I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Negotiator by Avery Flynn
Published by Entangled Publishing on April 24th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Barnes & Noble
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…
I loved reading The Negotiator by Avery Flynn. Sawyer and Clover were my favorite type of couple – real. They have amazing chemistry, they fall in love, they drive each other nuts, they break up and make up and get back together. I could easily imagine knowing these two.
Clover answers an ad for a “personal buffer”. The ad was placed by Sawyer’s brother Hudson, mostly as a joke, but it backfires spectacularly when Clover shows up and manages to scare off Sawyer’s un-scare-offable mother. He hires her immediately, after negotiating the terms of their agreement – six weeks of personal buffering in exchange for enough money for Clover to fund her next long-term trip overseas to help a local charity. In this case, she’s going to Australia to help endangered rock wallabies. Her negotiating skills are enough to interest Sawyer, and the rest comes along at a standard romance novel pace. Which is to say, quicker than most of the couples I know have fallen in love, but at the same rate as most romance novel couples.
I wasn’t really sure how I felt about Clover in the beginning. The first time we meet her, she announces to Sawyer’s mom, in front of an entire room of people, that Sawyer doesn’t have time for a threesome with her, which seemed like a bit of a leap in logic. She walked into his office in the middle of the morning, for heaven’s sake. I can’t imagine seeing a clearly mom-aged woman stride into a man’s office in the middle of the morning and call him by his first name, and jumping to the conclusion that she’s there for a threesome. But clearly Sawyer felt differently, and immediately hired her.
But as it turned out, I liked Sawyer, but I loved Clover. Not only did she not take any shit from Sawyer, she let him hear about it when he tried to give it to her. She didn’t just stomp off and drink wine with her girlfriends. (Not that I’ll ever condemn anyone for drinking wine). She did eventually spend time with her girlfriends, but not until she let him hear about it. Clover wasn’t about to let Sawyer, or his overbearing mother, walk all over her.
I like every Avery Flynn book I read a little bit better than the previous one, which is saying a lot because I’ve been steadily working my way through her extensive backlist. Sawyer and Clover, like my favorite romance couples, had genuine problems, but not over-the-top angst. And even better, they both recognized those issues and were willing to work on them. Sawyer gave really good grovel, which I love to see. (Not just from the dude, either. I like a good grovel no matter which way it goes). Clover started to realize exactly why she spent so much of her life traveling and running all over the world, and Sawyer needed to figure out a way to deal with his mother and her constant matchmaking.
I’m pretty sure we’re going to get at least one follow up book featuring Sawyer’s brother Hudson. I can’t wait for that one. I have a feeling Hudson has way more going on than we even scratched the surface of here.
Bottom line – pick this book up immediately. Heading to RT this week? This is a perfect way to pass the time on the plane. And, hey, you might even run into Avery while you’re there!