Spencer Hightower's job is cleaning up other people's messes. And she is damn good at it. Unfortunately, being a supremely organized workaholic, she doesn't always easily meet guys—until Liam Connelly shows up, all high-powered and really, really sexy. Sure, he makes Spencer's pulse thump...but he's also the biggest pain in her professional life.
Liam can't believe his lousy luck when he learns that Spencer is his opposition in a high-profile scandal. She's the best at what she does and the worst possible opponent. Of course, a little professional animosity can't hurt a guy's chances for a date, can it? Even as Spencer tries to keep her distance, their attraction grows stronger...and hotter. But once they cross all kinds of professional—and personal—boundaries, the situation snowballs into a disaster that even the great Spencer Hightower can't fix...
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
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About the Author
As a Texan and recovering sorority girl, Lindsay Emory has strong opinions on college football, nachos, and wearing white after Labor Day. Lindsay started writing when her first grade teacher put her in a closet and told her to write stories, instead of teaching her math. When she's not writing, she's raising two daughters, watching movies with her husband, and reading as many books as possible. She is an active member of the Dallas Area Romance Authors chapter of RWA and a semi-active member of the PTA, which is a whole lot less fun.
Read an Excerpt
Know When to Hold Him
A Love and War in Dallas Novel
By Lindsay Emory, Kimberly Daniel
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Lindsay Emory
All rights reserved.
This was the last time Spencer dated European. Unless Prince Harry decided to visit Dallas. She'd make an exception then.
"Are you kidding me?" She demanded when she found this evening's date bent over a desk, snorting a white, powdery substance. A Russian oligarch, with a national chain of trendy clothing stores, had seemed like the perfect date for the benefit. But a potential six-figure donation was so not worth this trouble.
Dimitri Korolov looked up in surprise, not bothering to hide what he was doing.
"This is my family's fundraiser," she hissed.
Dimitri looked unimpressed. "And it was boring."
Spencer threw up her hands. "It's for the children's hospital! What kind of fun do you think you're going to have?"
A not-based-in-reality light came on in Dimitri's dark eyes. "Only the fun that I have with beautiful women."
She couldn't help herself. "Ugh!" If Dimitri hadn't been her type the first dozen times he'd propositioned her, he sure as hell wasn't now. A voice sounding from down the hall reminded her where they were. In the smoking room of the White Rock Belle Mansion, a quaint pre-war reminder of days when men would retire to smoke their cigars–or snort their cocaine-thirty feet away from the pillars of Dallas society, invited by the Hightower family to open their checkbooks to support the children's hospital.
And here she was, Spencer Hightower, the honorary chair of the fundraiser, standing next to a pile of very expensive and very illegal narcotics. This was not the way the evening was supposed to end.
"Clean this up. Right now, Dimitri. Party's over."
But, instead, Dimitri moved toward her. A clammy, pale finger crept under the strap of her favorite black cocktail dress, and Spencer clamped down on the revulsion that rose in her throat. First things first.
"Now, Dimitri. I'm not kidding."
"You can do it for me. That's what I pay you for. To clean up after me, right?"
Spencer stepped back from his encroaching hands and instinctively reached for her cell phone. Except this cocktail dress didn't have pockets. And she'd left her phone with her colleague. Shit.
"You're a former client," she corrected him. Her crisis management firm had handled the blowback after Dimitri's company had gone public and the media had discovered his cheap clothes were manufactured in Southeast Asian sweatshops. "But this, I don't handle." She pointed a finger toward the paraphernalia on the table. "Not for you."
Dimitri grabbed her hand, yanking her toward him. "Oh, don't be such a party shitter." The drugs thickened his Russian accent and the crazy light behind his eyes turned up a notch.
"It's 'party pooper'," Spencer said through gritted teeth as his grip tightened around her hand.
"Let's have some fun."
"Let me go." Spencer hated the shakiness of her voice as she tried to keep it together. She handled more difficult things all the time at her job, so an inappropriately handsy ex-client should be easy. Except there was a TV news crew and two hundred of her parents' closest friends in the ballroom down the hall, and Dimitri was starting to hurt her.
She needed a quick, simple way to get out of this. If she could just angle her body and kick him in the balls ...
He twisted her arm, and she went for the gonads.
* * *
Liam Connelly was on a mission to find his suit coat. It had been stupid to take it off, but Liam wasn't the type of guy to stay comfortable in Italian wool and leather-soled shoes. He preferred tees and sneakers, and he was lucky that his clients didn't mind that — some of the time. He'd taken off the coat when he and his law school buddy JT had enjoyed cigars with origins they'd decided not to investigate too closely.
Liam only had the one black suit. Already in Dallas four weeks, he'd worn that damn suit four times. He hadn't known the Dallas office would be so formal.
He needed the coat.
Liam recognized the sounds before he got to the room. The same sounds he'd heard in the bedroom next to his before he was big enough to stand up to his stepdad and make them stop for good.
The smack and the female cry sent Liam into a single-minded fury. He threw open the door and found a dark-haired man standing over a blond woman cowering on the floor.
The guy was high. Maybe it was because he shrieked something ridiculous and paranoid about being followed by security. Maybe it was because he came at the six foot three, snarling former professional football player like he had a chance. Liam easily ducked the flailing arms going for his throat, grabbed the moron's collar, hauled back, and gave him a taste of his own medicine, except bigger and meaner.
The single punch sent the man flying back. His shoes slipped and ruffled the Persian rug under his feet. He stumbled and crashed into the corner of a bookshelf, an ornate, heavy piece. With a thud and a sharp, telltale crack from the back of his head, the attacker's eyes rolled back and he slid to the floor in a boneless, fluid motion.
Liam turned and saw the woman standing behind him like an avenging angel. Her long blond hair had slipped from its pins, her black lace dress had a torn strap, letting a peek of black lingerie show, and she had the beginning of a shiner underneath her right eye. But she was gripping a crystal candlestick like a cleaver, ready to slice and dice through any enemy that came through the lines for a second shot at her.
"Are you okay?" Liam asked. He kept his voice level and calm. Didn't need to upset the ferocious lady with the candlestick.
"Fine," she replied, in a slight, shaky voice.
"Is that your boyfriend?" Liam pointed at the out-cold piece of shit on the floor.
"No. Just a really bad date." She sneered slightly. "Is he ..."
"Out. Just out. You need to put ice on that." Liam glanced around the room. He recalled there being an ice bucket around here somewhere earlier. The woman stepped closer to the man seemingly to take a closer look, still with the candlestick clutched tightly in her two hands. Moving made her look down at the loose piece of fabric on her breast, no longer held up by the black strip of lace of her dress.
"ARGHHH!" She let out an angry cry, pulled back a stilettoed foot, and kicked her passed out date in the stomach.
"Hey!" Liam pulled her back by the arms. "You don't kick a man when he's down."
"You don't. This is Chanel!" She gestured to her ripped dress.
Liam whipped the woman around. God, she was beautiful. Dangerously beautiful, and that had nothing to do with a vicious kick and the determination to fight with household decor. Dark blue eyes caught his attention first, blazing as they were with a righteous fire. The rest of her face was perfect: high cheek bones, ivory skin, and rose-pink lips, only marred by the mark that her "bad date" had given her. "What's your name?" Liam used his calm voice again.
"Spencer," she answered quietly.
Still holding her by the arm in a loose grip, he spoke in a matter of fact way. "Okay, Spencer, I'm going to find some ice for your face now, and you're not going to kick your date anymore."
Spencer bit her lip, which distracted Liam until she started giggling, which Liam found bizarre. "You think this is funny?" Liam asked, dumbfounded.
The giggling was cut off and replaced with a solemn expression. "No one's ever told me not to k ... k ... kick my date." She blinked hard, her lips pressed together, trying to smother the returning giggles. Liam couldn't help the smile that threatened to erupt on his own face. The conversation had been the first of its kind for him, too.
"Ice." He reminded himself out loud and let Spencer go. Liam spied the ice bucket on a bar cart by the large bay window overlooking White Rock Lake, and there was his suit jacket, next to the leather chair he'd sat in earlier. As he picked up the ice bucket, his attention was distracted by a color that did not match the tasteful decor of the mansion. A lime green shoe, that looked like it belonged wrapped around a stripper pole, lay behind the couch that flanked the bay window. In two steps, Liam saw what lay behind the sofa. He cursed. Spencer was next to him in a moment and echoed his curse. On the floor lay a woman in a dress that matched her shoe, cheap and bright and way too high to fit in with the rest of the proper socialites he'd been surrounded with this evening.
"Is she ..." Spencer didn't finish the question.
"She's out. Really out." Liam glanced back at the cocaine splayed across the table and then back at Spencer. "And you need to find better dates." He picked up his coat and took Spencer by the elbow. "Come on, do you need a ride?"
She jerked out of his hand. "I can't just leave him!"
Liam analyzed Spencer's face. It wasn't, he realized, the mindless devotion of a stereotypical abused partner. There was something detached, more business-like there.
He couldn't put his finger on it, but he admired her strength. She was a survivor. And God help any bastard who put her in survival mode.
"He'll wake up in a few hours feeling like shit. Don't worry about him."
"But ..." She gestured to the drugs on the desk.
"You want to get rid of the illegal stuff?"
Before she could answer, loud voices and the sounds of multiple steps sounded from down the hallway. Spencer turned to Liam, terror in her eyes. "Reporters."
Liam bolted to the door, putting a shoulder and his considerable muscle against it, while searching for the lock.
Dammit, where is it?
He braced himself for any forced entry. Spencer reached for the linen napkin around the ice bucket and approached the desk, getting rid of the drugs with a cold efficiency that made Liam pause. Who is this woman?
Spencer joined Liam at the door, listening as the group moved. When their sounds had passed, they let out a relieved sigh. Liam took his suit coat and put it around Spencer's shoulders, hiding the fact that half of her dress was threatening to fall down.
"Thank you," she whispered.
He could only nod in response. He would have done so much more for this woman, if she had only asked. He made himself twist the doorknob, ignoring the big part of him that wondered what would happen next if he stayed with Spencer, sharing secrets behind closed doors.
But the smart part of his brain said it was time to scram and leave the cocaine and the out-cold asshole and the passed-out prostitute to their own unique devices. He opened the door, turning to the left while Spencer turned to the right. He paused and turned, trying to decide if he should follow his suit coat, when he noticed a petite redhead hurrying to her side. The woman handed Spencer a phone and was talking fast, gesticulating with both hands, not noticing that Spencer's shoulders were covered with a man's jacket. Spencer looked up briefly and found Liam's gaze down the darkened hall. With an enigmatic expression, she was gone. And so was his suit coat.CHAPTER 2
The doors of the elevator opened directly into the foyer of the Hightower & Associates at ten 'til nine. Spencer Hightower stepped out and was greeted by her associates, Rainey White and Nora Dexter.
"You're late." Rainey and Nora spoke simultaneously, with both urgency and concern on their faces.
"I slept late," Spencer said, heading into the offices, barely noticing the cut flowers delivered weekly from her favorite Dallas Arts District florist. She balanced a drink carrier in one hand and gave a paper cup to Rainey.
"Organic chai latte."
Another cup went to Nora. "Extra hot raspberry mocha."
Rainey's hand stopped Nora from taking a sip. "She's trying to distract us," Rainey warned her.
Nora frowned at her coffee. "Damn it," she muttered.
"Foiled again!" Spencer laughed, side-stepping her friends.
"You slept late?" Rainey repeated as she and Nora followed Spencer down the hall.
"Alone?" Nora asked. The other two women paused and stared at the petite redhead. "What? It makes a difference."
"Alone," Spencer replied, the single word cut short as she checked a news alert on her phone.
"Bibby Hepworth in ten, I know," Spencer called back, her heels clacking down the hall to her office, working her own large paper coffee cup out of the cardboard carrier.
Only so many of Hightower & Associates' clients could come from Spencer's personal address book; most generally came through referrals. This new client was referred from one of the most prominent family law attorneys in Dallas. Bibby Hepworth handled all the high profile divorces. Dallas Cowboys, country music superstars, and Telenovela queens—they all went to Bibby. So when she called Spencer with a referral, there was no doubt it would be worth her time.
The first thing Spencer noticed about Dalynn Kay was that Dalynn was extremely pregnant. As in, Spencer wondered if they should start boiling water in the Keurig and collecting clean towels from the break room.
Beyond the pregnancy, Dalynn was pretty enough to catch any man's attention. She was young, petite with a head full of blond highlights.
"Spencer." Bibby was always officious yet pleasant. "Lovely party last night. I was hoping to see your parents."
Spencer waved a hand in a distracted fashion. "You know, work stuff."
"Spencer's father is a United States Senator," Bibby told Dalynn in a perfectly unnecessary explanation. Dalynn looked suitably impressed, but Spencer pushed down the routine annoyance. One of these days, maybe when Hayes Hightower retired, people would stop caring what her father did for a living and just focus on Spencer's accomplishments in her own right.
Dalynn settled into the conference table's seat of honor and Spencer, Rainey, and Nora took the seats nearest the new client. Spencer pulled a yellow legal pad and pen from the middle of the table to her and started the meeting.
"Thank you for meeting with us today, Dalynn. Because you gave Bibby permission, she has shared some of the case information with us. You're trying to get your child's paternity established. Is that correct?"
Dalynn nodded, clearly nervous. Spencer smiled to reassure her. "Do you want a drink? Some water? Herbal tea?"
"Coke, if you have it."
Nora rose to get Dalynn's drink. Spencer continued, "And who is the father, Dalynn?"
Dalynn licked her lips. "His name's Troy Duncan. We met at Dallas State."
"Troy Duncan?" Nora asked, pouring a can of soda over a glass of ice. "He's the football player? The Heisman Trophy winner?"
Dalynn beamed. "Yes ma'am. But he didn't get the trophy. That bastard quarterback from UCLA bribed some voters."
A little wrinkle appeared between Nora's eyebrows. "But doesn't he ... isn't he ..." She paused uncomfortably as the rest of the women waited for her to finish. "Doesn't he say that he's a virgin?" The v-word was almost a whisper.
It didn't faze Dalynn. "He says that. But, obviously, he's not." She patted her pregnant belly. "He said it's just to get more attention. More endorsements. Can you believe that?"
"Jerk," Nora accused, ignoring the expression Spencer was giving her before handing Dalynn the soda.
"Right?" Dalynn took a sip of her Coke. "Like anyone believes a man that fine hasn't gotten any."
"It would be completely unnatural for a healthy twenty-one year old man to have an unpopped cherry," Rainey said, underlining something on her pad of paper for emphasis.
Spencer tried to keep a straight face. She jotted notes on her pad and handed it to Rainey before leaning forward and giving Dalynn her full, undivided attention. "Are you still a student?"
"No, ma'am. I'm taking a break because of the baby."
Spencer gently questioned Dalynn about the pregnancy, the now-ex-boyfriend, her living arrangements, and her finances before leading into thorny topics.
"I hate to ask you this, but if we have to, especially because of Mr. Duncan's ... ah ... assertions regarding his ... ah ... sexual experience ... we're going to need more proof that Mr. Duncan is the father of your baby. Do you have anything that will help us make that case?"
Excerpted from Know When to Hold Him by Lindsay Emory, Kimberly Daniel. Copyright © 2015 Lindsay Emory. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Overall enjoyable but at times it felt like parts went on and on like.
Fantastic story! Spencer cleans up public relations disasters for paying customers and Liam is a sports agent, which kind of does the same thing. Great story line that kept my attention the entire time. Amazing sexual tension and chemistry between Spencer and Liam. There were misunderstandings and hurt feelings between them. Spencer was trying no to hurt the man she came to care for, even if he is the opposition and Liam tries to figure out a way to ask for forgiveness from the woman he loves. Neither is an easy thing to do when pride gets in the way. There was never a dull moment in this book. I love reading about strong female characters. They give the male characters a run for their money! This is definitely an author to keep an eye on. Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Thanks to Lindsay Emory I have been humming Kenny Rogers's The Gambler for over a week now (my kids are now begging me to stop singing too). Know When to Hold Him is more than a catchy title it was a very captivating story! Lindsay Emory definitely mixed together lots of entertaining things to create this great book. You get high profile movers & shakers, politicians, athletes, agents, intrigue and scandal! What a ride Spencer and Liam took us on! Lindsay Emory is a new-to-me Author and I loved her witty dialogue, unique plot and strong characters! Know When to Hold Him is a book that is hard to describe (so I won't, you will have to read it) without explaining the whole thing! You have Spencer, who is a daughter of a Senator and is used to winning, if she can't win she doesn't play. She is a go-getter, strong, independent and ruthless in business. What is brilliant about Spencer, is she has a soft side, a side that wants her slice of happily ever after, but she doesn't know how to go for it. She settles for no strings sex to be safe and "win" in all her relationships. However, meeting Liam changes things. Liam is a smart, self-assured lead that had me at hello! He is a sports agent (see what I did there?) that works hard for his clients and is ready to ruffle Spencer's feathers. Liam was a breath of fresh air in a genre full of uber-jealous control freak men. He was able to separate (for the most part) work from personal and that is where the story heats up! Know When to Hold Him definitely held my attention and had me turning pages way past my bedtime. I really enjoyed this story, even with all the dramatics toward the end, it kept me on my toes and I never knew what to expect with Spencer and Liam. The chemistry sizzled and the banter was fantastic! If you are in the mood for a romance that gives you something unique, I would recommend Know When to Hold Him. You get heat, strong characters, sports, scandal and best of all two people fighting for their slice of happy!
Great cast of characters-great beginning and grabs you from the beginning. Spencer is a tough cookie and she shows it right from the beginning. She meets Liam under not-so-great circumstances especially since they are on opposite sides. Quick read, Liam and Spencer are perfect together as they are exactly alike. I love it that Spencer is independent(like me) and has that don't mess with me attitude. Fabulous story and cannot wait until I can read another book by the author.
I enjoyed reading Spencer and Liam's story. She is truly a strong independent character. Spencer reminds me of an action movie hero, with the whole you-Don't-know-who-you-are-messing-with attitude. I absolutely loved it. She could so be my alter ego. She did not let anyone push her around or let them get the best of her. She fought for her people, herself and her ways. Then there is Liam, who is the male version of Spencer. They were fabulous together with their innuendos and bantering. Several times I would be grinning as I read. The story flowed very nicely and kept me hooked. I only wish she would have dealt with George a little more than what there was. But that is just me wanting that action movie ending and sarcastic one liners. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
I think that the premise of this story will appeal to both the sports über-fan and readers who would rather have their taxes audited than watch ESPN. Football fans will enjoy that Liam was a sports agent and that the story intertwined with the NFL draft. Die-hard sports fans follow the deals of agents almost as much as they follow the careers of the professional athletes. Also, the NFL draft is a big day and, speaking from experience, fans are known to have draft updates sent to smartphones, watch the sports channels all day for in-depth analysis, and, stream the draft on work computers. For the reader who doesn't know the difference between a quarterback [football] and a striker [futbol, uh, soccer], this is ultimately a love story. The sports aspect of this story served to ramp up the tension and conflict between the characters. But the heart of the story was the give-and-take between two driven professionals trying to balance their personal lives and their work demands. My expectations for this book were high (maybe too high). During law school, I studied sports law for a semester and my professor was a lawyer who provided professional athletes with media strategy and crisis management. I found myself comparing Liam and Spencer to actual people I'd met during that class. Spencer and Liam were supposed to be the best in their respective professions, but I didn't think that their actions reflected those reputations. Unfortunately, the discrepancies made it difficult for me to dive into the story and lose myself in Liam's and Spencer's romance. Reviewer's Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All errors and omissions are my own. This review is excerpted from my book blog.
Never underestimated the age-old, little-girl fantasy of being rescued by a knight in shining armor. You never know when it might come true. Spencer Hightower, the daughter of a ruthless and cunning United States senator, does not lose. Ever. She doesn’t lose at trivia games, or when she places a good-natured bet, or in relationships, or when she’s working to tidy up the legal messes other people make of their lives. Her workaholic drive—or, perhaps, obsession—keeps her single until one of her dates takes a nasty turn and a stranger with impeccable timing shows up to rescue her. After that, she can’t get the mystery man out of her head. And then she meets him in person. Liam Connelly is not only a friend of a close friend but also the man on the other side of the current scandal on which Spencer is working. Their respective clients are at odds, which (in Spencer’s mind) means that she and Liam are automatically at war. Liam insists that they can keep their growing attraction separate from their work, but when they finally fall into bed together, things are complicated beyond even their collective control. KNOW WHEN TO HOLD HIM, a Love & War in Dallas novel by Lindsay Emory, is newly published this month by Select Contemporary, an imprint of Entangled Publishing. The characters are intriguing; the premise is unexpected; and the outcome is one you won’t see coming. Spencer Hightower, from a wealthy and influential family, is the focal point of the work, and one of the most complex characters present. Her relationship with her emotionally absent father is strained at best, and yet Spencer herself is just as ruthless and unforgiving as her father is in his political endeavors. She, too, keeps strategic secrets and racks up business relationships in which others owe her favors so that the next time a job lands on her desk, she has every resource at her fingertips to expend on behalf of her client. She doesn’t do vulnerability, weakness, patience, or trust … all of which, naturally enough, Liam Connelly demands from her. The sexual tension between the two is positively steamy, and their eventual rendezvous are impassioned and underscored with the kind of tension that only an expert author can interweave, as the characters’ agendas, desires, and approaches to life clash time and again, even in the bedroom (vulnerability meets bullheadedness, for instance). For a fascinating, thoroughly entertaining read, look no further. # # # Author: Lindsay Emory Title: KNOW WHEN TO HOLD HIM Publisher: Select Contemporary (Entangled Publishing) ISBN: 978-1-63375-209-2 Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Hold Him will Hold You with its great writing and cast of characters. Spencer and Liam awesome!Great Read~do not miss this story ***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*** Know When To Hold Him is a great story. Spencer’s job is about cleaning other people’s messes up. That’s all she does. Think of a fixer –she fixes everything and makes it go away. Liam is a Harvard Grad lawyer turned sports agent. Liam and Spencer know each other -There are mutual friends involved and family ties. They are both involved in a paternity case-Spencer is representing the girl who is pregnant and Liam is representing the upcoming football star who is the maybe daddy who is saying he is a virgin. I LOVED this story. Spencer and Liam had this spark. They matched wits when it came to the case and the twists and turns this book took-WOW. I had my own thoughts on how this would turn out to be proven wrong-which I have to say that was great. The journey that the characters took to where they ended up was lovely. Spencer and Liam deserve happiness and the road they took to get there was hard but well deserved. The secondary cast of characters I really liked and hope to see more of in another book. This book had plenty of content without being blown up with just sex which is saying a lot. I like that a lot and I have to say, the author has a sure winner on her hands. I know I will read this book over and over again because of the vibe it gives. It has substance-and that says a lot. I can’t wait to read more from this author My rating: 5 stars *****
Know When to Hold Him By Lindsay Emory is a well thought out work of art. I was gifted an ARC for my honest viewpoint. If a fan of the show Scandal you will love this book. Spencer Hightower is wrapped up within her career. Afraid of being hurt again-she does not want anyone to get too close. Liam wants to get to know her despite all of the baggage. Will these people getting to know each other become affected by their careers. Can rivals become lovers? Although this was a good story it was little too much going on for me.
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating! This book took a while for me to warm up to. I wasn't really feeling the characters in the very beginning, most especially Spencer's friends, one of whom even made some kind of a reference to "dating" being a "misogynistic concept" and I'm all for girl power and everything and not to insult my gender but that kinda stuff drives me crazy. It was also kind of slow as well though. I contemplated quitting quite early on, but something told me to keep going and give it just a little bit longer. Thankfully I did because eventually things picked up and I actually started to really warm up to all the characters as well. I ended up having a lot of fun finishing it. The storyline for this book is what originally grabbed my attention. I loved the idea of reading a book about a person who "fixed" scandals for a living. I figured it would open the door to something big and juicy for these two characters to be on opposing sides about. Not only was the scandal exactly the type of juicy that I was hoping for, it had the added bonus of me wavering back and forth over whose side I was on and believed. There was never really any clear-cut right or wrong side throughout most of the book because both people involved would either say or do something that just had you question if they were being truthful or not. The relationship between Liam and Spencer was so much fun once the book really gets going. They have this amazing chemistry. They sizzled and sparked whenever they were in the same room. You could feel the connection between them. But then they also had their moments when they fought both themselves and each other with the whole separating business and pleasure. And even in all those moments of verbal sparring and heated glares you knew that it wouldn't take long for the electric charge in the room to zap and change that competitive heat into something much, much naughtier. I love those kinds of relationships. This book definitely wasn't perfect. I had my fair share of frustrations. But really in the end I was so glad that I didn't give in at the first sign of trouble and kept going. I felt like it was all worth it in the end. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up any other books that Lindsay Emory publishes in the future. I feel like there's a potential here of her becoming an author I could have a lot of fun reading! Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!
This fabulous contemporary romance is the story of Spencer and Liam. Spencer is in the business of cleaning up other people's PR messes, and when she finds herself across the table from Liam in a he said/she said battle, the fact that he rescued her previously from an awkward situation in no way deters her from doing her job. The sexual attraction between them though burns hotter with every encounter - will they be able to put business aside to focus on pleasure or will the reality of their opposing sides be too much to overcome? I loved this story! I can honestly say that Spencer is the strongest female heroine I have come across in all the romance stories I've read (and I've read a lot!). She's competitive, she's feisty, she doesn't take no for an answer and she'll go to any lengths to secure victory in any situation - yet all the while maintaining a professional and friendly attitude. She plays hardball but she's still a really nice person. I loved that she recognizes her own strengths and weaknesses and has no qualms at doing what benefits all parties in the negotiations she is in, making sure that the opposing party is still treated fairly while going for the win. Brought up in a political household, she has friends in all the high places, to her benefit. But she meets her match in Liam, the former football player, now sports agent whose job it is to get the best contract for his clients. He is not intimidated by Spencer but instead finds her competitiveness a complete turn on. And this is totally appealing to me as a female reader, that he doesn't try to diminish Spencer's strength but rather relishes them and knows he just has to work that much harder to keep her interest. The sexual attraction between them sizzles from the first time they meet and leads to an intense and steamy relationship even as they try to navigate being opponents across the bargaining table. The conflict in the story between them is wholly believable and the trust that they need to find in each other is what makes the story emotional to read. Secondary characters play a key role in the story, both Liam and Spencer's clients telling a tale spun in such a way that you don't know who to believe and who is in the right until the very end - kudos to the author for making that mystery last. You know that either Liam or Spencer is going to lose and don't know what effect that is going to have on their personal relationship. It was a really well put together, interesting and unique story with sexy love scenes, strong characters and a wonderful romance. 5 stars for this excellent debut!
Know When to Hold Him by Lindsay Emory is an interesting and original story. The main characters, Spencer Hightower, a public relations guru and Liam Connelly, an up and coming sports agent, make excellent bedfellows in addition to business opponents. They are both involved in a paternity case, with Spencer representing the very pregnant mother, and Liam representing the conceivable father, a Heisman trophy winner who claims to be a virgin. Thus, it seems highly improbable that Liam's client may be the baby's father, however, his and Spencer's client dated for about two years. Spencer is smart, beautiful and the daughter of a Texas senator. She is always in the know and she understands how to manipulate the system or situation in order to serve the needs of her clients, as well as herself. Spencer always plays fair, although she does come very close to crossing that slippery slope. Being a senator's daughter has both helped and hindered her ability to fix her clients' messes. Liam is on the brink of sport agent stardom. He is clever, good-looking and his almost professional football star client could put him over the top. However, this paternity scandal has the potential to ruin his future. He finds verbally sparring with Spencer to be fun as well as infuriating. I liked this story, although I found some of the plot elements to be slightly confusing. The story was quite long for my tastes and from time to time I was unable to stay focused. On a positive note, I found Spencer and Liam's clever banter to be quite entertaining. Overall, I enjoyed this story. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
This is a new to me author and I must say I really enjoy her writing style. This is an enjoyable read, well written, and the characters are great. It was a bit long but overall a really good story. The snarky banter between Spencer and Liam is highly entertaining. The story itself is unique and fresh. Spencer Hightower is a high powered PR machine. She can take any situation and put a positive spin on it. Liam Connelly is a former jock, turned sports agent that wants to keep his star rookie out of the spot light until draft day. When a young pregnant woman comes to Spencer to help her handle getting the baby's father to come clean never would she have expected the father to be none other than Liam's client. That's when things really get interesting. This is one I definitely recommend.
A very good story that I really enjoyed reading. Spencer Hightower’s job fixing other people’s mistakes – and she’s brilliant at it. She has great connections, her Father is a Senator and potential US President – she’s been brought up to know just who is who, where to go and how to get her own way. She’s also a workaholic who likes everything organised to the nth degree. When a millionaire date decides he wants more that to look, Spencer takes action – but is rescued by Liam Connelly. She’s never met him before, she’s never needed rescuing before and boy is there volatile chemistry between them! The problem? It turns out they are on opposite sides in a potentially very high profile scandal – Spencer working for the mother to b e and Liam for the sports star who is denying being the father (indeed he’s claiming to be a virgin!). Can they develop their personal relationship whilst their professional ones are also involved? The attraction is certainly strong but there are others involved who strive to interfere in all kinds of ways. There are numerous twists and turns, pitfalls and obstacles in this romance that even Spencer Hightower can’t automatically fix! The stubborn, strong minded, competitive couple in this story are fighting on opposite sides of a potential legal battle with their love as the probable casualty – especially when misunderstandings and misconceptions together with a certain political Mr Fix-it get involved. Their love story has lots of twists, turns and interference by others to try to pull them apart. The story is well paced and is an enjoyable one to escape into. Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.