Thursday, May 4, 2017

Review - The Negotiator by Avery Flynn

The Negotiator
by Avery Flynn
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: April 24, 2017

Wanted: Personal Buffer
Often snarly, workaholic executive seeks “buffer” from annoying outside distractions AKA people. Free spirits with personal boundary issues, excessive quirks, or general squeamishness need not apply. Salary negotiable. Confidentiality required.

Workaholic billionaire Sawyer Carlyle may have joked he needed a buffer from their marriage-obsessed mom, but he didn’t need a waiting room filled with candidates to further distract him. (Thanks, bro.) But when a sexy job applicant shooes his mom and the socialite in tow out of his office, Sawyer sees the genius of the plan. And the woman. In fact, Miss Clover Lee might just get the fastest promotion in history, from buffer to fake fiancĂ©...

This free-spirit might look like hot sunshine and lickable rainbows, but she negotiates like a pitbull. Before Sawyer knows what hit him, he’s agreed to give up Friday nights for reality tv, his Saturdays for flea markets (why buy junk still baffles him), his Tuesdays and Thursdays for date nights (aka panty-losing opportunities if he plays his cards right). And now she wants lavender bath salts and tulips delivered every Monday?

Yup, she’s just screwing with him. Good thing she’s got this non-negotiatable six-weeks-and-she’s-gone rule or Sawyer may have just met this match…

I always know I’m in for a treat when I’m about to read an Avery Flynn book and The Negotiator was no exception! From the fake engagement to the non-stop negotiating, Sawyer and Clover could bring both the heat and the humor…as well as some heart-felt moments.

Sawyer can’t see past his desk and has no interest in any of the socialites his mother keeps trying to push on him. He’s no stranger to a beautiful woman, but when it comes to priorities, his first and only one is the family business. When a brotherly prank throws Clover in his path and she quickly proves she has what it takes to keep his mother at bay, having a personal buffer not only sounds like hitting the lottery, Sawyer can’t help but up the ante and go all in – why not make it a fake engagement!
Clover leaned forward as though about to speak, and Sawyer knew he had her. She’d probably counter at seven and they’d end at $5,500. Not too bad a price to pay for someone capable of keeping his mom at bay.

“I can see working with you is going to be very demanding and, after meeting your mother, a serious challenge. Twelve.” One side of her mouth lifted, and he had the gut-sinking suspicion that he’d just walked into a trap. “Final offer.”

What the…?

Sawyer couldn’t remember the last time someone had surprised him in negotiation. Or won. Doubling down, he leaned forward and placed his elbows on the desk. No way was he going to lose. She had to be bluffing. “Six thousand. Final offer.”

She let out a lengthy sigh and stood up. “And now you’re showing that you’re just as difficult to work with as your mother. Fifteen thousand or you’d better get used to boring lunches discussing the latest fashions.”

Sawyer blinked. And for the first time ever, he had no idea how to respond in a negotiation.
Clover is such a hoot. She has a ton of life experience, travelling and working in so many different places. This “personal buffer” job is just what she needs to fund her next adventure. And although she’s not 100% sure the fake engagement is going to work, if this job is a means to her end then she’s all in…especially when she out-negotiates the negotiator with her list of rules – including the hands-off mandate. Of course, the best part of being a good negotiator…is knowing when you might need to renegotiate things!

There was no denying Sawyer and Clover’s attraction to one another and I loved the fact that they both pretty much owned it. Not a lot of drama for these two to renegotiate things to remove that hands-off mandate, too bad they couldn’t negotiate with their own hearts to stay out of things! Even though the chemistry was off the charts, these two always seemed to be out of synch with each other with what was going on in their hearts and in their heads. As much fun as it was to watch these two face off with each other, it was also a bit heart-breaking to see them not trust in each other enough or them as a couple enough to realize that the “fake” in their engagement was the only thing that was fake.

I also enjoyed all the other characters that are woven into the story. From Sawyer’s mother who may come off like a cold-hearted socialite just looking to have her first born married, to his brother who is hiding something beneath that cavalier and easy-going attitude, there is such a deep caring and family bond that the Carlyle’s share. Clover’s best friend Daphne kept her real, and I loved how watching her family helped give a greater understanding to just who Clover is and why she acts the way she does.

The characters were well developed and even though the plot was fairly straight-forward, the emotional complexity of the characters offered a few twists and turns along the way to keep things interesting and the characters evolving. In typical Avery Flynn fashion, we are treated to sass, snark, and a whole lot of fun interactions between not only Sawyer and Clover, but the entire cast of characters. And of course, there’s nothing better when the heat brings some humor along with it as well! It got a bit angsty towards the end, but what fun would it be not to have the set-up for a grand gesture…especially when it can be done Avery Flynn style!

This one is worth checking out…and I’m looking forward to reading about Sawyer’s brother next!

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy from the publisher via NetGalley of this book.

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