PART-TIME LOVER promises full-time satisfaction…
What do you get when you mix a charming British hero, a temporary marriage of convenience, and a smart & sassy heroine? PART-TIME LOVER, the brand new, standalone rom-com from #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely!
Get your copy of PART-TIME LOVER now!
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I’ll say this about Christian — he made one hell of a first impression. When I first saw the strapping man, he was doing handstands naked on a dock along the canal. His crown jewels were far more entertaining than anything else I’d seen on the boat tour, so I did what any curious woman would do — I took his photo. I might have looked at the shot a few dozen times. Little did I know I’d meet him again, a year later, at a secret garden bar in the heart of the city, where I’d learn that his mind and his mouth were even more captivating. But given the way my heart had been trampled, I wanted only a simple deal — No strings. No expectations.
Our arrangement worked well enough until the day I needed a lot more from him…
Let me just say, this whole part-time lover thing was her idea. I’d have gone all-in from the start, but hey, when a gorgeous, brilliant woman invites you into her bed, and only her bed…well, I said yes.
But then, one hysterical phone call from my brother later, begging me to find myself a wife so grandfather’s business stays in the family, and I need a promotion with Elise. Turns out a full-time husband suits her needs too, and a temporary marriage of convenience ought to do the trick, until we can simply untie the knot…
As long as no one finds out…
As long as no one gets hurt…
As long as no one falls in love…
But our ending was one I never saw coming.
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How could Elise not be smitten or at least quite a bit intrigued when her first ‘encounter’ with Christian is of the naked variety?!? I mean…it’s not every day that someone exploring the sights of a city finds herself ogling a man who just so happens to be doing a naked handstand on the shore.
I would have definitely taken a picture for posterity or late night ‘moments’ as well!
But their ‘Kodak moment’ was all Christian and Elise had until quite some time later, but now that they’ve reconnected and realized that their attraction is worth pursuing, Elise’s strategy to not let her heart factor into another relationship is adamantly tested by a flirty Danish Brit who has a ‘head for strategy and a body for sin,’ and while Elise can’t quite attest to the first statement yet, what she can attest to is the package that Christian is sporting underneath his clothes, not only because she has the visual reminder of their first interaction but also because a man like Christian can’t have a body that is anything but physical perfection.
I adored Christian and Elise’s banter throughout the course of their story. They are both intelligent people and that shows through their savvy business sense as well as their practical natures. The fact that neither of them believes in marriage bodes well for the new partnership that they embark on as does the fact that there is an ‘expiration date’, but it’s still a dicey situation for both Christian and Elise because there has not been too many pairs who enter into a deal of this nature who don’t end up becoming attached, especially when the chemistry between them is as electric as it is when it comes to Christian and Elise’s mutual attraction.
I do have to admit that I didn’t really connect with Elise, but it’s not for the reasons some may think. I understand why Elise doesn’t want to venture into marriage or love again; Lauren Blakely clearly illustrates Elise’s feelings of shame and embarrassment when she found out the truth about her husband of six months, and even though it clearly had nothing to do with her being naïve because her husband was clearly a convincing liar, I even get the fact that she blames herself and won’t allow herself to be fooled by another dishonest man. What didn’t quite work for me was how contrary she seemed…almost like her head says one thing while her heart and body say something completely different, and while that kind of thing happens all the time in romance stories, for some reason, Elise’s contrariness annoyed me more than most.
I will say, though, that the small glimpses into Elise’s past from her Perfume blog definitely shed much needed light into the woman she was when she was being wooed by her now deceased husband and the woman she became because of his betrayal. Stop and Smell the Days blog is a fitting title for Elise’s musings and through them, her walls made a lot more sense, but it also made me believe that the romantic inside of Elise is still there and Christian is the perfect man to bring down her walls and prove that not all men are like Eduardo.
I adored Christian’s playfulness, his intelligence, and his ability to go with the flow when it came to Elise’s obsessive need to remind him and her that their ‘arrangement’ had an end date. His mind for business and language impressed the heck out of me and his relationship with his brother made him the perfect hero for this story.
The settings of Lauren Blakely’s stories play such pivotal roles in the story lines and that idea holds true in Part-Time Lover. Readers get descriptions of several historical and beautiful places and those areas create a fantastic atmosphere for the characters to find one another, get to know one another, and find a way, despite their pasts, to make things work, perhaps forever.
4 Poison Apples
A year ago
I stroll up the hilly yard toward my house, passing my brother, Erik, who stands close to the porch. “Did you scare them all away? Admit it—they cringed in terror, scary movie—style.”
I slash an arm through the air. “Whole boatload of them. Tears, shrieks of horror. Wailing.”
He cringes dramatically.
“Toss me a towel, will you? Or do you want to continue to admire your more fit and handsome younger brother?”
Erik scoffs and throws the towel over the porch railing, away from me.
I shrug. “I’ll just go inside, and you can check out my arse.”
“You can count on me never ever checking out your arse.”
I grab the handle on the sliding-glass door and head inside to one of my homes. You can’t beat a home on the water. But then, a flat in Paris is hard for me to say no to as well. Good thing I get to have both.
I grab the pair of boxer briefs I left on the couch and tug them on as Erik follows me inside.
“Seriously. How did it go?”
“Exceptionally well. I landed a date tonight.”
“Bastard. You’re not supposed to get dates when you flash the tourists, and especially not when your beloved brother is only in town with you for a few days.” Most of the time Erik’s in London, where we were raised.
“Jealous much?” I ask, heading for the fridge and pouring a glass of cold water.
Erik flexes a bicep, then another, posing like he’s Mr. Olympia. “I’ve scored plenty of dates with this fabulous physique. Just none lately.”
“That would be because you’re married, you tosser.”
He flashes a dimpled grin. He’s so ridiculously in love with his wife, it’s nearly disgusting. He could be the poster child for man-who-falls-arse-over-elbow-for-a-woman. That’s something I can’t say for all the men in my family.
“I’m like Grandfather, happy as a clam.”
I furrow my brow. “How does anyone know clams are happy? Is there a study on clam happiness? We all assume they’re rays of sunshine, but how do we know?”
He scratches his chin. “Good question.”
“I bet they aren’t happy at all. I bet they feel nothing. Is that what happiness should feel like? Nothing?”
He sighs. “Aren’t you philosophical today?”
“Maybe. It happens every now and then.” I take a drink of the water. “But what can you do? Sometimes deep thoughts stray into my brain, and I can’t help it.”
“Best to get them out of your head if you have a date tonight.”
“Perhaps she likes thinkers,” I suggest.
“So who is she? Did you exchange numbers on the dock? Or did you, I don’t know, play charades with your appendages swinging in the breeze?”
“Yes. I can do Morse code with my dick.”
“Such a useful skill,” he deadpans.
“We did it the old-fashioned way. Picked a spot to meet and a time.”
He raises his chin. “And why her? Of all the ladies on all the tours you’ve ever flashed, you haven’t asked one out before. Not that you’ve told me about anyway.”
I let my brain rewind to the petite brunette with the big sunglasses who ogled me unabashedly from the side of the boat. She was pretty, that much I could tell even from fifty feet away.
But pretty alone isn’t enough. Pretty is a dime a dozen. I’ve dated women who aren’t pretty, but are witty, clever, and keep me on my toes. I like those traits just as much. Perhaps more. But I’m not opposed to pretty either.
“She was bold. She called out bravo. She said it louder than anyone ever has.”
“So she knows how to read your Morse code.”
“She’s welcome to read Morse code on me anytime. Come to think of it, she can even treat me like I’m fruit at the market.”
Erik laughs. “In some countries, they don’t let you touch fruit at the market.”
I gesture to my body, from my chest down to my legs. “In the fine country of Christian Land, it’s highly encouraged for the bold brunettes to touch the fruit.”
“Characters that are as bold and carefree as they are vulnerable and introspective, banter that’s rife with wit, humor, and innuendo, and a teasing, agonizingly slow-building romance make Part-Time Lover a gripping love story. From start to finish, Part-Time Lover will have you laughing and swooning and falling in love with love.” -Yvette, Nose Stuck in a Book
“Jam-packed with Blakely’s keen attention to detail, her fabulous sense of humor and a sexy, sweet, consuming romance, Part-Time Lover was a heart-fluttering, full of hope joy to read.” -Red Cheeks Reads
“…a beautiful, compelling, alluring story of opening up your heart again to love and all the possibilities of it.” –Bookish Aurora
Let’s celebrate the release of Christian and Elise’s romance
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About Lauren Blakely
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 95 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In June she’ll release PART-TIME LOVER, a sexy new standalone romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter