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From the The Bennett Family series, volume 1

by Layla Hagen

Pub Date: July 3rd, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5232-4581-9
Publisher: CreateSpace

Sparks fly when marketing consultant Ava Lindt lands a contract at a high-end jewelry company run by Sebastian Bennett, San Francisco’s most eligible bachelor.

From the moment Ava shakes hands with the CEO of Bennett Enterprises, she’s smitten. Sebastian is smart, sexy, and...totally off limits. Her contract is only four months long, and past long-distance affairs have left her jaded: “Finding a decent man and counting on him seems like an impossibility, akin to comfortable high heels or sexy period panties.” More importantly, her supervisor, Dirk, forbids romance on the job. But after a few textbook romantic comedy mishaps—a fall which results in Sebastian seeing Ava’s underwear and a face-palm moment when she accidentally sends him a compromising text message meant for her best friend Nadine—her resolve wanes. Sebastian’s incessant flirtation, gifts, and promises to make this the best four months of her life prove, well, irresistible. At first, the lovebirds are content with an illicit fling, but soon, the thought of leaving one another becomes unbearable. And with no family of her own, Ava has grown fond of being an honorary Bennett, complete with nine new siblings and two loving parents. What’s a career-minded woman to do? In this first installment of the Bennett Family series, Hagen (Your Tempting Love, 2017, etc.) employs an easy, conspiratorial writing style, alternating perspectives between the two leads. The CEO–employee power dynamic is hot, and though Ava is impressed by Sebastian’s power and masculinity, she is still every bit his equal. In terms of supporting cast, siblings Logan (chief operating officer and bad cop to Sebastian’s good cop) and Pippa (the company’s creative director) never threaten to steal center stage but are memorable enough that readers will look forward to seeing them again in future books. Toward the finale, Ava and Sebastian’s motivations do drift toward the implausible—both jump to irrational conclusions. It’s mostly forgivable, however, and the resulting conflict makes for a more satisfying ending.

A strong start to the series, with enough sizzle to stand alone and plenty of likable characters.