|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.35(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Loving the Odds
A What Happens in Vegas Story
By Stefanie London, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Stefanie London
All rights reserved.
Bailey Rueben had suspected Vegas would be a walk on the wild side. But staring at the well-muscled chest of a half-naked cowboy had made her reconsider. It was more of a run than a walk. A sprint, even.
The cowboy winked and her cheeks filled with scorching heat. Okay, maybe it was more like rollerblading downhill with no helmet and no inherent sense of balance.
Sucking in a breath, she turned on her heel and tried to remain calm. Cowboys, while appealing, were not part of her mission. Unlike everyone else here, she'd come to the Masquerade hotel without the intention of having fun. She had a jerk to find, an heirloom to recover, and a return flight to catch.
Bailey checked her watch: four forty-three and thirty seconds. If her calculations were correct, she would need to be at the airport about an hour before her flight back to San Francisco. The trip there would take twenty minutes in a cab. That meant she had three and a half hours to locate her grease ball of an ex and demand that he relinquish her grandfather's watch.
It could be tight, considering the hotel appeared to be in a cowboy-induced chaos. Apparently a convention was in full swing — a romance convention, no less. How ironic that she would be hunting for the guy who'd destroyed her view on relationships while surrounded by a bunch of people who believed in multiple orgasms and happily ever afters.
I need to forgo the real thing and stick to book boyfriends. At least I won't catch them sexting their co-workers.
She smoothed her hands down the front of her gray pencil skirt and hefted her oversized handbag higher on her shoulder. A mutual friend — who also happened to work at the bank where Bailey and her ex were employed — let it slip that Julian the Jerk would be here for the weekend. Bailey had assumed he was attending a professional event of some sort. An industry thing. She'd been shocked, however, to learn it was nothing to do with his job and instead was some kind of huge party with hundreds of women.
In hindsight, it shouldn't have been that surprising. Julian loved women, as he'd told her upon walking out of their home. Loved them too much to be stuck with one who wasn't comfortable having sex with the lights on.
"Ugh," she muttered, her lip curling. "Jerk."
"Are you here for the convention, too?"
A voice interrupted Bailey's internal hate-parade and she turned to see a woman in a fitted teal dress, her pretty blue eyes framed by long curling lashes. Bailey touched her thick-rimmed glasses self-consciously.
"I'm not, but I am looking for someone who's attending," she said. "Julian Farnsworth?"
She stopped short of saying "the third" out of habit. A small part of her reveled in the tiny rebellion, knowing her wretched ex liked to be called by his full title.
"I don't know the name." The girl smiled apologetically. "But I'm heading there now if you want to walk with me. The main convention area is on the second level."
Bailey accepted the offer. As they rode up the gaudy, reflective gold escalator she drank in the sights of the hotel. It didn't showcase the masquerade theme so much as it screamed it at full volume. Solid strips of color — in purple, green, and red — were molded to look like ribbons fluttering against the ceiling. Glimmering baubles in gold and silver decorated the corners of the reception area, and a large venetian-style mask hung over the turnstile entrance.
"It's so wonderful, isn't it?" said Bailey's newfound friend. "So glamorous and opulent. You could fall in love here."
Bailey resisted the urge to tell this woman that although the sentiment was sweet — in a sickly marshmallow fluff kind of way — love was nothing but a risk-based decision. When it came down to it, choosing a mate was an equation. A balancing of facts and figures.
And the sad truth was that relationships were kind of like The Hunger Games. The odds weren't really in your favor.
"So is this Julian a friend of yours?" the other woman asked. "Is he a writer?"
"No, he works in banking. I don't know why he's at a romance convention."
They arrived at the top of the stairs and were greeted by a large open area filled with people. Some hunky-looking guys were posing for pictures with groups of women, their camera-ready smiles brighter than the flashing lights on the slot machines she'd spied downstairs.
Posters showed off book covers with everything from bare-chested men to ladies in regency finery to young lovers clinching. Hearts and flowers and sexiness were splashed across everything. Bailey swallowed against the uncomfortable churn in her stomach.
The dark gray skirt and plain black blouse — which she'd chosen for their smartness and the fact that they wouldn't show coffee stains — suddenly felt drab. Boring.
The word made her chest clench. It was one of the crueler parting shots Julian the Jerk had made, only to be topped by him telling her he'd have more fun fucking a blow-up doll than her.
"Do you see him?" the woman in the teal dress asked, looking around as though she might be able to help, despite the fact she had no idea what he looked like.
"No ..." Bailey scanned the room, tamping down the pain and humiliation rearing up within her.
Think about why you're here. You have to get the watch back. That's all that matters.
As if conjured by her renewed focus, she spotted Julian across the room. It wasn't hard to miss him. There weren't many men around and he was the only one in a three-piece suit. Scratch that, he was the only one fully clothed. His dark hair was slicked back with so much gel it appeared wet and his capped teeth shone as he smiled.
That was when she noticed the woman on his arm. The curvy brunette had hair to her waist in gleaming waves, her impressive bust propped up by a corset-style top in red and black lace. Full lips were painted a shiny crimson and as she held up a hand to wave, Bailey saw her nails were painted to match. She looked so glamorous, so at ease.
So goddamn sexy.
"There." Bailey pointed toward Julian and the woman next to her squealed.
"I know her. That's Selena Lockhart. The Selena Lockhart." The woman clapped her hands together. "Her Forever With You series is ah-maze-ing. She writes the hottest sex scenes you'll ever read. I swear, they'll melt the rubber right off your vibrator."
Bailey coughed but it came out like more of a choking sound. "Right. I'll uhh ... look for those books. Excuse me, I have to go."
She pushed through the crowd to get closer to Julian and the sex-writing goddess on his arm. They were surrounded by people. Cameras flashed and Serena turned, smiling coyly to the left and then the right. Julian put his arm around her and his shirtsleeve pulled up, revealing the gold face of Bailey's grandfather's vintage Rolex. He was wearing her watch while he pawed at another woman in a room full of people.
She wanted to confront him. After all, the worst thing he could do was refuse to give the watch back and then she'd be in exactly the same position she was in now. At best, he'd take it off and hand it over. There was only gain to be had. It was a low-risk move with the probability of high reward.
But ... what if he ...?
Her stomach pitched and her feet rooted to the ground, refusing to carry her any closer. Heart hammering in her chest, she battled with herself.
Just do it, Bailey. Do. It. Put one foot in front of the other and confront that jerk.
But the second Julian brought his lips down to the gorgeous woman next to him, Bailey turned and fled.
* * *
Lance Fulton watched his boss pick the croutons out of her salad, her eyes narrowing at them as if they were cockroaches rather than small pieces of bread. Apparently "going Paleo" meant all carbs were off-limits, but he refrained from pointing out that cavemen probably didn't drink straight martinis with their lunch.
He couldn't say many positive things about Janet Griswold, but she did have a stare that could cause a grown man to wither. And right now he was thankful that the offensive carbs had shifted the brunt of her distaste away from him. For once.
"Are you even listening to what I'm saying?" she snapped, the gaudy stack of bejeweled bracelets clinking on her arm as she raised a forkful of salad to her mouth.
He took a sip of his now lukewarm coffee. "You were telling me, again, how much we need Braxton St. John on our client list."
Like he didn't know that already. Braxton St. John wasn't only a best-selling erotic romance author; he was also one of the wildest and most out of control people in the public eye. Drinking. Gambling. Partying with girls young enough to be his daughter ... then marrying them.
In other words, the perfect client.
Lance worked as a senior marketing and image consultant for a San Francisco company called Take Two. They specialized in turning people whom the public loved to hate into beloved pillars of society. They'd had clients ranging from substance-abusing heiresses, washed-up former child stars, big-mouthed fashion designers, and greedy corporate bigwigs.
Braxton St. John was a big fish. His latest book was currently being made into a movie and he'd been spotted leaving the star's hotel room at two in the morning. She was twenty-three and less than half his age. Now the girl's mother was raising hell and the media was having a field day. If they could convince the author to change his ways, it could mean big bucks and big business.
After all, if they could fix his reputation, they could fix anyone.
"I've decided to give Mark the go-ahead to secure him as a client."
"What?" Lance slammed his mug down so hard the people at the next table peered at him curiously. "You've been telling me to hold off for months and now you're giving the lead to Mark?"
Janet smiled coolly and gave a small shrug with one shoulder. "I think he'll give Take Two the best chance of securing St. John."
"You think he can do a better job than I can?" His blood boiled beneath the fine wool of his tailored suit. "That's bullshit and you know it. I'll have the ink dried on St. John's contract before Mark even figures out how to tie his shoelaces. Watch me."
"See." She pointed a bony finger at him, the sharp tip of her red nail looking like the bloodied claw of a carnivorous bird. "That's exactly why I don't trust you to get the job done. You're impulsive, risky. I need someone who's more reliable, who thinks about things before he acts."
"Let's be honest, Janet. That's not the real reason you don't want me to go after St. John."
Her lips flattened into a line so thin they almost disappeared. "I want what's best for the company, Lance. I'm sure you understand that."
Okay, so he was the kind of guy who liked to jump in with two feet. He had strong instincts and he trusted them. The world was full of people who thought and deliberated, but not too many who took action. Some of his best moves had come from making snap decisions and following his gut. And Janet might claim to dislike that about him, but he knew that wasn't the whole truth.
Ever since Lance had made the wretched mistake of sleeping with Janet's daughter a year ago — which, to be fair, he had not realized at the time since the smoking hot blonde had zero resemblance to her mother — his boss had done everything in her power to shut down his career. The only thing she couldn't do was fire him since his mentor was the CEO of the company. But she was damn well trying her best to push him out the door in any other way she could. He'd thought that with time she'd let it go, but twelve months hadn't lessened her resolve.
Now, a partner position was coming up at Take Two and he wanted it. Badly. Which meant he needed Janet's support.
"I do understand and I also want the best for the company. Which is why you're making a huge mistake putting Mark in charge of this." Lance folded his hands in his lap and drew a calming breath. "His closure rate isn't as good as mine and he flubbed the twitter chat with Zach whatshisname. He's not the right guy."
"Mark is reliable. He's engaged."
"What the hell does that have to do with anything?"
Janet sighed as if he were a complete imbecile. "Marriage denotes a seriousness and commitment that being a staunch bachelor doesn't. He's not out looking for his next conquest and he doesn't treat people like they're disposable."
Lance bit back a retort. The truth was, Mark was a yes man and was well versed in the language of kissing ass. To his detriment, Lance was not. But he refused to lie down and let Janet trample all over his hard work.
"Mark doesn't arrive until tomorrow. I'll prove to you that I'm the right guy to reel St. John in." He pushed up from his chair and threw a few bills onto the table.
"You're welcome to try," Janet said, continuing to pick at her salad. "Emphasis on the try."
He raked a hand through his hair as he walked out of the Mascarade Café. The Romance Lovers Convention was in full swing. Panels and workshops had ended for the day and people milled about, taking selfies and lugging piles of books and swag.
Two women in regency gowns waved coyly at Lance as he walked passed, tittering behind their gloved hands. Normally, he'd be right in the thick of it. Making small talk, schmoozing with prospective clients, getting the inside scoop from people in the know. But he needed to regroup.
The convention would continue all weekend and he only had one goal. Braxton St. John.
This wasn't just about proving Janet wrong; it was about proving everyone wrong. Everyone who'd said that he would amount to nothing, that he would forever be a burden on society, that he would never grow up. A promotion to partner would complete his transformation from troubled kid — one that his own parents couldn't even handle — to successful adult.
Lance joined the line for the elevators and tapped at his smart phone while he waited. There wasn't too much in his inbox. Confirmation of an invite he'd secured for a popstar who needed to shake a paparazzi meltdown that had gone viral. And publicity shots from another client — an actor who was great in person but who had been the victim of some clever word twisting, attending a charity event for sick children.
Lance knew better than anyone that there were always two sides to the story. Some people looked down on the work he did — claiming he was no better than sleazy lawyers defending criminals — but Lance didn't see it that way. He gave opportunities to people who'd made mistakes. Gave them a chance to turn their reputations around.
No one deserved to be punished forever, but the Internet had the memory of an elephant. So, instead of letting scathing articles and angry voices define these people, he showed the world another side of them. He helped greedy people become charitable, spoiled brats become humble, and liars become honest ... well, to a degree.
To him, the greatest part of the job was the challenge. He loved the pressure, loved having someone to fight for. Loved the thrill of being the person helping rather than the one being helped.
Too bad you're not engaged or Janet would think you were the perfect gentleman.
But then he'd have a whole host of other problems ... namely, having a fiancée that would demand his time and attention. Which was a whole lot more trouble than it was worth.
He stepped into a tightly filled elevator and then breathed a sigh of relief when it reached his floor. Persuading Janet to let him take the reins on this client acquisition wouldn't be easy ... but he had no choice. If he wanted to keep growing his career, he needed to get his boss back on his side. An hour alone with his laptop would surely help him come up with a solution.
And if he didn't, he could kiss his chance of making partner good-bye.
Excerpted from Loving the Odds by Stefanie London, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2016 Stefanie London. 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
Loving the Odds is the equivalent of a charmingly entertaining chick flick. It’s an engagingly sweet, fun and sexy read about two strangers that against the odds find love in Vegas. For Bailey Reuben there’s no such thing is as following her gut. She’s a professional at taking calculated risks. She had a sound argument to getting back her grandfather’s watch from her cheating ex-boyfriend. She thought she’d fly in and fly out. So why is she accepting the help of a total stranger to get it, in Las Vegas no less? A weekend long stay is an outrageous plan, but she can’t seem to be able to deny Lance’s magnetic charm. “Magic wasn’t something she believed in, of course, but he had a charisma that bordered on supernatural in the way that it pulled you in. like an otherworldly magnetic force that plugged straight into her lady parts.” Public image consultant Lance Fulton loves helping others. So the temptation of aiding the refreshingly lovely Bailey whose bind seems simple enough to fix is too difficult to resist. His commitment-phobia isn’t big enough to stop him from pretending to be her boyfriend to get her family heirloom back, and if they have some fun in the interim and even possibly help his own career, well those are added bonuses. “She had this prim and proper demeanor that was doing all kinds of strange things to his insides. A sexy woman with a puzzle to be solved? That was his personal brand of catnip.” What can they possibly lose? With each minute they spend together, not only does their attraction grow but so does their attachment, understanding and affection for one another develop in ways neither could have predicted. But what are the odds of their newfound relationship surviving a weekend in Vegas? Hopefully the chances are in their favor. This is a delightful and steamy, fast flowing, easy to read romance that made me smile, laugh and fan myself. Bailey’s honesty and oddball charm made her easy to connect with. Lance’s godlike perfection was tempered with his own insecurity of amounting to nothing and was utterly endearing while reassuring and supporting Bailey and helping her believe she was more than the boring person she saw when she looked in the mirror. The banter between the two was sharp and witty and even though the attraction was instant the more measured development of feelings felt believable. “I want all of you, Bailey. Yes, I want your body but I also want that beautiful brain of yours. I want that sharp tongue and that big, big heart.” Loving the Odds is book #14 in the What Happens in Vegas series by author Stefanie London. This is a standalone novella (aprox. 133 pages), told from both points of view with a happy ending. But don’t let the length fool you, it has all the elements to make it a very enjoyable read.
"Loving the Odds" by Stefanie London is book fourteen in the "What Happens in Vegas" series but can be read as a standalone. This is Bailey Reuben and Lance Fulton's story. This is a great fun and steamy quick read. This is a perfect book to take your mind off your troubles, so kick back and escape for a while. I loved the chemistry and the banter between Bailey and Lance. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley/Entangled Publishing for an honest review. FYI, contains mature content."
3.5 stars Loving the Odds was a quick, fun and entertaining read. The writing is well done, loved the banter between Bailey and Lance and their chemistry was smoking! You will definitely want to read this one, I highly recommend it.
This series from Entangled always promises an entertaining story. Bailey Reuben is a risk analyst, so serious job for a serious woman and Lance Fulton is a PR specialist that has a ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em’ reputation. They meet in Vegas where Bailey has followed her dirtbag of an ex to retrieve her grandfather’s watch. Lance decides to not only help Bailey retrieve the treasured item, but to also get revenge on her ex. This book contained some laugh out loud moments - including their first meeting – “A first name doesn’t mean anything. Everyone has a first name, even serial killers...Ted doesn’t sound so bad…until you attach Bundy to it.” This is very true, but who thinks like this – of course, Bailey does. She was a refreshing female character to root for. And I always have a soft spot for any novel that pays homage to Kathleen Woodiwiss – the icon that started many of us on our romance novel journey. Another favorite quote: “Bailey had a thing for forearms and his were the kind that looked like a tall glass of water to a thirsty woman.” You just knew this was going to be an enjoyable story. Their romance hits a few bumps – Bailey is repeatedly hurt by her ex and Lance is committed to no commitments, so they leave Vegas estranged, but since they live in the same city – you gotta hope that they reconnect. And will Bailey ever get her grandfather’s watch back? You will enjoy reading this to find out! Received ARC from the Publisher via Net Galley for an honest review.
This is a light, fun, quick story. It is well written and enjoyable. The characters are easy to connect with and likable. ARC received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
3.5**** This was a very entertaining, quick read. Bailey is a workaholic woman who just wants her grandfather's watch back, to be treated respectfully by her cheating ex boyfriend. Lance came to her rescue, on more than one occasion. He was a great guy despite his reputation. I loved the way he defended her and helped Bailey come out of her shell, dial in to her sexuality. They complemented each other very well. But my favorite part of the book was the ending and the epilogue. Both seemed to be very realistic and within perfect timing. There wasn't any too good to be true or unreal declarations. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Bailey isn't in Vegas for a fun night of partying, she's there to find her cheating ex and get her grandfather's watch back. When she sees him for there with another woman she loses her nerve and ends up running into Lance Fulton. He is a PR guy in town to land a big client, but his boss doesn't know if she can trust him and his reputation. Lance and Bailey come up with a plan to make Bailey's ex jealous and get her watch back. Bailey also pretends to be Lance's girlfriend around his boss so she can she him in a responsible relationship. Bailey has insecurity issues with a fear of getting hope and Lance is a huge commitment-phobe but there is a lot of chemistry between the two of them. This was a really short novella that is part of the "What Happens in Vegas" series. I felt like the story was maybe a little too unbelievable at times though. They met outside of her ex's hotel room door while she was contemplating breaking in and stealing back her watch...that makes her seem like a bit of a crazy lady but he not only decides to invite her for drinks with him but also decides to help her, out of the goodness of his heart AND offers for her to stay in his hotel room that night??? The characters were a bit too cliched for my taste as well: The heroine that is incredibly gorgeous but somehow has no clue, the ex-boyfriend who is an absolutely terrible person but somehow manages to instantly get a new girlfriend (who happens to be a famous romance author), and the hero who saves the day even though he doesn't even know her. I did think that Lance was such a sweetheart to her. ** I received an free copy of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. **
Loving the Odds by Stefanie London is Book 14 in the What Happens in Vegas Series. Short, Sweet and adorably wonderful - this books hits the right spot. Bailey and Lance are the perfect balance to one another, and with Ms. London’s fantastic job of weaving her world and characters, it makes this story a must-read. For a quick read it packs a punch; I was thoroughly entertained from the beginning to the end. Go grab you some!
He's a risk she's willing to take... Risk analyst Bailey Reuben might be in Las Vegas, but the last thing on her mind is sin. She’s there to find her jerk of an ex and get her grandfather’s watch back. Instead, she finds a smoking hot stranger. A stranger with a crazy plan to help her retrieve her family heirloom and get revenge. It’s a bad idea—she calculates risks for a living, after all—but she can’t say no. Bad boy PR guru Lance Fulton is all about helping the gorgeous, quirky Bailey. She’s in desperate need of some fun, and pretending to be her new boyfriend is the perfect way to help her see how sexy she is, get the watch, and show her ex what he’s missing. But the more they get to know each other—and the hotter their attraction burns—the higher the probability one of them will end up with a broken heart… Review: This novella is fun and sexy! I won't go into the story since it is a novella, I would end up retelling the whole thing. Let me just say that is was a great short read. This story is part of a multi-author series of books all revolving around a romance book convention. I get a chuckle every time I read a part of the series because I have been to these conventions and some of the stuff that happens in the books are pretty spot on...lol I like the bad-boy player and the good girl trope and thought the author did a good job making it fresh and fun to read. The characters themselves were fun to read, the chemistry between the two was great and the intimate scenes were sexy. I had not read this author before, but I really enjoyed this story and would definitely pick up more of her work. A great addition to this series! 4Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Loving the Odds by Stefanie London hit the jackpot for me it is a fun, sizzling and entertaining read. Stefanie never disappoints, she gave us a quick steamy fun book with great likable characters. Lance and Bailey are strangers and meet in Vegas and decide to help each out. Can these two make something work in a couple of days, you will have to read and find out. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I found myself getting involved in this story as soon as I started reading it. I know it is sort of like something I have read before but everyone puts their own take on each story and it made me want to read Stefanie London's version! I am glad I gave it a chance because it was well worth it. Bailey is in Las Vegas, but not to have fun like everyone might think. She is there to get her grandfather's watch back from her ex-boyfriend. Bailey and Julian had been dating for a year and that is why she had felt the connection with him and gave Julian her grandfather's watch. Julian is in Las Vegas to attend a Romance Author book signing. Bailey knew that she could blend in with the ladies there and be able to confront Julian and get the watch back. She was determined. When Bailey meets Lance, a PR guru that is there to land some clients for his employer, she never thought that a stranger could help her out in the situation she is in. When Lance comes up with the brilliant idea for him to act like her new boyfriend and help her get her grandfather's watch back, Bailey can't turn him down. Little did Bailey know that she would be wined and dined while they were trying to pull off their charade. Bailey gets to choose a dress to go tot he ball and attend the ball with Lance. When Bailey decides that it is time for her to go without falling in love with Lance even more, she runs back to San Francisco and even though Lance gave her his card, she does not contact him. Lance ends up getting the watch back from Julian once Bailey left and is determined to find her when he gets back to San Francisco. When Bailey runs into Julian one afternoon in the elevator when she was leaving work, she learns that Lance had stood up for her when she left Las Vegas and that he had her grandfather's watch now. Bailey makes her mind up to find him, but before she can do that, Lance finds her. This story was so sweet and had tons of romance mixed into it making it a great read. I can't wait for more from Stefanie London. I was given a copy of this book from Entangled Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
***ARC provided by the Publisher and NetGalley*** I enjoyed this one a lot. Bailey is adorable, Lance is hot and together they are a lot of fun. And hot, together they are really hot. I enjoyed this, I enjoyed the premise and I enjoyed the journey of self-discovery they each made within the story. Neither of them were the same people by the end that they were at the beginning, and this was refreshing, as it let you believe that they have a real chance at a future. And, I like romance stories where I think this at the end...I want to read about the fairy tale. And, if it is an amusing fairy tale, even better. The writing is engaging and Stefanie London writes dialog that is believable, that sounds like something actual people would say. And she writes relatable characters. I liked both of them and more importantly, I felt like I understood them. The ex was amusing, and what a jerk. Totally had what he got, and more, coming to him. But I also liked that it wasn't mean spirited. It wasn't a revenge thing, rather Bailey wanted something returned that he was a selfish jerk about keeping. I definitely recommend this story. And, I will be looking for other books by this author.
This was a fun quick read that I found very entertaining. Bailey is in Vegas to track down her scum Ex boyfriend and get back her grandfather's watch he took off with. While coming up with a plan to get into his room, Bailey runs into Lance who happens to have the room right next door. He's intrigued by her story and comes up with a plan to not only help her get the watch back but show her Ex exactly what he's missing. And if that means Bailey and Lance spend a little time together....well that's just fine too! Like I said this one is a fun light read, nothing too deep or involved in the story simply fun and entertaining. I definitely recommend it.
4.5 Stars! Loving the Odds is a sweet an entertaining novella. The main characters were an odd pairing but they fit well together. Bailey is portrayed as a very analytical and quirky woman who is trying to stand up to her ex when she meets Lance, the attractive ladies man. Everything from the first time they meet to their continued interaction seemed completely natural dispite how opposite they are in personality. The author did a great job of making sure the plot didn't seem rushed despite this being a short story. This was a fun read! ***ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I've really been enjoying the variety of stories in the What Happens in Vegas series, all by different authors and loosely linked in that a romance convention is at the center of all the novellas. This one features two people not really connected to the convention, unlike others - no author or reader or security person attached to the hotel. Instead, it's the story of Bailey who has come to hunt down her ex-boyfriend (linked with a popular erotic romance author who is attending the convention) who has her grandfather's watch, and she wants it back. In her quest, she ends up enlisting the aid of Lance, a PR man (who happens to come from the same city she does), whose job it is to take scandalous celebrities and redeem them, so he's at the convention too, trying to sign up an author who's made some bad judgement calls. Lance needs a girlfriend to look more respectable to his boss who isn't so pleased with his womanizing ways, and Bailey needs some muscle at her side to convince her ex to part with the watch. Their time together is limited and neither wants to risk getting emotionally involved, but it happens anyway. But can their weekend fling translate into a meaningful relationship when they are back home again? I've enjoyed Stefanie London's books in the past, and this one was a little bit different than some of her others in that Bailey was less confident and self assured than her other heroines have been. This is about as daring as she gets, tracking down her ex to get her property back, and when he doesn't give in right away she's kind of at a loss as to what to do next. Luckily Lance is there to help her out. But she's still not convinced that she can get what she wants even with Lance at her side, though it doesn't stop her from trying. Part of the problem is her hesitation to trust Lance, as he's definitely got a playboy attitude. To his credit he's very up front with her that while he might be interested in a little fooling around in Vegas, it's not going to translate into anything more. They share some sexy scenes together, but when their time is up and they head for home, it's Lance who's got to decide whether he's going to take things to the next level. But of course we do eventually get a happy ending for the couple, and I liked how things all worked out for them, though it was bit of a rocky road to get there. 4 stars.
Bailey Reuben just went through a bad breakup, but her cheating ex, Julian, kept the watch she had given him, thinking they might have a future together. The watch was her grandfather’s and Bailey wants it back badly. Her previous efforts went nowhere, and when she learns Julian will be in Las Vegas attending, of all things, a Romance Lovers convention, Bailey heads for Sin City. Bailey is not much of a risk taker, understandably so since she works for a bank as a credit risk analyst: but even in real life, Bailey analyses everything and calculates all the odds. Lance Fulton is also in Vegas for the convention, he’s an image consultant, and the company he works for is trying to attract potential clients. Lance is a risk taker, except in one area: relationships; he cannot commit. Lance is aiming for a promotion, but for this, he needs to appear more settled down for his boss Janet. LOVING THE ODDS is such a fun book! I loved both Bailey and Lance; they felt like nice, normal people. Ms. London’s descriptions of the characters are subtle but crystal clear, and I “saw” them, and Lance is just scrumptious, a near-perfect book boyfriend for me! There was real chemistry between Lance and Bailey, and not only sexual; both are very engaging. I also thought that the contrast, between Lance, who exudes confidence and Bailey is rather insecure, was very interesting, without being over the top as it often happens. Both characters are very well rounded, and Bailey is so easy to relate to. I loved how things progressed between them in every way, and how they both learned and grew. LOVING THE ODDS is a very quick read, with a solid story; the narrative is very smooth, the dialogues sound natural, and the sex scenes are hot, playful and tasteful. Although there are a few serious sequences and food for thought as well, LOVING THE ODDS had me smiling a lot! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
There is really not much more for me to say. I have been very vocal about my love for the What Happens in Vegas series from the start. It's fun that the main backdrop is a romance convention held in Vegas. The men are hot. The women are single and they are all in for the time of their lives. Loving the Odds by Stefanie London breaks all the rules but supplies a rolling good time along the way. ARC of Loving the Odds by Stefanie London supplied by NetGalley and Entangled.
Excuse me while my romance-loving heart gushes warm goo everywhere. Got a visual? Sorry! I loved this novella! I usually dislike stories that have an insta-love quality to them (hello enemies to lovers catnip!), but this was a novella so there was a reason for things to happen quickly and I LOVED IT. Seriously - Lance is a cutie and Bailey is a focused woman who realizes she kicks butt. And the whole story takes place at a romance book convention in Las Vegas???? How meta - I love it! Love love love! It's such a short story, I don't want to give cute details away, but here are 3 thoughts I will leave you with: one, more romance novels should take place at romance book conventions; two, this story could have been a huge book and as long as the insta-love was drawn out and the characters remained the same, I would have read it through and through; and three, I very much appreciated that the two women in question did not fight over a man, did not even DISCUSS the man, and Bailey actually appreciated the encounter with her. Bravo. Oh, and a bonus for using the name Bailey for our female protagonist...love it!