Black Tie Optional: A Wild Wedding Novel

Black Tie Optional: A Wild Wedding Novel

by Ann Marie Walker

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250120021
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 05/30/2017
Series: Wild Wedding Series
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 62,189
File size: 992 KB

About the Author

Ann Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She’s a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl. If it’s December she can be found watching Love Actually but the rest of the year you can find her on Twitter, where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.
Ann Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She’s a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends, and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl. If it’s December she can be found watching Love Actually, but the rest of the year you can find her on Twitter, where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago. She is the author of the Wild Wedding series (Icing on the Cake, Black Tie Optional).

Read an Excerpt

Black Tie Optional

A Wild Wedding Novel


By Ann Marie Walker

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2017 Ann Marie Walker
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-12002-1


CHAPTER 1

Just like clockwork, Olivia thought. She watched the gas-guzzling SUV roll to a stop alongside the curb, its hazard lights blinking as if some sort of justification for bringing a full lane of Chicago's morning rush hour to a grinding halt. Every day the sleek black car stopped in exactly the same location so the almighty Coleman Grant III could get the same extra hot, double shot Americano from the same big-chain coffee shop, bypassing the smaller, neighborhood establishments trying to stay afloat as corporate America runs them into the ground.

A mountain of a man in mirrored aviator shades jumped out of the front seat to open the rear door, giving Olivia a clear view of the luxury vehicle's interior. Two leather captain's chairs with fold down keyboards and armrest tablet holders sat facing several television monitors mounted above what appeared to be a full-service bar. Forget running a business, it looked as though Coleman Grant ran NASA from his backseat. Honestly, what could possibly be so important that it couldn't keep until he got to the office? The commute from his Gold Coast penthouse to his Loop headquarters was less than two miles. Hadn't the guy ever heard of just chilling out with some tunes?

Olivia approached the car just as Grant climbed out of the backseat. He paused to button the jacket of his navy blue Tom Ford and for a moment she forgot he was an arrogant, self-righteous prick hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time. For a moment, she allowed herself to take in the physical perfection standing in front of her. From his dark wavy hair that stood in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that seared her skin, to his full, sensual lips — everything about Coleman Grant oozed power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart-stopping, gasping-for-air-after-you've-screamed-so-loud-you-can't-breathe kind. But then his eyes narrowed and his lips curved into a knowing smirk and Olivia remembered exactly who she was dealing with.

"Mr. Grant," she began.

The bodyguard moved to step between them but Grant waved him off. "Ms. Ramsey, what a surprise," he said, not at all surprised since this was the eighty-third day in a row she had approached him. Not that it mattered. She had no plans to stop these sidewalk sessions until he either agreed to her demands or filed for a restraining order.

He made his way toward the coffee shop with Olivia tight on his heels. "You know, most people simply make an appointment with my assistant."

"I've tried that, Mr. Grant. But for some reason your schedule is always full."

"Pity," he said, his voice void of all emotion. When he reached the glass doors, he yanked one open. "Please, after you."

Bastard. Normally he charged in like he owned the place, never mind if she or anyone else got a face full of door. How dare he try to throw her off her game by acting chivalrous? As if the man had a courteous bone in his body. Olivia stood frozen in place, debating how best to handle this latest twist in their balance of power. As she did, Cole's gaze raked over her, from her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots splattered with mud from the previous day's site visit.

She hated to admit it, but the scrutiny of his gaze was unnerving. And it wasn't just the laser-like focus. There was something about his expression, as if he wasn't looking at her fully clothed in a shop brimming with customers, but rather undressing her with his eyes. She shifted in place, debating if she should call him out for his piggish behavior or simply stick to the topic at hand.

"Suit yourself," he finally said, stepping through the doors and leaving her alone on the sidewalk.

Not so fast. Olivia took a deep breath and joined him at the service counter. "Mr. Grant, as I'm sure you're aware, the northern long-eared bat was recently granted protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act."

"Rather difficult to forget given your daily reminders. Although I must say, Ms. Ramsey, you disappoint me. No visual aids today?" he asked, his tone dripping with smug sarcasm. He turned away from the counter with his extra hot, double shot Americano to find Olivia standing behind him with an 8 x 10 glossy in her hand. "Ah, it seems I spoke too soon."

"This particular species of bat has been the most impacted by white-nose syndrome and the resulting decline in their numbers is what —"

"Those really are the most vile creatures," Grant interrupted. "Have you ever considered taking up the cause of a more appealing animal, say a manatee?"

"There aren't any manatees in Lake Michigan."

"Precisely." He smirked. "Perhaps you could move? I'm sure you could find some poor, unsuspecting Floridians worthy of your attention." He raised his left hand, and for the first time Olivia realized he was holding a second cup. He thrust it in her direction and without thinking she took it, dropping the photograph as she did. "You seem like the type who would order your latte with a hundred and one specifications, but hopefully skinny vanilla will do."

Olivia blinked. He bought her a coffee? What the actual fuck? First the door and now this? Did he really think he could charm his way out of the hot seat? She had spent her entire adult life and most of her teens speaking on behalf of those who couldn't. It was going to take a lot more than a few random acts of fabricated kindness to get her off his back.

She was about to tell him not only where he could stick his latte but how in her twenty-eight years on earth she'd never ordered a "skinny" anything, when he turned toward the door. She bent to scoop up the photo then hurried after him, fast talking her case all the way to the curb where his bodyguard stood waiting with the door already open. As usual, Grant didn't say a word, much less defend his stance. Instead he simply flashed a grin that would have made her drop her latte, not to mention her panties, if she didn't find him to be lacking in not only morals and ethics but quite possibly a soul.

He gave her a quick nod before ducking into the car. "Until tomorrow, Ms. Ramsey."

With that, the door slammed shut and the SUV pulled into traffic to the sound of protesting horns.

"Asshole," Olivia muttered under her breath. "Gorgeous asshole, but still." She turned on her heel and started down the street with her head held high. Coleman Grant III might have been trying to make a mockery of her attempts to persuade him, but their standoff was far from over. A slow grin curved her lips as an idea began to take shape. She'd just pulled her smartphone out to send herself a reminder when it started to vibrate in her hand.

"Are you bringing your swimsuit?" her best friend asked before Olivia had even managed a hello.

"To the desert? You're joking, right?" "I wasn't sure."

"Cassie, I know you've had your head buried in cookbooks for the past few years, but surely you can remember how a vacation works ... lounge chairs, suntan oil, blended drinks with tiny umbrellas that make you say ridiculously inappropriate things to cabana boys."

"I have never said anything inappropriate to a cabana boy. And that's sexist by the way."

"Cabana person?" Olivia laughed at her own joke. "I'm playing. But you've got to lighten up a bit. We're headed to Vegas, Sin City, what happens there stays there and all that."

"You sound like a tourism ad."

"All I'm saying is come tomorrow you better be ready to party Hangover style."

Cassie snorted. "Yeah, 'cause that worked out so well for them."

"I promise I won't leave you stranded on a hotel roof."

"This is a bad idea. I should be staying here and looking for a job."

"You're the sister of the groom. You can't very well ditch out on the bachelor/bachelorette festivities. Besides, if I can break my 'Harass Coleman Grant' streak for a few days, then you can certainly give the stand mixer a rest."

"How's that going by the way?"

Olivia groaned. "New day, same story."

"Maybe it's time to —"

"Move on? No way." While it was true that working freelance allowed Olivia a certain amount of latitude, she prided herself on never giving up. There was no way Coleman Grant was going to blemish her perfect record. "I'll just have to double my efforts."

Cassie laughed. "I'm actually starting to feel sorry for the guy."

"Don't be fooled by the looks. He might be hotter than Ryan Reynolds and Ian Somerhalder combined, but underneath that perfect exterior beats the heart of an ogre."

"Sounds like someone has wet panties."

"Why Cassandra Miller, is that smutty talk I hear coming out of your mouth? There may be hope for you yet."

"Don't change the subject. You've got the hots for this guy."

"Hardly. He's eye candy all right, but he's also a spoiled, self-centered asshole who thinks it's his way or the highway. Not this time, though." Olivia nodded to herself. One way or another he was going to give in to her demands. Coleman Grant III had finally met his match. He just didn't know it yet.

CHAPTER 2

Cole's driver lowered the partition between the front and back seats. "To the office, sir?"

"No, I need to swing by the hospital first." Cole settled back against the tan leather seat as Jonathan maneuvered the car into the steady stream of traffic. He could still see her — head held high, arms wrapped tightly around that ever-present bundle of propaganda. Didn't the woman have anything better to do with her mornings than accost him on a daily basis? Surely there was some tree that needed hugging or maybe a hot yoga class to attend. That seemed like the sort of thing a woman with a Bonnaroo patch sewn onto her thigh would do.

He groaned.

The VIP section at Lollapalooza was barely tolerable but three days sleeping in a tent in a muddy field? Who would voluntarily submit themselves to that type of torture much less advertise it on their jeans? Cole's gaze instinctively shifted to the denim in question and his eyes roamed from the gentle curve of her waist to the sassy sway of her hips to the ...

Fucking hell, Grant, cut the shit. Not your type and definitely not worth the aggravation.

He chuckled softly to himself as he imagined post-coitus with the tenacious Ms. Ramsey. No doubt she'd produce a picture of some disease-ridden rodent from under her pillow.

Christ, what the hell was wrong with him? Two weeks without sex, that's what. His latest acquisition had kept him in the office into the wee hours, and a horny Cole was an irrational Cole. How else could he explain thoughts of Olivia Ramsey sprawled out beneath him, her wild blond curls fanned out across his sheets as her glistening body bowed off the bed. Or maybe on all fours with her hair fisted in his hand. His fingers curled as he imagined yanking her head back to muffle her cries with his tongue while his cock took her again and again.

Fuck, it was worse than he thought. He needed an afternoon with his trainer and an evening with someone from the roster and he needed both ASAP. He pulled his smartphone out of the inside pocket of his suit jacket and had just begun scrolling through his contacts when the car rolled to a stop.

"The usual, sir?"

Cole nodded but didn't bother looking up from his phone. He knew exactly where they were, and his driver knew exactly what to buy. Even though he would pass the flower shop as he made his way to the elevator, Cole preferred to let Jonathan handle the purchase while he remained in the car. Otherwise something as simple as picking out a bouquet would turn into a fifteen minute conversation with one of the guild volunteers who would no doubt tell him yet again how cute he was as a toddler at the hospital's groundbreaking, how much he loved the little toy shovel his mother had brought for him, and how he'd grown into the spitting image of his father, "God rest his soul." No, thank you. He much preferred to skip the incessant small talk and use the time to set up dinner with Courtney. Or maybe just drinks. Late drinks. Only not with Courtney, but Brittany. Yes, Brittany.

His cock twitched as he thought of their last evening together. They hadn't even made it out of the limo. Now that was an idea that bore repeating. In fact, if he played his cards right and took her to a place that wasn't too close to her apartment, maybe he could fuck her senseless on the ride home and still be in bed — alone — in time to catch the end of Colbert.

He'd just started typing when the rear door of the SUV opened to reveal Jonathan holding a lovely arrangement of pink roses. So much for multitasking. Brittany would have to wait.

Cole stepped onto the sidewalk and buttoned his jacket against a cool September breeze. According to the calendar, it wasn't quite fall yet, but the Windy City didn't give a damn about the almanac. "Keep her running. I won't be long."

"Yes, sir."

The automatic doors opened with a swoosh.

"Mr. Grant," a familiar voice called to him. The sound of heels click-clacking across the marble floor grew closer. "Mr. Grant, might I have a moment."

"Just," he said without breaking stride.

"Our office hasn't received your RSVP for the annual gala yet. This is our single largest event, funding nearly all of —"

"I'm aware of the importance of the event, Mrs. Moran." He'd been going to that blasted ball for as long as he could remember. But more than that, it was his mother's legacy. Did this woman really think he'd be a no-show? Cole bit down on his molars. No, but he knew exactly who did, and he'd bet his Bugatti that she was the one who was responsible for this little lobby ambush.

The elevator opened on a soft ping. "Tell my grandmother I'll be there," Cole said as he stepped inside. It was impossible to miss the woman's relief, and for a moment he actually felt sorry for her. Lord knows she had her work cut out for her as the executive assistant to Meredith Vanderholden Grant. It didn't matter how well she was compensated, there weren't enough benefits in the world to make working for a viper in pearls more tolerable.

"Thank you, Mr. Grant." Her hand shot out to keep the door from closing. "And can I confirm lunch on Tuesday as well?"

A muscle in Cole's jaw twitched. Of course, his grandmother wanted to meet with him on Tuesday. Hell, she'd probably had the date circled on her calendar for months. He gave a tight nod then stepped forward to jab the button on the panel. His grandmother might have had the upper hand at the moment, but by the time Tuesday rolled around his attorneys would have put an end to her reign of tyranny once and for all. A smug grin curved his lips as he imagined the look on her face when he delivered the news. The thought had him smiling all the way down the hallway. In fact, it wasn't until he reached his sister's room that his expression faltered.

The door was open, affording him a moment to observe her before she plastered on the smile that never failed. Professional gamblers could learn a thing or two from his kid sister when it came to a poker face. According to her, everything was just fine. She'd even used the word "dandy" once for Christ's sake. Hell, sometimes even Cole started to believe she had the power to will herself back to health. But in that unguarded moment, she looked small and frail and far too vulnerable.

Fuck, he hated seeing her like that, propped up in a hospital bed as tubes dripped and machines beeped. But it didn't faze her one bit. No, for Rebecca it was business as usual. Just another day at the office. Literally.

"Don't you ever take a day off?" Cole asked as he strode into the room. As he drew closer, he could see there were dark circles beneath her blue eyes.

She looked up from the notebook she'd been scribbling in and smiled. "Look who's talking, Mr. Workaholic."

He bent to kiss the crown of her head. The doctors had assured her that she wouldn't lose her hair with this type of treatment, but she'd cut her brown curls into a short bob just in case, arguing that it would be less to sweep off the floor if they were wrong.

"I'm not a doctor," Cole said. "But I've been here with you enough to know that rest, while being a four letter word, is actually something they recommend."

"I'm on an IV, Cole, not life support. And besides, love never takes a vacation, so neither do I. People get married every weekend of the year."

"I'm sure their plans wouldn't all crumble if you took a day off from work."

She shrugged. "I don't see my job as work. I love what I do. Meeting people who have fallen in love and decided to spend the rest of their lives together; talking to them, discovering what makes their love unique and then finding the perfect way to showcase those emotions on the most important day of their lives." She sighed. "Love is what makes life worth living, Cole."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker. Copyright © 2017 Ann Marie Walker. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Black Tie Optional: A Wild Wedding Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put it down,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait for the next one.
CeeCeeHouston More than 1 year ago
This is a story of multi-lined tropes, from enemies-to-lovers, to hot billionaire meets average Jane and just about everything in between, well except for a mad biker or a mafiosa type, lol. In saying that, it doesn’t detract from the actually story. Coleman Grant the 3rd is an arrogant, hot as hell alpha douche, he’s also opinionated, and entitled. But he’s a sexy bast**d for all that. He’s head of a huge conglomerate, and Olivia Ramsey has him in her sights. Olivia is an activist working for a non-profit organization trying to save endangered species, one of which is a small bat. The two meet when Olivia tries to explain her views and why she needs his help, but he just continually ignores her. Three months of this pass before they are flung together by a coincidence in Vegas, during which Cole is given the news that the battle he’d been fighting to nullify a clause in his parents’ will has failed. He has to get married in less than 3 days or lose everything he’s worked for since graduating from college. He’s not considered a ruthless business man for nothing and when an opportunity strikes, he takes it. When he suggests a marriage of convenience to Olivia she thinks he’s mad, until he gives her the one thing she wants. Fake marriages are always a risk, it makes it harder for the couple to bond and these two hate each other on a visceral level. But you know the saying ‘there’s a thin line between love and hate’. Well, sometimes it was thinner than others. They might hate each other, but never stopped supporting their pretend partner whenever the need arose, both were pushed beyond their comfort zone, but Olivia more than Cole. Their banter was fun to read and the sexy times were scorching hot. I really enjoyed how this story played out and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
Momma_Becky More than 1 year ago
I always go into a RomCom with a bit of trepidation, waiting to see if it's going to actually be funny. Happily, I was pleasantly surprised with this fake marriage romance. While the conclusion is predictable (it is a fake romance, after all), the journey was witty and fun. Cole and Olivia create fireworks, both in and out of the bedroom. Their sexual chemistry is almost palpable, but outside the bedroom, they couldn't be more different. I couldn't stop laughing as this pair drove each other crazy. From their Vegas wedding to them finally realizing that they maybe aren't so wrong for each other, the whole story was engaging and kept me turning pages. The tale does have a touch of sadness, and of course, a small bit of angst, but the absolutely hilarious situations throughout kept it lighthearted.I can easily recommend this one to anyone who enjoys the genre.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
4 - "You're a lot less charming when I'm sober." Stars! Nothing gives me more pleasure than discovering an author whose work I get along with, but that I haven’t read before, and although well-known Ann Marie Walker is an author now to me. Black Tie Optional is the first book in the Wild Wedding series, and Cole and Olivia’s story was just all round easy reading. Plenty of humor, lots of chemistry and verbal sparring, and two characters that you cannot help but like. He might be hotter than Ryan Reynolds and Ian Somerhalder combined, but underneath that perfect exterior beats the heart of an ogre… I think the dual POV really added to this story, both Cole and Olivia on the surface seemed quite cut and dried when it came to their characters, one free-spirited, flighty and always fighting for the under-dog, while the other staid, bound by expectation, and expects to be the top-dog in every situation he finds himself in. They say that opposites attract, and even when pushed into a marriage of (in)convenience they really do on this occasion. "Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t be my first choice. Hell, you wouldn’t even be my last choice, but I’m out of time." If I am honest, nothing in this story came as a major surprise, but it was so well written, and the characters so well developed, that it was just a pleasure to read. Definitely a book I can see being made into a successful Rom-Com in the future that’s for sure! But even with the laugh out loud situations, and stellar verbal sparring this is a couple with their own vulnerabilities and the author added them to this story at really pertinent points. Secondary characters also made an invaluable contribution to the overall story as well and I would love to see some of them get their own books at some point in the future. "I don’t care how this started. All that matters is where we end up." Book Two; Icing on the Cake is due for release December 17, so not too long to wait for more wedding style shenanigans, Ann Marie Walker style, and if you take into account the amount of tropes out there that can be fitted into this style of book, the author has the opportunity to keep this series running for as long as she has the inspiration to keep adding books to it! "Always busting my balls aren’t you?"
AmyStephens More than 1 year ago
Ann Marie Walker is a new author for me so I was really excited to read Black Tie Optional. Let me just say, this book won me over and I'll definitely be looking for more titles from her. I loved that the two main characters, Cole and Olivia, were complete opposites--and I mean literally, complete opposites. But they both had a mission and neither were willing to stop until they had what they both wanted even if it meant getting hitched in Vegas. There were so many moments throughout this story that I laughed so hard--it was fun and witty and original. The author's writing style flowed smoothly and I hated to see the story come to an end. I would certainly recommend Black Tie Optional to anyone looking for a light-hearted romance that's full of laughs. Cole and Olivia are two characters that are going to stick with me for a long time because I never knew what either of them was going to come up with next. Great book! **ARC provided via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review
DaneWeimMama More than 1 year ago
Black Tie Optional was just a really fun read. It kept my interest & the characters were entertaining. I liked the back & forth between Olivia & Cole- their chemistry jumped off the page. I think this is the first book I've read by Anne Marie Walker but I will be reading more for sure. I look forward to the next book in the Wild Wedding series too. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
beckyb0416 More than 1 year ago
Quintessential romance that was anything than normal in its telling...Cole and Olivia were such an amazing couple in their differences as well as their common goal...falling in love when it's least expected. I enjoyed the author's portrayal of the uber rich, sophisticated man falling for the down to earth woman who pushes all his buttons, and not in a good way. The way the story was written drew me in immediately, and kept me engaged...completely saddened when the story ended...even though Cole and Olivia find their HEA...even if it was a most unconventional way. These are two characters I just couldn't leave behind when the story ended. I'm looking forward to the story in the series, not only for Cassie to get her own story, but because I'm hoping to get more of my Cole and Olivia fix. This ARC book was complimentary, provided the Publisher and NetGalley. I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
beckyb0416 More than 1 year ago
Quintessential romance that was anything than normal in its telling...Cole and Olivia were such an amazing couple in their differences as well as their common goal...falling in love when it's least expected. I enjoyed the author's portrayal of the uber rich, sophisticated man falling for the down to earth woman who pushes all his buttons, and not in a good way. The way the story was written drew me in immediately, and kept me engaged...completely saddened when the story ended...even though Cole and Olivia find their HEA...even if it was a most unconventional way. These are two characters I just couldn't leave behind when the story ended. I'm looking forward to the story in the series, not only for Cassie to get her own story, but because I'm hoping to get more of my Cole and Olivia fix. This ARC book was complimentary, provided the Publisher and NetGalley. I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
beckyb0416 More than 1 year ago
Quintessential romance that was anything than normal in its telling...Cole and Olivia were such an amazing couple in their differences as well as their common goal...falling in love when it's least expected. I enjoyed the author's portrayal of the uber rich, sophisticated man falling for the down to earth woman who pushes all his buttons, and not in a good way. The way the story was written drew me in immediately, and kept me engaged...completely saddened when the story ended...even though Cole and Olivia find their HEA...even if it was a most unconventional way. These are two characters I just couldn't leave behind when the story ended. I'm looking forward to the story in the series, not only for Cassie to get her own story, but because I'm hoping to get more of my Cole and Olivia fix. This ARC book was complimentary, provided the Publisher and NetGalley. I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
AboutThatStory More than 1 year ago
This had a fun vibe and was a super entertaining read! I loved the idea of an enemies to lovers story so I was really looking forward to diving in. Cole and Olivia were both pretty stubborn characters in a very unique situation so it made for some really great scenes between the two. This is definitely a case of opposites attract and I liked the pull they had on one another. Cole and Olivia were interesting characters but I never fully connected with them. I liked Cole but he was so hard during the majority of the book I never really warmed up to him until that last 25% of the book. I liked Olivia well enough but never felt like I really knew who she was. They had a lot of fun encounters and I liked their verbal sparring and animosity. That being said, I am a huge fan of animosity between characters and while I enjoyed it, I have to say it got drawn out and a bit excessive. It was nice getting to see them finally open up but it took a while to get there. I did enjoy the book, I just had some issues with the characters which made it really hard to connect and love it. Here’s the thing though, I had a hard time putting it down so even though some things felt fast paced and other things felt drawn out, and the characters frustrated me, I kept right on reading because I wanted my HEA. Yes, some things were predictable and a bit over the top but it made for an entertaining read non the less. Complimentary copy received for honest review.
BookSnuggle More than 1 year ago
Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker is book number one in the Wild Wedding series. This is Coleman Grant III and Olivia Ramsey's story. Coleman and Olivia are complete opposites. Coleman is rich and doesn't seem too concerned about environmental issues. Olivia doesn't eat meat and is very active and loud about protesting environmental issues. Coleman hasn't had love from his family like Olivia even though her family is rather unique. Olivia has been a pain in Coleman's side about saving endangered species on one of his projects. But maybe they can come to an agreement that will benefit both of them. See, Coleman needs a wife or he could lose everything. I loved this story! The banter and chemistry between Coleman and Olivia was so much fun. At times they had me laughing so hard that my husband thought I was crazy. Oh, man, you just have to read this book. Between their stubbornness and the sexual tension there is never a dull moment. If they would just look at what's in front of them, they would see how great they can be together. Will their stubbornness prevent them from finding love? This book is fantastic - funny, sexy, and heartwarming. I have found a new author. Yay!! I look forward to reading the next book in this series and other books by Ann Marie Walker. FYI, contains mature content.  I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
scmartin04 More than 1 year ago
Ann Marie Walker, congratulations on this brilliant standalone! I truly enjoyed reading all about Cole and Olivia, two characters who are so different, yet equally interesting in their own ways. I was hooked on your book from the very beginning and made my own predictions as to what I thought would happen. I could easily relate to both and that made the characters even more lovable. Your story turned out to be one filled with humor, sexy moments, a spectacular setting and a cast of characters that are rom/com movie material. A trip to Vegas turned into a marriage of convenience, sounds like fun? Sure, I've read other books with this same premise but, this one is a light hearted, fun read, the kind you want to finish in one sitting and discuss with your best friend. Cole and Olivia must make this unexpected marriage appear real, that is if Cole's grandma has anything to do with it. There is this legal clause, well... and some bats. I don't want to spoil it for you. I promise this story is going to make you laugh. The chemistry and banter between these two characters is awesome. I'm glad that Ann Marie decided to go with the romantic comedy genre. She is a natural and produced a fantastic story. Black Tie Optional is a perfect Summer Beach read.
BFF_K_BFF_Book_Blog More than 1 year ago
Black Tie Optional is an absolute delight! Ann Marie Walker has delivered a laugh out loud page turner with fun and quirky characters that will have you ready for more the minute you turn the final page! Olivia and Cole are total opposites. She's an activist vegetarian, trying to save the world one species at a time. He's a hard-nosed billionaire out to prove to the world that his success is his own. They couldn't be more different. And those differences are the spark that lights a fuse. Throughout the book they go from enemies to frenemies to frenemies with benies and more. Their personal progressions and the development of their relationship is such a fun ride! Black Tie Optional will have you giggling at the thoughts in Olivia's head and her crazy antics (hello Vegas!) And, you'll love Cole's straight-talking, no nonsense approach to everything. The two of them together are so much fun! Black Tie Optional is a great escape and everything you look for in a Rom Com! I can't wait for more in the Wild Wedding Series! An advance copy of this book was received from the author. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review. BFF Book Blog also uses a set of icon ratings. This book received additional icons for: butterflies, funny, romance, steamy, supporting characters and happily ever after.
toniFMAMTC More than 1 year ago
I was immediately pulled into this story. The idea of a marriage arrangement isn't new, but all the supporting details make Olivia and Cole's relationship stand out. They are almost as different as two people can be, practically archenemies, but the sexual attraction is inescapable. Sparring off ends with epic bedroom hookups which leads to a frenemies with benefits situation and a fake marriage business arrangement. Nothing will stay in the correct lines with these two. Despite having totally opposite focuses in life, they can't deny the good in each other. The storyline is superb and the cast is fantastic. Black Tie Optional is smoking hot, funny, sweet and romantic. I truly enjoyed reading it, and I definitely recommend it. 4.5 stars
mymissdaisy More than 1 year ago
I loved it. I will caution some friends right up front. This book is steamy. This book is somewhat graphic in the bedroom rated a 3 for heat in the description and the language is well let me just say there is a lot! But, the story is great. The characters are great! All of them! Well one isn't such a charmer but every great story needs 1! From page 1 I loved Olivia and Cole. The banter between the them was playful at least most of the time and funny. They each tell themselves that they hate the other. But deep down they don't. It takes them a while to discover how they really feel about about each other while taking the reader on a fun and somewhat wild ride during their romance. I loved visiting Olivia's farm home. Her parents were delightful. The chapter(s) during the visit I think were my favorite part of the book. I am probably biased but I enjoyed the visit to the farm. Olivia's friend Cassie was fun to get to know. I hope she and the rest of the cast is in the next book. I kind of wondered if Cassie might be the one to settle Connor Coleman's best friend done. Coleman's sister Rebecca played a small role in the story but a huge role in Coleman's life. I hope Rebecca gets to stick around and maybe be the main character of another story. I could see Olivia having to keep Coleman at bay from trying to interfere in Rebecca's love life. Interference is kind of a family trait for the Grants. Black Tie Optional for me was a wonderful story. I really am glad that I took a plunge on the Wild side and read it. If you like romance I promise you'll become a fan of Anne Marie Walker and the Wild Wedding Series. I received a complimentary e-copy from Tasty Tours.
ljtljtljt More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars! I really enjoyed Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker. It is well-written, extremely hot, and fast-paced. This is the first book from the author's brand new series, Wild Wedding, and it can be read as a standalone. This is a wonderfully executed marriage of convenience romance. I really felt the evolving love connection between the two main characters, environmentalist Olivia Ramsey, and billionaire businessman Coleman Grant III. Olivia's humanitarian efforts are a real thorn in Cole's side, while Cole's arrogance and CEO persona truly turn Olivia off. They marry in Las Vegas and live in Chicago, where Cole's manipulative and powerful grandmother reigns supreme. Cole needs a wife to inherit his family's company and Olivia needs funding to save the bats. They are an odd match made in heaven. This novel is chock full of discovery, a little jealousy, and an amazing chemistry between Olivia and Cole. Ms. Walker's ability to craft loving and hot sex scenes left me wanting more. Cassie, Olivia's best friend, is a spunky woman and I would like to learn more about her. Overall, this is a solid marriage of convenience romance that twists and turns in all the right places. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
moohnshine More than 1 year ago
First book I have read from this author and I loved it!!! What a great story. Olivia and Cole are the perfect farm girl meets city boy. They are definite opposites. But these two characters have such an undeniable chemistry. The characters in this book each have a unique sense about them that in the end you want to know more. Ms. Ann Walker takes her time telling the story. She does not rush it. I did think Grandma Grant could have maybe did more in the story than she did, but it was still a good plot. The story is told in both Cole and Olivia's words. This book is fun, entertaining and sexy. And the heated scenes are to die for. :) There is a preview for a book 2 called “Icing On The Cake” that I am definitely going to check out. I highly rec I recieved a ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
'Black Tie Optiona'l by Ann Marie Walker is book One in the new series called "Wild Wedding". This is the story of Coleman Grant III and Olivia Ramsey. Cole is the true picture of a Rich Business man with no care for the little things or the environment. Which is whole opposite of Olivia's world. Olivia cares about every little thing and saving endangered animals if they are ugly or cute. An right now she is working on getting Cole to help save some endangered Bats that are on one of his many properties. But every morning when she comes running to talk to him before he goes into the coffee shop he just makes a joke of what she is talking about. Cole finds Olivia attractive but doesn't really understand why she is so much involved with these issue. So he basically brushes her off each morning. But both have a destiny in Vegas for a bachelor / bachelorette party. Which puts them together and they act on their sexual attraction. The next morning before Olivia can do the 'walk of shame' out the door Cole throws her with an arrangement offer to suit them both. Cole has to marry in just days or he will loose his company. This was a really great enjoyable read. I so liked how they kept bickering and how they both slowly start to change. "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! This is a new to me author but she definitely gained a new fan with this one. This story is a great blend of opposites attract, marriage of convenience, and enemies to lovers. The banter between Cole and Olivia is hilarious and I just loved these two together. Cole is in desperate need of a wife to stave off his grandmother's attempts to strip him of his inheritance so he makes a deal with Olivia. She agrees to marry him and he sets up a foundation to save the pesky rodents she's always yammering on about. What seems like a simple solution to both issues quickly turns into more than either one of them bargained for. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
MBurton More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars! A cute enemies to lovers, marriage of convenience to true love, opposites attract story. Olivia has been hounding billionaire Coleman Grant III every morning to get him to move one of his deals because it's endangering the northern long-eared bat. He barely gives her the time of day until they both end up in Vegas, drunk and giving into their mutual attraction. Mortified the next morning, Olivia tries to leave only to have Cole give her a proposition. Marry him and he'll save the bats. Cole's father stipulated in his will that Cole must marry by the age of 30 or lose his inheritance. Cole has 3 days. A light and fun read with likeable characters and believable chemistry between the MC's. ARC provided by NetGalley.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
He has all the sex appeal of James Bond but all the personality of a modern day Scrooge. What Olivia lacks in sex appeal, she makes up for in heart. Coleman and Olivia are about to learn an important lesson. When you dance with fire, you're bound to get burned. Black Tie Optional fuses heat, heart and humor and strikes cinematic gold. Opposites attract have been done before and quite often, but Ms. Walker manages to keep it light, sexy and full of sass. Spicing it up, while still keeping the class.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to believe this guy is a real man if he's rushing home after sex to watch Stephen Colbert. Couldn't enjoy the book after that. I kept picturing the lead male character being a wimp. If the male character is supposed to be a conservative than accurately portray him as one. Not a liberal version of one. Conservative men do not watch Colbert. Liberal beta males do. Woman who read romance novels want the hero to be masculine, alpha and sensitive. Yes, conservative men can be sensitive and loving. But not Colbert watchers. Visual I couldn't get past.