Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Select Contemporary) on April 24th 2017
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Wanted: Personal Buffer
Often snarly, workaholic executive seeks “buffer” from annoying outside distractions AKA people. Free spirits with personal boundary issues, excessive quirks, or general squeamishness need not apply. Salary negotiable. Confidentiality required.
Workaholic billionaire Sawyer Carlyle may have joked he needed a “buffer” from their marriage-obsessed mom, but he didn’t need a waiting room filled with “candidates” to further distract him. (Thanks, bro.) But when a sexy job applicant shooes his mom and the socialite in tow out of his office, Sawyer sees the genius of the plan. And the woman. In fact, Miss Clover Lee might just get the fastest promotion in history, from buffer to fake fiancé…
This “free-spirit” might look like hot sunshine and lickable rainbows, but she negotiates like a pitbull. Before Sawyer knows what hit him, he’s agreed to give up Friday nights for reality tv, his Saturdays for flea markets (why buy junk still baffles him), his Tuesdays and Thursdays for “date nights” (aka panty-losing opportunities if he plays his cards right). And now she wants lavender bath salts and tulips delivered every Monday?
Yup, she’s just screwing with him. Good thing she’s got this non-negotiatable six-weeks-and-she’s-gone rule or Sawyer may have just met this match…
A workaholic billionaire needs to keep his mother off his heels, especially when the search for a wife gets tiring, tedious and damn inconvenient. The solution? A personal buffer, an off-the-cuff job ad that brings the unlikeliest of candidates to his office and into his life, in an effort to throw off the women his snooty mother keeps shoving at him.
From a personal buffer (sounds like a flaky job opening I’d probably apply for after losing my life’s calling) to a hurried, fake engagement, Clover Lee’s quirky, non-committal, flighty and adventure-seeking ways are given a complete hose-down when faced (literally) with a brick wall who’s quite the stick-in-the-mud about routines and business. Her weird demands teach Sawyer Carlyle a different kind of spontaneity, but then Clover also has a lesson coming for her as she manipulates her way through his money to pay for her next adventure in Australia.
Clover’s calculating edge and well, her blindness to her own family needs weren’t quite so likeable—I was a few paces away from wondering about her being a gold-digger—but it’s basically a story where the hero has a lot more to learn from life than the heroine somehow. The grovelling happens because Sawyer speaks of partnerships and business but can’t seem to understand love and connection, though I didn’t quite think Clover should have been exempt from meeting him halfway.
While not entirely unpredictable, ‘The Negotiator’s got the jaunty tone of rom-coms, that snort-laugh type of jokes (which definitely places you in entertaining fictional la-la-land), the instant attraction and lust metre amped up to max and some kind of comic timing that makes it a fun read. It’s also an easy one to get through, perfect for a lazy afternoon.