Hot Asset

Hot Asset

by Lauren Layne


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Featured on Inside Edition.

A sexy agent hounds Wall Street’s hottest new wolf in an exhilarating novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503901063
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 05/22/2018
Series: 21 Wall Street Series , #1
Pages: 270
Sales rank: 294,865
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Lauren Layne, a former e-commerce and web marketing manager, moved from Seattle to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. Her first book was published in the summer of 2013, and since then, she’s written more than two dozen romantic comedies, hitting the New York Times, USA Today, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists. She currently lives in New York City with her husband.

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Hot Asset 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Susanmc81 More than 1 year ago
Ian is the stereotypical hot shot Wall Street broker. He is hot, a manwhore, but with a heart of gold. Lara works for the SEC and is hoping for her big case that would help her become an agent with the FBI. They meet in the break room of Ian’s company, and Ian proceeds to hit on Lara. Of course Lara is there to investigate Ian for potential insider trading. The plot isn’t real deep, but Lara and Ian are compelling characters. The secondary characters, whose books will follow, were enjoyable as well. This is a fun, steamy read. I was given an ARC of this book by NetGalley for my honest review.
gaele More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars – Rounded Sexy, Sassy and utterly adorable - Lauren Layne has brought another suited and sexy man to readers: one who has managed to parlay his drop-dead gorgeous looks, smarts and hard work into an 'almost penthouse apartment', a corner office and a list of clients who have made money in most of his deals. Ian is constantly working to something, even if he's not always sure of the 'what', but each step in his climb up the ladder of success is one step further away from his childhood: growing up in foster care - unwanted and penniless. Lara is an investigator for the SEC - a stopgap job that she knows can help her attain her dream of becoming an FBI agent in the white collar division. Both her parents are agents in different departments, and aren't exactly thrilled with her dream, or her determination to do it her way, without a word from one or both of them to get her in the door. But an opportunity for a big, splashy, headline grabbing investigation and trial is handed to her by her boss - an anonymous tip claiming Ian had insider information allowing him to step out early, avoiding the massive losses other brokers took on their investments. Thing is – Lara is thrilled to be given the chance at a case that could mean her dream job is in reach – if only it were easier. It’s not the investigation: she’s thorough and competent – even Ian’s lawyer (that he scored after plenty of hysterically achieved help from friends) tells him that Lara is the best option because she is thorough – and fair. But Lara’s reaction to Ian (no matter how hard she tries to ignore it) is electric and confusing… but not nearly as confusing as Ian is by her – totally NOT his type or style, but he’s wanting her – and how much he wants her, along with her humor and smart-ass comments, along with his assistant / friend Kate’s liking her have him unbalanced. A new feeling for the man who’s collected women, money and accolades like dust bunnies. These two have a connection that is electric – spinning them both off in directions and dreams they’d put aside, and leaving them completely befuddled and confused, but drawn together like peanut butter and jelly. The chemistry is off the charts – and the steam is enough to freshen a crease on Ian’s beautifully tailored suit pants. The best part of a book from LL is the connections: strip away all of the fancy stuff – and these are two people who are meant to be together- and you feel it almost from the get-go. When you add in the group of friends that Ian has collected, from his ‘fixer’ Sabrina (think Ray Donovan without the bloodshed- yet) that he’s known since childhood, Matt the boy wonder trader and Kennedy the ‘silver spoon’ trader, and their assistant Kate – a cross between a mother, pit-bull, uber-competent secretary and the one friend who will always tell you you’re being an ass, Ian’s circle is loyal, protective and patient with his shenanigans – but they know most (if not all ) of his story and reasons, and love him for who he is and what he could be. It’s Lara that brings out his ow desire to ‘be more’ than just another Wolfe of Wall Street, and her belief in him that gives the story, and their relationship, the emotional punch that will have you desperate for Matt’s story. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
D-does-reviews More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! It’s my first read by Lauren Lane and I can’t wait to dig in and read my way through her entire catalog because I love the way she allows her characters to grow and change throughout their story. When we first meet Ian and Lara neither character seems like someone you would want to have as a friend, and yet nothing could be further than the truth. Ian seems like your typical love ‘em and leave ‘em, one night stand kind of guy with a gorgeous face and body that he takes for granted. And though he’s worked hard for everything he has, he’s just going through the non-commitment motions. Lara has also worked very hard for what she wants in life but she’s become an uptight civil servant who prejudges Ian and dismisses him because she thinks he’s never had to work hard for anything in his life. Watching the metamorphosis of both of these vulnerable characters makes this a wonderfully emotional read that will grab you by the heart and have you rooting for Ian and Lara’s happily ending. The supporting characters in this book are fascinating as well, and that’s a huge reason why I enjoy this writer’s work so much. I read a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley and all opinions expressed in my voluntary review are completely my own.
Robin_Snyder More than 1 year ago
3.5 Fun and Flirty Stars I love it when a contemporary romance author can take a guy that at first meet you would need at least two drinks to buy into his pickup lines and turn him into a man that you are really rooting for. Sure the girl has to carry the book for a little bit but the thing that Lauren Layne excels at is adding enough characters and funny that you are just waiting for that AH-HA moment when the hero finally gets it and is ready to change up his partying ways for the girl who doesn’t fall at his feet and really makes him work for it. Sure Ian is a playboy and he comes off as a pompous ass in the beginning, I mean he actually used the term ‘let me mansplain this for you’ when he first meets Lara, but he grows on you. Lara on the other hand is a woman who is confident in her life and who she is. The last thing she cares about this the playboy trying to pick her up at the vending machine especially since he is the man she is there to investigate for insider trading. Once the Lady SEC meets the Wolfe of Wall Street it was inevitable that sparks would fly. ***“You could be better with something else,” I say, lowering my voice. She surprises me by laughing, and not a flirty, breathless laugh but an at me laugh. “Seriously? Do these lines usually work for you?” “Honestly?” I give a small smile. “Yeah.” “Well ”— she sips her coffee—“ let me know when I’m supposed to fake the swoon.”*** The growing tension between Ian and Lara was delicious and I couldn’t wait for the man who hasn’t had to work for a woman in years to finally put some real effort into getting to know a woman before she jumps in his bed. One of the best things in a Lauren Layne books are the side characters and there are some great ones in Hot Asset: I grew to adore a few of the other women in the book. Kate is the fantastically talented personal assistant to not one but three Wolve’s of Wall Street and she handles them all seamlessly even if she might be harboring feelings for one of them. Then there is Sabrina that is all kinds of snark and sexy rolled into one. She has a history with one of Ian’s friends and I can’t wait to find out what that is all about. ***“By all means,” she purrs in a dangerous voice that generally means die. “What’s mine is yours.” “Really?” he asks, turning toward her, his gaze dropping to her cleavage. “Go ahead. Try it,” she says. “I’ve been in a castration sort of mood lately.” *** Plus Ian’s foster dad Dave is a total hoot and I really adored the guy who couldn’t seem to keep a t.v. unbroken for more than a week. He really added to Ian’s likability and gave some good if not simplified advice along the way. ***“You take my suggestion to seduce the lady agent?” I smile. Lady agent. I wonder how Lara would feel about the moniker. “I tried. Didn’t take. Trying to clear my name the old-fashioned way, though,” I respond. “Hiring someone to take out the witness?” *** Hot Asset falls into my cotton-candy-pms-chocolate day reads. Very much looking forward to what happens in Matt and Sabrina’s book which is next.
Elisa_Booklover More than 1 year ago
And again, Lauren Layne delivers a book that will make you laugh, swoon, and fall in love with its characters! What did I love about this story? Well: - Lara was simply great. She knows what she wants, she stands for herself, and is simply a badass when needed. I admired her especially because her job is for sure not easy for a woman, but her personality and worth made people respect her. I loved also her personality, and especially her strong sense of right, especially when put in a tough spot, having to choose between her dream job and what it's right. - First of all, I was attracted by the storyline... A book where the heroine has the upper hand? Sign me up! - Ian was just wow, my ideal of a Wall Street businessman. A little cocky, a little a womaniser, but just swoon worthy when he finds the right woman for him. Being put in a situation like the one he found himself in mustn't have been easy, but he fought for his innocence, and his efforts luckily paid off. - the fireworks between Lara and Ian were just wow, and the dialogues kept me on my toes for the entire length of the book! - I really liked the suspence element in the story, and I loved the final scene when they framed the real guilty guy... You go Lara! - as always, Lauren Layne portrayed also some amazing secondary characters, and I can't wait to read their story! So yeah, I might be addicted to Lauren's stories, but I definitely recommend this one too
ReadingFrenzyBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Hot Asset is the first book in Lauren Layne’s new series set among Wall Street’s elite, and what a promising start it is. Ian is a successful investment broker who worked hard and now has it all: money, good looks, power, and his pick of women. Lara is an investigator for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her job is to determine if Ian is guilty of insider training. Lara is far beyond the stereotypical dogged investigator out to get the hero. She may be ambitious, but she’s not bitter, prudish, or rude, or unfair. Lara’s no shrinking violet, either. She doesn’t melt in a puddle of goo when Ian turns his baby blues on her and hits her with his charm. She’s unimpressed with his looks and his money, and it’s clear that she’s a woman of integrity. Ian and his two best friends/co-workers are distinctly different from each other and yet equally appealing. They have a wonderful camaraderie between them, and I really enjoyed their ribbing and loyalty. However, to me, it’s the women who are the highlights of this book and a major selling point of the series. All the women are highly intelligent, capable, and formidable—certainly time enough for the cocky millionaires. This bodes well for their upcoming love stories. I’ve already added the next book in the series to my TBR. Hot Asset is pure entertainment with plenty of sass, wit, and romance.
etoile1996 More than 1 year ago
hot asset kicks off a wall street based trilogy for layne. someone has set the sec on ian bradley's case, even though he's innocent. they also put their most doggest agent on the case with the carrot being a letter of recommendation to the fbi. the more digging lara does in this case she had been so convinced would be a slam dunk, and the more she gets to know ian, the worse she feels about the case. but does she trust her bosses at the sec who tell her he's guilty, or should she trust the lack of evidence and trust her gut, or should she trust the guy who is telling her he's done nothing wrong. the heart of the relationship is watching ian and lara come to terms with the circumstances that thrust them together and figuring out how to accept that together they can have it all. **hot asset will publish on may 22, 2018. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/montlake romance in exchange for my honest review.
PennieM More than 1 year ago
Ian Bradley is a hot shot wall street broker and he has made millions by buying and selling at just the right time but he is also a first rate womanizer. Now the SEC is after him. The only problem is, he is innocent, or is he. Lara McKenzie is a buttoned up, eyeglass-wearing, and play-by-the book investigator for the SEC and her task is to find the goods on Ian. This is the case that could set her on the track she really wants which is a career in the FBI. Sparks are evident as soon as they meet and the chemistry continues to ramp up until it explodes but not until Lara finally concedes there is nothing to find. Who is framing Ian and why? Will Ian and Lara get together. What about the secondary characters who are just a hoot? This is a well written and character driven story and I am definitely excited to read more in this series! **Received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley**
BananaTricky More than 1 year ago
Four and a half, hopelessly devoted to you, stars. In this delightful romance Lauren Layne returns to her New York roots with all of her old style and panache. Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara MacKenzie is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. Sparks fly between Ian and Lara the very first time they meet and even though her investigation should make them mortal enemies, somehow the sparks keep flying. This has everything, big money, ridonkulously over-priced drinks, suave sexy men and a set up which could very easily become as dear to me as the Oxford series. Can I also say how much I love that Ian drinks my own favourite cocktail, the Negroni? Shame on Lara for calling it an old lady drink! I think what made me love this so much was not just the banter and the meet cute situations but also the tension of the SEC investigation looming over Ian. Who is the mysterious informant? what evidence have they got? As always with romance there are a couple of moments when our two protagonists fall out over a misunderstanding, sometimes in novels this is where I feel let down, the situation feels soooo manufactured that I feel it has metaphorical flashing lights yelling "coo-ee plot device over here". Nothing like that for Miss Layne, her misunderstandings fall naturally into the plot and her characters soon discover the error of their assumptions. More importantly, they don't keep repeating them. Overall, a fabulous return to her witty, sexy sparkling form by Lauren Layne. Loved it. loved it. loved it. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Hayleigh Heggem More than 1 year ago
I've read more Lauren Layne books than any other author now and I can firmly say that she always succeeds in leaving me feeling content after finishing one of her books. The guaranteed happily ever after of her books reminds me of the same feeling I get whenever I settle in to watch a Hallmark movie. Hot Asset had all the elements of her other books; interesting characters, quick dialogue, and a beautiful love story. What I loved about this book was the added crime drama of the plot. Lara is investigating Ian for insider trading. She is determined to uncover the truth and he claims he's innocent, but there is so much more to the story! I cannot wait for the next books in this series and highly recommend Hot Asset to anyone looking for a quick, sweet romance.
Dalitza More than 1 year ago
Lauren Layne launches the 21 Wall Street series with the story of attractive and successful investment broker Ian Brady, and the determined SEC agent tasked to investigate him. Ian isn’t deterred when he learns the true identity of the only woman who doesn’t instantly swoon over his good looks and natural magnetism and he’s certain of two things. One, he’s never taken a shortcut to reach his goals and achieve success. Two, he always gets what he wants and he wants Lara. Ian is unapologetic about the way the leads his life. He didn’t grow up privileged but has worked hard all his life to reach his goals, including having the funds to support his ailing father and the means to enjoy life. Lara is equally hard working and effective at what she does and is resolute in fulfilling her dream of becoming an FBI agent and Ian’s case just might get her there. But at what cost? Lara and Ian are appealing characters, they have strong and determined personalities that go along with their careers and make them an attractive central couple whose banter, inner monologues and chemistry had me smiling, laughing and fanning myself. Layne also creates an interesting cast of secondary characters whose loyalty was admirable, complement Ian and Lara’s story nicely, and set intriguing foundations for future books. Set in the fast paced Wall Street backdrop, Lauren Layne upholds her lighthearted, fun, witty and sexy standard creating this entertaining tale of two people who weren’t looking for love but found it in unorthodox circumstances and despite the odds worked to overcome them. Hot Asset is book #1 of the 21 Wall Street series by Lauren Layne. It is a standalone, contemporary romance. Told from both points of view with a happily ending, no cliffhanger.
ljtljtljt More than 1 year ago
Once again Lauren Layne is off to a great start with Hot Asset, the first book from her brand new series 21 Wall Street. I love Ms. Layne's writing style because it is polished, evenly paced and fresh. Secondly, the chemistry between the main characters is simmering and their developing feelings are tangible. Lastly, the combination of humor, longing and the New York City landscape is nicely executed. This book may be enjoyed as standalone. Lara McKenzie is a SEC investigator with the dream of becoming an FBI agent in the very near future. In order to do so, she has to pay her dues by exposing a really big wrongdoing. Along with a letter of recommendation from her boss, her latest assignment has the potential to get her into Quantico. Ian Brady, a womanizer and one of the many darlings of Wall Street, is Lara's newest potential victim. Ian is smart, rich and good-looking, and someone is looking to put him behind bars for a very long time. Although Lara and Ian get off to a shaky start and should be enemies, they cannot stop their attraction to each other. I enjoyed this slightly predictable office romance. The story is nicely presented, and the camaraderie between Ian and his best friends at the investment firm is complete with quick-witted ribbing and fun. Lara's principles and honesty are truly inspiring, especially since "fake news" is so common. Overall, this is a hot romance with an engaging plot and interesting characters. I am truly looking to the next book in the series. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
amatate More than 1 year ago
I’ve been anticipating the release of the 21 Wall Street series ever since Miss Layne announced it. This author never fails to write swoon-worthy professional heroes as well as take charge heroines- a combination that’s often lacking in contemporary romances, particularly when the hero is a high-powered businessman. In many ways, Hot Asset is just what I expected- strong characters with a good amount of depth, a clever story, a sweet romance, low angst, and plenty of interesting secondary characters that ensure I’ll be make for more. I liked Lara and Ian quite a bit and really enjoyed the premise of the story. The dialogue was bright and propelled the storyline, including a good amount of banter showcasing the characters’ wit and personalities. Lara and Ian fit together naturally too, despite initially seeming so different, making their romance almost too easy in some ways. And I loved all the secondary characters introduced. Obviously, there is plenty of good things to say about Hot Asset. What was missing from this book was the palpable connection. While there certainly was chemistry between Ian and Lara, it wasn’t quite as compelling as other couples this author has written. They fit, but I didn’t feel the magnetic pull, and it kept me from getting swept away by the romance. I kept wanting that little bit more from the individuals and couple. That said, this author remains an auto-read for me because I love her smooth, polished writing style and consistent delivery of interesting characters, without a lot of undue angst. Hot Asset was a good start to Miss Layne’s newest series, and one I’ll recommend and look forward to reading more from in the future. *eARC received via Netgalley. The author and publisher had no influence over this review*
Let's Read Romance More than 1 year ago
4.5 Wall Street Stars This is my first Lauren Layne book, but it will not be my last! I am so excited about this series and the characters. They have such charm and they are so much fun! This is the story of Ian Bradley and Lara McKenzie. Can I tell you a little something about Ian Bradley? Yes? Good. That man, oh that man, has my number. He's all suited up and he's all charm and charisma and power and confidence. He's alpha. He's in control. Until something happens and he isn't in control. But even when he's playing someone else's game, he's still impressive, formidable, and intimidating. He's not a man you want to cross. Ian has the coolest group of friends I've ever met. They're hilarious. They're supportive. They're everything to him. And watching him with Matt, Kennedy, Sabrina, and Kate? And then Lara? It's what I want my friendships to look like. Lauren Layne has found herself a new reader. A loyal reader if the rest of her writing is like this. She writes chemistry and tension and lust with just the right amount of flirty fun. I'm ready for Matt and Kennedy!!
DoveArt More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the premise of the book, a hard-working SEC agent has to investigate a Wall Street suit, but their chemistry complicates matters. I also liked the secondary characters, they were well-defined and added to the story instead of just falling into the background. I wish Ian had been a bit more developed, his personality seemed to be mostly defined by the people around him: insecure boy with his foster dad, womanizer before Lara, but then the opposite after Lara. The characters' interactions and dialogues felt realistic and were fun to read. The reveal fell short for me because it was predictable and the villain's motivations seemed cartoonish. Overall, however, I enjoyed the book and was intrigued by the surrounding characters. I am especially looking forward to Kate and Kennedy's story.
slsuhr More than 1 year ago
Sexy and smart Wall Street hotshot in a forbidden romance with the SEC agent investigating him for insider trading? Completely irresistible premise, and there was no question I wanted my grabby hands on this book! What I found within was a solid start to this fun new series. Oh, and some delicious literary suit porn, of course. Smartly written and full of the sort of snappy banter I've come to love about this author, it was so easy to fall into Ian and Lara's story. I might have liked to have a little more of that at times because in the end I felt like their love story moved very quickly and my heart didn't always keep up for the ride. I felt like perhaps I didn't connect with Lara the way Ian did, like I was missing something about her that caused him to fall so hard and so quickly. I might have liked to see more vulnerability there - though in the end my heart caught up and I was beyond happy with their happily ever after. The secondary characters in this one book were so much fun to read, and their interactions and interference with Ian and Lara's story were perhaps one of my favorite parts of this book. I adored Ian's friends and the way they interacted with each other. They are funny, fiercely protective, fun - and I am so excited to dig deeper into their stories. In the end, this was a great start of a new series for me. I'm definitely invested, and definitely want more where this came from. ~ 3.5 Stars
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
spirited and edgy HOT ASSET is the first instalment in Lauren Layne’s contemporary, adult 21 WALL STREET romance series. This is thirty-two year old Wall Street investor Ian Bradley, and twenty-eight year old SEC agent Lara McKenzie’s story line. Told from dual first person perspectives (Lara and Ian) HOT ASSET follows the building but forbidden relationship between Wall Street investor Ian Bradley, and SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) agent Lara McKenzie. An anonymous tip to the SEC found our hero, Ian Bradley, being investigated for insider trading. Enter SEC agent Lara McKenzie, and the woman with whom Ian would fall in love. What ensues is the building but forbidden relationship between Ian and Lara, and the potential fall-out as Lara’s findings are ignored by the people in charge. Ian Bradley grew up in the foster care system, and has worked for every penny and dollar he has earned. A womanizer by reputation, Ian struggles in his attempts to seduce the stoic SEC agent, but something about Lara gives him pause. Behind the librarian glasses, and professional decorum, Lara hides a goddess that Ian hopes to control. Someone is out to destroy Ian’s life using Lara McKenzie in the process, but Ian isn’t willing to go down without a fight. The relationship between Lara and Ian begins acrimoniously when Ian discovers the reasons behind our heroine’s visit. Not only is Ian innocent of all of the charges but Lara insists that she must continue to investigate until the very end. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. There is plenty of back and forth, sexual banter between our leading couple, banter that crosses the line as Ian tries desperately to seduce the woman looking into his life. There is a wonderful cast of secondary and supporting characters who are a little bit protective of our story line hero. We are introduced to his best friends and fellow investors twenty-eight year old Matt Cannon, and thirty two year old Kennedy Dawson; attorney Vanessa Lewis, fixer and PR Rep Sabrina Cross, and PA Kate Henley; Lara’s boss Steve Ennis, and his brother in law Jacob Houghton. Matt and Sabrina’s story line is next in Hard Sell. The world building looks at the close friendships between Ian, Kennedy and Matt, and their PA Kate Henley; Ian’s backstory and his struggles growing up in the foster care system; as well as Lara’s fight to prove she is worthy of working for the FBI. HOT ASSET is a spirited and edgy story line. The premise is imaginative and engaging; the characters are colorful, energetic and charismatic; the romance is captivating and sensual. Lauren Layne’s HOT ASSET is a wonderful and sexy start to her 21 Wall Street series.
Always_Write More than 1 year ago
Lauren Layne has a mesmerizing writing style that tends to captivate me from the beginning to end of her stories, and this one is no different. I thoroughly enjoyed watching rich playboy Ian stumble through each day once his world is rocked by not only an SEC investigation into allegations that he was involved in insider trading but, much more interestingly, his "what the hell is happening to me" attraction to Lara, the straight-laced investigator assigned to his case. This book is a perfect example of the fact that you can't help who you fall in love with. And it's a lot of fun to watch these two fight it. This one is definitely a slow burn, but it's worth the wait. It's also the start to what promises to be another great series by Ms. Layne. I'm certainly anxious for Matt and Sabrina's story next, but I am beside myself with anticipation for Kennedy and Kate's story. A huge thank you to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for providing an ARC for review.
BookAngel_Emma More than 1 year ago
Hot Asset is a compelling start to the new series from Lauren Layne. With richly developed characters and a wonderful pace to the story, Hot Asset is here just in time for the summer. Ian, the first of our Wolves of Wall Street, is on the first impression. the embodiment of playboy investment banker (confident bordering on cocky and has never had a serious relationship). However, it is quickly apparent that this is the persona he has carefully cultivated hiding his foster care roots. Under all his outward confidence Ian still holds a lot of attachment issues, desperately wanting to be part of a family ♥ Having thrown all of his energy into his career, Ian is completely blindsided when he comes under investigation for insider trading!!! And that is the only thing knocking Ian off-kilter - the SEC agent sent to conduct the investigation throws Ian completely off his axis and has him re-evaluating his view of the future. Lara is adorable in a hot, nerd girl way - feisty, sassy and gorgeous. As the investigating officer, this is a make or break case for Lara's career. Lara has dreams of becoming an FBI agent within the white-collar crime division; her family is FBI legacy but are not very supportive of Lara following in their footsteps which tends to undermine Lara's confidence in her abilities. Dedicated to her career just as much as Ian, Lara is nothing if not fastidious and honorable; so her attraction to the suspect of her investigation is somewhat confusing to her. The chemistry between Lara and Ian creates a lot of friction between the pair - the equation - friction → heat → STEAM!!!!! The smallest spark sets of a chain reaction of fireworks. Unfortunately, the investigation takes an unexpected twist which adds strain to the developing feelings between Ian and Lara. As well as both of their careers being on the line. I completely adored Ian and Lara, their character development was a thing of wonder in the way they enhanced each other's positive qualities without losing their individuality. Glimpses of Ian's vulnerabilities add to the sweetness of the narrative. The peripheral characters, the close friends of Ian and Lara, add to the story overall. They are all very different with diverse backgrounds, I cannot wait to get to know them individually through the series. Matt and Sabrina are bound to cause major explosions in Hard Sell.
OpheliaOA More than 1 year ago
What an awesome book. I was hooked from the very beginning and I just couldn’t make myself put the book the down. Lara and Ian might not have gotten along from the very beginning but the instant attraction that they both share could not be ignored. Lara might have originally been investigating Ian for insider trading but as they both get to know each other Lara realizes that Ian would never cheat and Ian realizes that he can’t live without Lara. I was so happy to read that when things became tough both Ian and Lara didn’t doubt each other and stayed strong. They fought for what they believed was the truth and it just made them stronger as a couple. I really loved Hot Asset and I hope to read more about Kennedy and Kate and Matt and Sabrina. ***Received this ARC by NetGalley as an exchange for an honest review.
SarahW18 More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy romances like Julie James’ FBI series (beginning with Something About You) I think you will really enjoy Hot Asset by Lauren Layne. This is a fast-paced romance with two commanding leads. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) agent Lara McKenzie has been handed the case of a lifetime–or at least, the case that may finally get her a job at the FBI working with white collar crimes. It’s her dream job after being raised by two FBI agent parents herself and she will do whatever she can to finally make it come true. In this case, it means proving that Ian Bradley, confident Wall Street trader, is guilty of insider trading. It should be an open and shut case but there are some elements of the case that are niggling at Lara’s mind. She is a methodical and practiced agent, used to closing cases and proving the wrongdoing but with Ian, well that’s easier said than done. Her attraction to him is a big no-no first of all. Second of all, well, things just aren’t adding up. Why won’t her boss share the person who made the claim about insider trading against Ian? The more Lara investigates, the more she realizes she has to put her stereotypes of Ian aside and look at the case, and him, with the facts she has in front of her. And something isn’t adding up. Ian knows he is innocent. At first, he doesn’t think the case will go anywhere, but the more Lara investigates, the more Ian is starting to realize he has an even bigger problem: he really, really likes Lara. Ian is definitely a stereotypical love ’em and leave ’em Wall Street guy but when it comes to Lara, he cannot get her out of his mind. But do these two have any chance at making their feelings come to life? Hot Asset jumps with chemistry from the opening pages. Lara wants to write Ian off. Ian wants to jump Lara’s bones and be done with it. They both soon realize that the connection between them will not be that easy to sever. What really drew me into this story was when Lara and Ian started to put their misconceptions aside and get to know each other. Their romance is incredibly engaging and visceral. You feel that “will they won’t they” tug from the very beginning but it turns into something more special as the investigation looms heavier in their minds. Lara, who is used to putting all the clues together to get her right answer, can’t fit these pieces together and she definitely can’t figure out how to deal with her feelings. Lara is ambitious and wants to be part of the FBI. She doesn’t have much time for dating and well, Ian is a bit too intense for her. Ian didn’t think he would ever be drawn to a woman like Lara: intelligent, hard-working, a bit reticent and starchy, but somehow can handle all his foibles like a pro. He knows he is innocent and he just wants to see the conclusion of this investigation because maybe, they can try dating and see where things go. I liked Ian’s brash personality but he definitely has a softer more vulnerable side which sneaks out in some of his conversations with Lara, and his foster parent, Dave. Makes for a fully fleshed character. Hot Asset is available now. This is an exciting and satisfying romance. Lauren Layne continues to push all my buttons in the right way!
Pinky1979 Reviews More than 1 year ago
What is better than a new Lauren Layne novel? A new Lauren Layne series of course!!!!! So you can only imagine my joy at discovering that one of my favourite romance writers was starting a new series starring a group of hot wall street legends in suits ;) Yes, Lauren Layne is the queen of Wallstreet! There is no one who can write heroes in suits that are this HOT and this addictive!!! Lara McKenzie’s dream is to one day follow in her parent’s’ footsteps and be a FBI agent. In order to get her name on their radar and get a recommendation from her boss she needs a high profile case. As a SEC agent, she is every Wallstreet brokers nightmare and she is very good at what she does. Now all she has to do is find evidence against Ian Bradley, one of Wallstreet’s hottest and best brokers. But can Lara really avoid the allure and charm of one of New York City’s must eligible bachelors while trying to bring him down? Ian Bradley worked tooth and nail to get where he is. His job is his everything and he has no intention of walking away from it without a fight, especially when he knows that he is innocent. But in a world where even rumour and speculation is enough to ruin someone, will he be able to make Lara believe that he is innocent and prove it?To make matters worse, after a life of living life to the fullest with everything that money and success has to offer, he finds himself longing for the only woman who he has ever truly wanted. The only woman, it seems, who is immune to his charms. I am truly ecstatic about this new series! After having met both Max and Kennedy in this book, I can’t wait to read their stories!!! As always, Lauren Layne mesmerises with “Hot Asset”. Not to be missed!!! Thank you Netgalley and Montlake Romance for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
DHITE1 More than 1 year ago
Lauren Layne’s back with a new series and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Hot Asset is the first book in the 21 Wall Street series, and it was so much fun! I was and wasn’t surprised by that. I wasn’t surprised because Lauren Layne can do no wrong in my book. She consistently makes me smile with her writing. I always know what I’m going to get when I pick up one of her books: a fabulous time. Hot Asset was definitely a fabulous time! As for being surprised, I was only surprised by how much I enjoyed the Wall Street setting. Wall Street is something that sounds a little boring to me, but L.L. made it exciting! Who knew Ian being investigated by Lara could be so entertaining? This storyline was something I haven’t read before, and that was so cool. I could not get enough of the characters and their relationships in this book. I adored the love-hate relationship that began between Ian and Lara when she started investigating him. There was some great banter between them. It made their road to love so much fun! I also really appreciated how supportive they ended up being with each other when it wasn’t an easy thing to be. I also really loved the other relationships in this book. The relationship between Ian and his best friends / co-workers, Matt and Kennedy was hilarious. The three of them were quite the group of cocky, wealthy men. They, along with their other friends Sabrina and Kate, were the perfect little group of friends. I loved the dynamics between all of them! Obviously, I thought Hot Asset was amazing. It was the perfect light, fluffy, upbeat romance read. It was exactly the book I needed to put me in a great mood and get over a book hangover I had going on. After reading Hot Asset, I can’t wait to read the rest of the 21 Wall Street books! I’m so excited for Matt and Sabrina and Kennedy and Kate’s romances! They need to hurry up and get here.
FromTheSouth More than 1 year ago
Hot is the right title word, folks, for a couple of reasons. #1. There’s no wonder Ian, the hero, is getting so hot under the collar. That’s bound to happen when you are openly being investigated by the SEC for a crime you didn’t commit. Despite not a trace of solid evidence, it just didn’t seem fair Lara was sent to find him guilty. Sure, she still seeks the truth, but since her boss tells her failure isn’t an option and she’d benefit greatly from a guilty verdict, it felt like justice was taking a back seat to hidden agendas. Despite the hot seat he was in, Ian couldn’t help but feel sparks fly every time he looked at or even thought of Lara, who was the face of the law determined to put him behind bars, which brings me to reason #2. The chemistry between this main couple was hot and very graphically steamy. Ian was not only the poster boy for Wall Street success but he was the king and master of ONS with beautiful women. Yeah, he was gorgeous and knew how to work it. The way Lara was portrayed though kind of left me wondering exactly why she was his kryptonite. Boring, frumpy suits and shoes hardly set her up to be a walking, talking sex goddess. It actually made me feel kind of sorry for her. Why couldn’t she have wowed him dressed smoking hot each and every day? Just a thought and a reminder that I’m not a fan of downplaying the heroine’s character in any manner. From his rags to riches background, Ian did come across as self-entitled and shallow, mainly when it came to women, before Lara, that is. She somehow opened his eyes to how empty his life was despite his overflowing bank account. Though he was very generous with his salary in regards to charities, Ian lived for the job and spent his free time enjoying a nightly revolving door of top shelf liquor and easy women. Thankfully, the lust and loving is kept between the main couple, but you’ll definitely have to wait for it until near the end, for obvious reasons. Lara does try to control her feelings and keep things professional until her job is done. Ultimately, a not too surprising big reveal offers a solution to all their problems. Title: Hot Asset, Series: 21 Wall Street (Book 1), Author: Lauren Layne, Pages: 266, stand-alone but part of a series, SEC but wants FBI job sassy heroine, rags to riches/gorgeous and knows how to work it hero, VERY graphic steamy scenes with lusty language, changes him for the better, no cheating/no love triangle/no OM/OW drama after meeting. Book 1 - Hot Asset (Ian and Lara) Book 2 - Hard Sell (Matt and Sabrina) (I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not given any payment or compensation for this review, nor is there any affiliation or relationship between this reviewer and the author/publisher/NetGalley.)
cdb393 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book although not quite as much as many of Layne's other books. It has the usual snappy dialogue and fast pace I've come to expect from Layne's books. It also has some pretty great characters. I was worried about whether I would like the Wall Street setting, but it worked well. Despite all this I didn't quite connect to the book as much as I would have liked. I'm looking forward to revisiting it since I was on the verge of a reading burnout when I read this which may have impacted my enjoyment of the book.