Review of Hard Sell

Hard Sell (21 Wall Street) by [Layne, Lauren]

Hard Sell

21 Wall Street series

Lauren Layne

Montlake Romance

September 4, 2018

BlurbHe’s a Wall Street wolf. She’s been hired to tame him. From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes a wildly sexy novel of business and pleasure.

Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.

For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have an explosive history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse—she can’t stop thinking about him. So who’ll dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.


If it weren’t for writers like Lauren Layne penning funny, intelligent romances with realistic character portrayals, I probably would have stopped reading romances months ago.

We met Sabrina Cross in Hot Asset (my review is here), the first entry in the 21 Wall Street series. She was depicted as a take-no-prisoners type of fixer and Ian’s best friend since they were kids. It was obvious from the get-go that she and Matt Cannon, a colleague and good friend of Ian’s, as well as the hero of Hard Sell, were something more than the casual enemies they appeared.

After a bachelor’s party weekend is observed and written up by a Wall Street Journal reporter, Matt’s reputation is in ruins. Clients leave, his bosses, The Sams, are threatening to dismiss him unless he can find a way to salvage his reputation and seem reliable and “tamed.” Enter Sabrina, charming fixer who seems to know everyone and whom everyone loves, well, except for Matt, of course.

The good thing about Sabrina for Matt is that there is no chance she will fall in love with him when she plays his pretend girlfriend (and vice versa). Ha!

Both Matt and Sabrina are extremely likable characters, hard-working, successful, vulnerable, and realistic. And they sizzle as a couple.

Having just read a slew of mediocre romance novels, I cannot convey the pleasure of reading this one, except to say that if there hadn’t been other things requiring my attention, Hard Sell could easily have been read in one sitting. Everything about it works: the pacing, the characters, the dog (!), and the story (and others elements as well). Layne seemingly effortlessly takes the reader on a roller coaster of smiles and tears, all within a low-on-angst page-turning story proving that once again she is a must-read romance writer.

If you haven’t read any of Lauren Layne’s novels and enjoy intelligent good-humored romances, go now and read one! I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Link: Hard Sell

rating: 4-and-a-half

4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies



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