Review: The Negotiator

The Negotiator The Negotiator by Avery Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Week 7 of Shameless brings us to Ms. Flynn. I believe I have found a new author I want to read. I generally stay away from vanilla contemporary as they are a bit too tame for me. This one is right up my alley. I loved the snarky attitude and I loved the plucky lead female. Clover Lee (real name Jane - as in Plain Jane) is a person I generally avoid. She gives me hives with her free spirited attitude. I completely understand wanderlust. I also completely understand being a commitment-phobe. I even get wanting to travel all over the world before settling down. What I don't get is the lack in steady employment. The way Clover flits from one job to the next so that she can do what she wants, that lack of stability would drive me crazy. I couldn't handle it.

Ms. Flynn makes it sound like such a wonderful thing... the ability to just go wherever and whenever and not being tied down. But is it really? I understand there are people who are this way. I am not one of them and I prefer to watch from a distance as their life generally tends to implode. Don't want to be sucked into to that black-hole of despair. Matching Clover to the workaholic Sawyer does not compute for me. Opposites may attract but then usually end up in divorce. Not sure how this story was going to play out, I buckled in and braced myself.

To my pleasant surprise, the characters were not exaggerated parodies of these stereotypes. As the characters developed, it became more clear why they behave the way they do. They actually have more in common than they think. The two together complement each other so well. The romance budding is sweet. The way they have to learn each other to "fake" this relationship is amusing. it reminds me of the axiom "fake it until you make it". As Clover and Sawyer spend more time together, they learn that they do want similar things and yet have a hard time expressing it.

Their sexual chemistry is like a power keg ready to explode. I like how they flirt with the rules of engagement they laid out. Rules are bendable and playing with each other made the sex scenes exciting and fun. They were a bit tame for me, but this is a vanilla romance. For a vanilla romance, it does have a little bite and is erotically playful.

The plot devices in this story are light-hearted yet with depth. This isn't a shallow trophy wife romance. The relationship development between the two is complicated with twists and turns. What is surprising is the ulterior subplot which caught me pleasantly off guard. I'm hoping this means the next book is going to feature Sawyer's brother - the devious playboy. Ms. Flynn is a new to me author who's caught my attention and I want to read more of her books. This contemporary romance is recommended to readers who enjoy spunky females who breathe a bit of life into overworked males.

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