Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.
Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.
ARC received from: Netgalley
One-Sentence Summary: A sexy freelancer and a tomboy go head-to-head for an editorial position at a magazine
Review: Reading a Lauren Layne book is like eating a tube of Pringles: once you pop, you can’t stop! You gorge yourself on the feast for heart and mind and then when it’s all over you end up in withdrawal because you have to wait another 6+ months for the next book in the series.
Well, I have been looking forward to Cole’s story since the moment we first met him in the Sex, Love & Stiletto series and I am pleased to say it didn’t disappoint.
Cole smiled. “Penelope. Are you physically shaking it off right now?”
“Don’t judge, it helps,” she said.
He lifted his arms and mimicked her motions so they were both flapping like birds. “You’re right. It does.”
“What are you shaking off?” she asked.
Cole shrugged. “Nothing. I’m flawless.”
There was throat clearing from the doorway and she turned to see Lincoln Mathis watching them with raised eyebrows.
“Oh, hi, Lincoln!” She let her arms drop to her sides.
“Oh, hi, Lincoln!” Cole mimicked in a breathy voice.
She ignored him, mostly because he had a point. She probably had been a little breathless, but it was one hundred percent justified ………
…… Penelope felt a blast of misty water hit her cheek and turned around to see Cole holding a blue squirt bottle. “What are you doing? That’s for misting my plants!”
“You looked hot,” he said with a shrug, setting the bottle aside.
Penelope is a sport fanatic who is up against Cole for the position of senior sports editor at the highly successful Oxford magazine. Great at reciting sports stats but not so good at dressing to fit in in the “Sex and the City” world, she is a bit of a “Plain Jane” character. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the Stiletto girls but it was nice to have a ‘normal’, girl-next-door, not so strong, glamorous and self-assured Heroine. I felt like I could relate more to Penelope (apart from, you know, getting a sexy, hot co-worker to fall in love with me … *sigh*) and she seemed genuinely nice.
Cole is your typical sexy, good-looking, affable player but I loved the cute small gestures he made to Penelope and he proved himself that there is a heart of gold beneath his good looks. His relationship with his brother gave his character depth.
I loved the way Cole and Penelope’s relationship developed from good-natured rivals to friends to friends-with-benefits to something more. Also of interest is getting to learn more about Lincoln whose book I absolutely can’t wait for (especially since it sounds like it may be a reconciliation trope?) and getting to see the ladies from Stilettos again.
“… You’re freaking adorable.”
“You are,” Julie agreed. “I can think of about a dozen guys who would eat you up.”
“In the nondirty way,” Grace rushed to clarify.
“But the dirty way is the best kind,” Riley said sounding confused.
Now if only the next book in the series could magically appear on my e-reader right now …..