(Sex, Love & Stiletto Series)
by Lauren Layne
Published: December 9, 2013, Loveswept
My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️
Writing a column for 'Stiletto', a woman's magazine, Grace Brighton was supposed to be an expert on reading men, but she apparently didn't read her own boyfriend of nine years all that well. Blindsided by his cheating and forced to take a leave of absence to get her head back on straight, Grace is back and ready to go, determined to steer clear of men for a self-imposed six month period. Ironic that her first assignment is a joint venture with a men's magazine, she is expected to 'date' their columnist and then they are supposed to report their respective impressions. That should be interesting.
If Jake Malone wants the coveted new travel section his magazine 'Oxford', his new boss wants him to take on this last joint assignment with the woman from 'Stiletto' first. Not his idea of fun, especially since he likes his loose and free life-style, but if it will help him get the job that will get him back on the road again, he will do it. Of course he hadn't counted on the gorgeous stylish and savvy Grace Brighton, a woman to be reckoned with. If he thought this was going to be an easy assignment, he was sorely mistaken. He would have to keep his wits about him to keep up with her!
Grace can't believe how quickly she is forgetting about her six month celibacy vow when she is around Jake. With his stunning good looks and smooth charm, he has her rattled and scrambling to keep her wits about her. She is supposed to be dazzling him with her insight in men, but she underestimated his solid read of women. But Jake isn't unaffected by Grace, quite the opposite in fact, he is not used to women so actively resisting him, nor has he met someone who has him pegged quite as accurately as Grace seems to.
The blurring of the lines between professional assignment and personal enjoyment becomes quite the dilemma.......
Great fun read!!
Written with a good dose of humour, pitting male and female perspectives against each other when it comes to 'the dating scene' makes for an entertaining, and 'educational', story line. With characters as equally balanced when it comes to intelligence, manipulation, drive and wit, it is inevitable to have sparks fly from all directions.
Hilarious inner dialogue takes place when Grace has her former self, Grace 1.0, argue with her new self, Grace 2.0. Of course Grace 1.0 is the one who believed in fairy tales and was subsequently duped by her ex, necessitating the creation of Grace 2.0, the man-hater, the one who automatically mis-trusted men by merit of their gender, the one who was determined not to get caught of guard again. Right. Grace has a pretty good grip on what is true for the average guy, but just like with her ex, she seems to have a harder time trusting her read when her feelings are involved. So she is mostly confused when it comes to Jake.
Living down a somewhat undeserved reputation as a playboy was a difficult thing to do, so Jake just didn't bother, even though most stories about him were exaggerated or simply untrue. One thing is true though, he can read women, and read them well. He even proved it with Grace, but that seems to bring him only so far. Just like for Grace, once his feelings are engaged, he seems to lose his perceptive skills and can't figure her out. Mind you, Jake hasn't quite figured out what he wants from life for himself, so in that respect he has a bit to catch up on. He will......eventually.
✨A dynamic, seductive and playful battle of the sexes!✨
**ARC provided by NetGalley and Loveswept in return for an honest review.**