arc · review · romance

ARC Review | Hard Sell by Lauren Layne

Hard Sell (21 Wall Street #2)

by Lauren Layne

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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.


You can read this review on Goodreads!

If something is going to capture my attention, it is an enemies-to-lovers romance between a scandalous investor and sassy public relations specialist. And that is what happened here with Hard Sell, my first, but not last read by Lauren Layne.

However, while the characters are engaging, there were certain areas within the story that needed some finessing to make this, what to me would be, a more complete and gripping romance.

Who else, besides Matt Cannon, would ruin my appetite for a perfectly good croissant?

Charming and wealthy, at twenty-eight year’s old, Matt Cannon is Wall Street’s youngest broker. Numbers come easy, women easier. But when Matt makes headlines featuring his latest fling, his clients become anxious and his bosses propose an ultimatum: appear to be settling down with a “real” girlfriend, or leave the company.

Easier said than done.

The hardest thing is going to be keeping my hands off the only woman I’ve ever wanted.

One woman is capable of keeping her distance and maintaining professionalism: Sabrina Cross, PR specialist and known fixer in Manhattan. Everyone knows they detest each other though. He’s too conceited, she’s too stubborn. While Sabrina agrees to assist in cleaning up Matt’s sordid reputation, she has a stipulation of her own: no more hookups.

Posing as Matt’s pretend girlfriend should be easy.

She is the last woman on earth to be at risk of falling for me. Because Sabrina Cross hates my guts.

Sabrina and Matt have very interesting chemistry, or rather a long history of loathing and antagonism. What makes an enemies-to-lovers story gripping and captivating is witnessing the angry banter, experiencing the passionate animosity and seeing the conflict the characters undergo.

I loved the premise of Hard Sell, but the execution fell flat. I’m still unsure what actually transpired between our leading characters to make them intense enemies, or rather, I don’t understand what prompted Matt to be an abhorrent jerk towards Sabrina.

My favourite thing about enemies-to-lovers romance is watching the relationship transition. I crave that intense passion and the burning hatred shared between the two characters. While the mutual love-hate transformed, I wish I knew more about their history to really connect with that change.

“At least you acknowledge that it’ll be the end of the world before I feel anything other than tolerant loathing for you.”

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