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Business as Usual
     

Business as Usual

4.2 13
by Denise Grover Swank
 
Lexi Pendergraft has given up on finding love after a disastrous encounter with her last boyfriend. Instead, she focuses on two things: One, setting up a summer program for underprivileged middle-school aged students. And the second, getting to the bottom of her brother Reed's recent strange behavior. His secret is destroying his relationship with his fiancée Caroline

Overview

Lexi Pendergraft has given up on finding love after a disastrous encounter with her last boyfriend. Instead, she focuses on two things: One, setting up a summer program for underprivileged middle-school aged students. And the second, getting to the bottom of her brother Reed's recent strange behavior. His secret is destroying his relationship with his fiancée Caroline, and Lexi will do anything to help him save it. Especially after he gave up his dream to give Lexi a chance at a semi-normal college experience, something her parents threatened to steal from her after her rape a year ago.


Ben Masterson is determined to make it through his final semester of his senior year at Southern University. After recently losing his full ride scholarship, he's suffering from sleep deprivation while trying to keep up with his mechanical engineering courses and working three part time jobs. He thinks he's lucked out getting a job in the university math lab. The only problem is his boss--Reed Pendergraft.

As part of a role in a community theater play, Lexi wears a black wig and feels a confidence she hasn't experienced in over a year. When she wears it to a bar close to the theater, she doesn't think Ben, a bartender there, recognizes her. While Ben's intrigued about what she's up to, he's smart enough to stay far away from his overprotective boss's sister. Until fate forces him to help her, but why won't she tell him her real identity?

Product Details

BN ID:
2940149227051
Publisher:
DGS
Publication date:
04/09/2014
Series:
Off the Subject , #3
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
353
Sales rank:
55,147
File size:
585 KB

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Business as Usual 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
ZephyrArabian More than 1 year ago
"Mutual need is the cornerstone of all business transactions."  Lexi - ambitious; determined; control-freak. Enter Ben - passionate; hard-working; patient. Combine these two and prepared for an action packed, mind blowing, nonstop experience. Life has really messed with these two, but when they come together, the puzzle pieces align. However, they are both haunted by their past and worried that it may destroy their future; their chances for any relationship. Reed - the enforcer. He loves his sister, but he controls her in an attempt to protect. All along holding the truth that could set everyone free. This story will punch you in the gut and leave you wanting for more. (PS - I can't wait to hear Tina's story ;) ) "Ben kisses me as though he's a dying man and I'm his lifeline."
SamanthaLM 6 months ago
I love how the characters grew and developed throughout the book and it was really great seeing the story from both of the main characters’ points of view. It had me on the edge of my seat towards the end. Business As Usual is funny, cute, romantic, and sad all in one. It really tugs at your emotions and is definitely a great read! It’s a great way to finish off the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this one... I agree with another reviewer who mentioned Reed's overprotectiveness... that got in the way of MY enjoyment of the story. Overall a good story. But I enjoyed the other two books more. I disliked Tina' s character INTENSELY!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story drug on for a ridiculous amount of time. Story was ok, but very repetitive. The relationships were dissected time and again. We get it already, lets get to the story. I will finish the book because I liked the first two in the series, but am not likely to buy the next. It felt like the author was just trying to make sure to get her word count in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the series and the author but this book was very good---just not as good as the first two. A very good read, but not as strong.
LovinLosLibros More than 1 year ago
2.5/5 stars I am a huge fan of Denise's Off the Subject series, so when I saw she was writing Lexi's story, I was over the moon! I loved her in Redesigned, and I know she had a heartbreaking story to tell. As much as I wanted to love this book, I found I just couldn't. Pacing: This is a slower paced book. I found myself struggling to stay engaged at multiple points in the novel because the plot was a bit meh for me. Storyline: This book went in a completely different direction than I thought. I was really looking forward to Lexi's story and seeing how she overcame what happened to her previously. I also was looking forward to seeing how she would find the strength to become intimate with another person again after that event. While we got both of those, I just felt this story wasn't quite balanced in the way I would have liked it. I felt like Lexi's relationship with her brother, Reed, really dominated the book. I love Reed Pendergraft something fierce, but he REALLY irritated me in this book and was way too overprotective of Lexi. I understand his reasons for being so, but I just felt she spent a lot of the time trying to prove that she wasn't this breakable little girl. I also felt like the Lexi and Ben had some serious insta-love going on. Being the two main characters, they really didn't have hardly any interaction until 40-50% into the book and that made their relationship more difficult to buy into. I needed more from them in terms of development, because it all happened rather fast and things were resolved a little too quickly for my taste. Characters: Lexi wasn't a bad main character, but there were times I felt she was acting a bit immature for her age. She makes decisions that are not in her best interest, considering what she's been through and that was really hard to swallow. I felt like the whole thing with Tina was overdramatized and really didn't sit well with me at all. My heart ached for her, as I can't imagine everything she's gone through, and I was saddened to see her flee from a really great relationship because emotionally she couldn't handle what had happened. She is terrified of feeling that loss of control again, and so she really struggles sexually because of that. Lexi is also incredibly grateful to her older brother for everything he's sacrificed and done for her. However, she feels suffocated by his need to protect her, and is angry that he would sacrifice his own well-being to ensure that she is kept safe. I absolutely loved Reed in Redesigned. He was an overall GOOD guy and I loved that he was equal parts sexy and equal parts Math geek. Here, Reed really takes the overprotective big brother to the extreme and as I said, sacrifices his own relationship and well-being to ensure Lexi's safety. The majority of the book focused on what he was hiding and why he was pushing his fiancée Caroline away. I hated seeing Caroline hurt, as did Lexi, Tucker, and Scarlet. Again, I understand why he felt the need to do what he did, and I respect the hell out of him for doing it, but I just feel it was made into this huge deal and felt like it added unnecessary drama. I liked Ben's character, but I didn't feel he was consistent. We first meet him and it's clear he has been seriously burned by a girl in the past, so he is not looking to date any girls from Southern University. Upon meeting and talking to Lexi, however, he finds himself looking for her and hoping to run into her again. He is a good guy at heart and a hard worker, which definitely earned him bonus points with me. For not really knowing Lexi, he is incredibly protective of her and after seeing her in a potentially dangerous situation, steps in and plays the hero. He never should have hidden his past from Lexi, especially after she confided in him with her secret. He knew that it would affect her and still he remained silent. Argh. Final Thoughts: I am really bummed I didn't love this like I did the other two in the series. The above issues really did detract from my reading experience and so I found it difficult to truly enjoy the story for what it was. I would have preferred to see more of Lexi and Ben falling for one another and developing their relationship. I felt there was unnecessary drama and I just didn't like how everyone was more centered on finding out what was going on with Reed and why he was acting the way he was. I would have preferred for the focus to be on Lexi and her development as a character. I do love Denise's writing and I feel she did a great job with the moments Lexi and Ben do have with one another and how patient he was willing to be with her and how he refused to be pushed away. Go Ben! While this wasn't the one for me, I would still encourage fans of the series to give it a try and make their own decisions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Love Ben! Could have longer. I would have liked to see more of these two and whats next for them. It had a good ending, i just would like little more cause i'm greedy that way lol. Great series :)
ValerieStuckInBooks More than 1 year ago
This is what good New Adult looks like! First Impressions... I loved After Math and Redesigned so much. I was so excited to jump into this third book in the series. I had pretty high expectations and I wasn't disappointed at all. While I loved seeing all the characters from the previous books, this one certainly can be read Stand Alone. The Characters... I am completely in love with Ben. He lost his full scholarship when he was falsely accused of rape by his ex-girlfriend. Now he works 3 jobs and takes 15 credit hours of classes so he can graduate in three months. He so doesn't want a girlfriend. Not after the last one. That changes when he meets Alexa. He's drawn to her and he's so sweet. He's supportive and caring. He protects her even when he first meets her. But once he learns her secrets he may be even more caveman about his protective ways. He's sweet and adorable, giving up things to help her and understanding some strange behavior on her part. I just love him. I love Alexa or Lexi. Ben calls her Alexa so that how I think of her now too. She's experienced some really bad days and with the terribly uncomfortable night with her last boyfriend she doesn't want a new one. But she can't resist the yummy bartender, Ben. He bails her out one night and his kiss has her wanting more. But it's more than his help that she loves. They are perfect for each other. The Story... I love how these two characters have very different experiences in their past around a common theme. It has the potential to draw them together or bust them apart. It was so nice to watch them drawn together and then to see what the result would be when they both learned the truth. (Though it may have stressed me some). I also loved that the this storyline drew in a previous couple and let us see how they dealt with more drama. It wasn't a side story but very much part of the action between Ben and Alexa. We saw the couple from the first book as well but they were more in the background. It's nice to see them again and know they are still together. I really enjoyed Ben and Alexa's story. Could I Put It Down... The deal is that I had to put it down for stress relief. A couple of times, I was wanting to read faster and afraid to read on. I needed someone to talk to about the book but didn't have that. It's okay, cause now I can be that person for someone else. If you're reading this one and need some virtual hand holding, send me tweet and I'm there. In The End... All three books in this series were 5 stars for me. They are what makes New Adult good. They have the perfect balance of yummy sexy scenes combined with serious real issues. Anyone who loves NA will want to read not just Business as Usual but the whole series. If you haven't fallen in love with this genre yet, then this is a great series to make that happen.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
Denise Grover Swank's Off the Subject series just keeps getting better and better. Business as Usual was fantastic and is, without a doubt, my favorite in the series so far.  Business as Usual is the story of Lexi Pendergraft, little sis to smoking hot nerd Reed from Redesigned. If you read Redesigned, you know that Lexi was raped. It's affected her relationships with men since, for obvious reasons. Lexi is a special character. She's easy to like. She spends more time thinking about others than herself. She loves her big brother, but wants to break free of his protection. She appreciates him, but he's taking things to a bit of an extreme. In time we learn more about why he's so overprotective of her and the lengths he's truly going to in order to protect her. Their relationship might not be perfect, but how many sibling relationships are? Theirs is strong, if flawed.  Ben Masterson just might replace Reed as my favorite Off the Subject leading man to date. He's sweet and swoony, sexy as hell and he's trying to escape his past, too. A psychotic ex girlfriend all but ruined his life and he's been trying to fight back ever since. He's dedicated and hardworking and cares about those close to him. He is a genuinely good guy. He and Lexi meet briefly a couple times before he comes to her rescue one night. There's definitely an attraction from the start, but their friendship (and more) builds slowly, realistically.  As much as I liked Lexi and Ben separately, together they were even better. They understood each other and brought out each other's strengths. Ben was protective of her, but not controlling like her brother was. He was also patient when it came to her issues with intimacy. There were a lot of feels between the two of them and I liked watching them grow together. Their relationship was a great second chance for both of them. I thought Business as Usual was fantastic. The romance was sweet and sexy. The characters strong and complex, but imperfect. It pained me to see Reed and Caroline's relationship unraveling because of his secrets. I was a huge fan of them from Redesigned. It took some time for it all to make sense, but things ended on a higher note than I feared they would.Business as Usual had a bit of mystery, a bit of suspense and a unique plot that kept me guessing as to what would happen next. Denise hit it out of the park with this one. I'm not sure if she plans to continue this series, but I really hope so. Either way, I look forward to whatever she comes up with next. I just love her characters.  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
ClaireTaylor More than 1 year ago
This series has such a feel good vibe to it, and really is going from strength to strength. Lexi and Ben’s story has a much deeper level to it, and I really became emotional involved in their lives as I was turning the pages. I loved learning more about Lexi and Ben, and watching how they slowly became entwined in each other’s lives. If you enjoy reading sweet contemporary romance with a slightly deeper meaning then this series is definitely one for you. I received an e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
BecsL More than 1 year ago
Business As Usual is the story of Lexi and Ben. From the moment they meet you can feel the flicker of interest between them, but it is hard to see a real relationship ever developing for them. They have different priorities and a mountain of issues from their pasts stand in the way. Plus, Ben can’t stand Lexi’s obnoxious big brother Reed and Reed won’t let anyone within a mile of Lexi. Naturally this makes for some interesting relationship hurdles, some tense moments and a lot of sneaking around. I absolutely loved Lexi. She was a wonderfully written character, full of genuine emotion and inner turmoil. Her character grew so much over the course of the story and it kept me completely invested in her. The author expertly makes you feel her full range of emotions and my heart simply ached for her, hoping she’d figure out a way to let people in, to be happy. The natural uncertainty and fear she experienced was balanced beautifully with Lexi’s kindness, courage and resilience, to create a character that was easy to love and even easier to root for. This was by far my favorite book in the Off the Subject series to date. The storyline effortlessly held my interest and the dialogue was fantastic. There were moments when I would find myself a bit emotional at the raw and honest nature of the conversations. At other times I had a huge smile on my face from the sparkling banter that felt so organic for Lexi and Ben. Denise Grover Swank just continues to get better and better with each book. I definitely recommend reading Business As Usual.