses to fix his image. I always like heroes who are driven and hardworking and Matt was one of those heroes. He initially seemed like a playboy with commitment-phobia, and I know that is an overrated trope in romance books, but I found his reasons for his attitude to dating to be compelling - his parents hadn't exactly set up the best example for him growing up. Despite his loverboy persona, he was actually a sweetheart who cared about the people around him. As much as I adored Matt though, Sabrina was the star of Hard Sell in my opinion. Matt's situation forced him to hire Sabrina Cross as his fake-girlfriend, which put them in close proximity. Sabrina was badass. She was sassy, feisty and just generally, a treat to read about. She had a tough childhood that forced her to grow up very early on - it turned her into a strong and independent woman who worked hard to build a life for herself. I was fascinated by her job in Hard Sell. She worked as a fixer essentially providing solutions to anyone's problems for a price. Despite this confident persona she exuded, she did have vulnerabilities that were slowly showcased in the book. Sabrina was a beautifully well-rounded character and I think she may be one of my favorite characters ever from Lauren Layne.

In her author's note, LL described the relationship between Sabrina and Matt to be a "frenemies-to-lovers" romance and I think that description perfectly fits these two. Sure there were constant quips and back-and-forth insults between them, but they were also somewhat friends before the book began. Not to mention, they had also had a friends-with-benefits type of situation going on, so they were not entirely enemies. Plus, there was obviously some history between the two that needed to be dealt with. Anyways, their fake-relationship forced them to interact more and I just loved every scene of them together. Lauren Layne just knows the way to write really entertaining couples and the banter between Sabrina and Matt, their chemistry and all the romantic moments they shared were to die for. I believed in these two and I rooted for them. Their path to their happily ever after made the romantic in me just happy. As always, readers are treated to amazing friendships in Hard Sell. I loved seeing Lara, Ian, Kennedy, and Kate. The banter, the playfulness and just the constant support they had for each other were so satisfying. I love it when books make an effort to also develop friendships in addition to the romantic relationships. It's one of many reasons why Lauren Layne's books stand out for me.

Hard Sell was a romantic and feel-good book for me. It made me happy and it made me swoon - what more can I ask of from a book? Now, we better get Kennedy and Kate's book next or else I'm going to riot (JK ... not really)!


Are you a Lauren Layne fan? What are some of your favorites frenemies-to-lovers romances?
Let me know in the comments below!