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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…
Confession: I had never listened to an audiobook until now and The Negotiator was the perfect book to break me in!
Right from the beginning I knew this was going to be good. Clover is a fun, sassy, headstrong woman who seems to make the most out of situations. An ad for a "personal buffer" might scare some people away but not her. She has as resume littered with jobs of all sorts. Never keen to stay in one place for long, Clover is all about the adventure. Being a personal buffer sounds like a good way for her to make some quick cash before she heads off on her next adventure: Australia. Sawyer, is a gruff workaholic who has no time for games. But his mother's insistence that he find a wife - and she keeps parading wife candidates in front of him - are making him crazy. His brother, Hudson concocts this plan for a buffer as a joke and a way to get their mother off of Sawyer's back. When Sawyer sees how Clover doesn't wilt in his mother's presence but instead stands up to her, he thinks this cocamamy scheme just might work. He offers her the job and she accepts.
Yes, this is a ludicrous idea but I loved it! From the cover and the title one might think that Sawyer takes the lead in all matters here but one would be oh so wrong. Clover is equally adept at that and her negotiating skills sometimes put him to shame. Seriously, the guy has met his match and no other woman, not even his mother, could get him to do some of the things Clover has encouraged him to do. I think this is what I enjoyed most about their pairing, that they were always trying to one up each other and it was all in good-natured fun. But even a fun thing can get tricky as their made up relationship gets more complicated and the list of lies grow longer. Clover struggles with her duplicity and eventually it's all too much. Sawyer who is always about the big picture and keeps missing the tiny details, has a lot of growing to do but he'll have to do it in time before Clover slips through his fingers.
I love how Flynn playfully phrases things which had me laughing as I was walking my dog. (yeah, that didn't look funny at all to passers by.) Clover is lovable for all her spunkiness, and Sawyer, well, I loved him despite his grumpiness and general cluelessness with feelings. What got me about him is that he doesn't fall into the aggressive alpha male, you know, the guy beating on his chest declaring that everything including the girl belong to him and only him. Sure, he gets a little jealous and perplexed by why his heart is acting strangely but he's not a jackass. Clover and Sawyer together generate a lot of heat and I did delight in how they'd mess with his mother when she was trying to set him up with her pre-approved snooty socialites. In front of Clover! But the best thing about The Negotiator is how when I thought I had the characters pegged, they ALL surprised me! It's all about their shifting perspectives and I enjoyed how makes that happen.
I was lucky enough to meet Avery Flynn at RT17. In person she is so outgoing and friendly and I sensed that in her writing, too. I'm so happy I finally got around to "reading" The Negotiator, especially now that I know The Charmer, about Saywer's brother, Hudson is coming out later this month. I am beyond excited for that!