Mini Reviews: Finding Love in Nola & My Ship Finally Sets Sail


Hired (Happy Endings #2)
by Zoey Castile
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Publisher: Kensington

Rating: ★★★½

Synopsis via Goodreads: For a man who makes his living pleasuring women, what happens when the only pay-out worth having is love? 

Faith Abigail Charles has always done the right thing. So when her mother runs for mayor of New Orleans, Faith puts her law career on hold to help her win. But when tensions run high, Faith trades one kind of heat for another—in the arms of a hard-bodied stranger. He’s everything a woman dreams of in a lover. So much so that her one-night stand turns into two, then three, then four . . .

For Aiden Rios, meeting smart, sexy Faith feels like fate. After being ditched by his client in the Big Easy, the high-paid male escort needs a little company himself. Aiden knows he’ll have to come clean about his line of work, and he plans to—right after another taste of Faith’s sweetness—and another and another. . . . Until a chance meeting with his client leaves Aiden exposed—and Faith shocked and hurt. Now the hired hottie must show Faith that the love they share is bigger than the scandal threatening to destroy them . . .

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

The first book in the Happy Endings series charmed my pants off so I was ready to devour the sequel once it landed on my kindle. I didn’t even read the blurb beforehand, I just dove right in!

Down on his luck, Aiden Rios finds himself in a bar in the Big Easy after one of his clients ends up cancelling on him. But things take a turn when he meets Faith Charles and the two decide to indulge in a night of fun. But one night is not enough and Faith and Aiden find themselves making excuses just to see each other again. Things heat up between the pair and they become inseparable but when Aiden’s secret threatens to break them apart, will this budding romance come to a screeching halt?

I think my main issue with this book was that I went into this book expecting to love it as much as the first book and I might have overhyped things a bit for myself. First things first, let’s talk about what I liked. I loved both Faith and Aiden and I thought they were a perfect fit for one another because their kind of on similar paths of trying to figuring out their futures. Faith wants to break away from the role of being the dutiful daughter to her politician mother to pursue her own passions but she doesn’t want to create a scandal so close to the election. Getting her mother to listen to her and to actually see how unhappy she was was not an easy task for Faith, but I loved the fact that she didn’t give up. I also loved the fact that Aiden was so supportive of Faith even though he only knew her for a short time. That’s the quality I loved most about Aiden, he’s so supportive and protective of the people he cares for and is willing to go the mile to show them. Aiden too has his own personal struggles as he faces the repercussions of a risky mistake and now he doesn’t know how to fix things. He soon learns that it’s okay to lean on others when shit gets rough and that he doesn’t have to do things alone anymore. While I do think Faith and Aiden made a great pair, the romance itself didn’t work for me in this book. It just felt very insta-lovey and I’m not a fan of characters dropping I love yous after knowing each other for just a few days. Maybe if I had felt a stronger emotional connection between these two it would’ve worked but I just felt like something was missing for me. While Hired didn’t quite live up to my expectations, it was still an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading the final book in this series later this year.



Huge Deal (21 Wall Street #3)
by Lauren Layne
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Add to Goodreads || Buy on Amazon  

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads: Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

The final book in the 21 Wall Street series is finally here! I think everyone who has been reading this series has been anxiously awaiting Kate and Kennedy’s book for some time now and lawwd Lauren Layne didn’t make it easy for these two but the wait was well worth it!

The first time Kate Henley laid eyes on Kennedy Dawson she fell…hard. However, Kennedy never picks up on what she was putting down, so Kate spends the next six years pining over him until one day she decides that she has had enough and decides it’s time to move on from her little crush. Kennedy can spot a good deal from miles away but when it comes to matter of the heart…well let’s just say that his vision is a little blurry. But when Kennedy comes to his senses and realizes that the person he’s meant to be with has been right in front of him all along, will it be too late?

MY SHIP HAS FINALLY SET SAIL! I have shipped Kate and Kennedy from the beginning but I gotta say, Kennedy frustrated the hell out of me in this book! As smart as Kennedy is, he’s completely clueless when it comes to reading women. Like everyone could tell Kate had feelings for him and I’m still trying to figure out how he couldn’t see it! But I guess better late than never as they say and once Kennedy does come to the realization that he too has feelings for Kate, his attitude becomes a lot more tolerable. I’m also low key surprised because Kennedy is a total charmer and he had me swooning a bit at the end. Then we have Kate who I just absolutely adored and I just love how in love she is with the idea of love and being loved by someone wholeheartedly. She wanted the whole package and wasn’t willing to settle for anything less and I was totally here for it! I also liked the fact that she didn’t make things easy for Kennedy once he came to his senses. The romance itself is very angsty. I was sitting in my cubicle and quietly shouting for these two to just kiss already because I was too damn impatient to wait any longer. One of my favorite things about this series has been the friendship between all our characters and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of them give Kennedy hell for making Kate wait so long! All in all, Huge Deal was a satisfying ending to the 21 Wall Street series and I’m truly gonna miss this series. Now that I’ve finally read a Lauren Layne series, I’m hoping this will motivate me to read her backlist sooner rather than later.



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I'm Ari, a local NYC bibliophile and a forever daydreamer. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book and my head up in the clouds. I am also a coffee addict and a chocolate connoisseur. I fell in love with the romance genre about three years ago and I haven't been able to stop reading about happily-ever-afters, which is ironic because I'm a bit of a cynical romantic in real life, haha. I hope you all enjoy my blog and fangirling with me about all the smutty reads!

5 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Finding Love in Nola & My Ship Finally Sets Sail

  1. I was wondering if I over hyped Hired, too. I just think I didn’t connect as well to it as the first book. Seeing that you felt it wasn’t as good made me feel better about my rating.
    I’m so happy you enjoyed Kate & Kennedy and the whole series. I want you to go back and read her earlier series. I think you’ll enjoy them. I’m finally finished with all of them, and I’m so happy I read them.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m hoping the same.
        I think you’re going to have so much fun with LL’s backlist. I love all of her contemporaries, but her NA books have a special place in my heart too.


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