Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Schemer (Harbor City #3) by Avery Flynn

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Tyler Jacobson has a plan for everything—except how to handle his completely annoying, utterly frustrating, and totally sexy upstairs neighbor. He couldn't care less if Everly Ribinski thinks he's equally irritating—until he discovers she's the only one who can help him land a business deal that will finally make him feel like he's more than just a guy from the wrong side of the tracks. 

Color him shocked when Everly refuses to help, insisting she should have run him over in the parking garage when she had the chance. Harsh. But possibly deserved. Tyler may have spent the last few months reveling in annoying the fiery gallery owner with a dark past, but he's got secret leverage she can't refuse. 

If only one meeting didn't turn into a fake date that turned into more. Way more. Like naked and hot as hell more. 

The last thing either of them wants is to catch feelings for someone who is so obviously not their type. Good thing that will never happen. Right?

Source: advance e-galley provided in exchange for an honest review

Is there any chance to redeem oneself after an awkward first meeting where you've inserted your foot into your mouth? That's the first impression that Tyler gives Everly, his new neighbour, as she's maneuvering her belongings along the hallway. His normally cool demeanor abandons him in front of this gorgeous, no nonsense woman. So yes, he says some strange things and if ever there was an "undo" button for real live situations, this would be it. Yet he somehow manages to work his way into her orbit. Not hard to do since she runs the gallery that's in his building and she just so happens to be good friends with a certain businessman that he's eager to have become his next big client.

Both Tyler and Everly have something in common: they're both from humble beginnings, ambitious and have worked hard to achieve their success. But that's where it ends. While Everly is comfortable in her own skin and owns her past, as painful as it is, Tyler continues to feel like a poser. Despite his indisputable smarts and success, he thinks the only way to remove the stigma of his blue collar background is to continually be scheming to stay competitive. All of this to prove his detractors wrong and that he deserves a place at the table among the Harbor City elite. They might butt heads about how business is done but they certainly have no problem getting down to the other business! As crazy as they make each other, their attraction is undeniable and oh boy do they have some scorching hot moments! 

A lovely surprise in The Schemer is the larger presence of Helene Carlyle, mother of Sawyer (The Negotiator) and Hudson (The Charmer). We've known her so far as the grande dame of Harbor City high society, their elegant and sometimes overbearing but well-meaning mother. In The Schemer, Helene actually gets a turn at having fun and I loved the inclusion of her storyline. 

Even though this is technically the third installment in the Harbor City series, you can read these as standalones. The one subplot that does show up in all three books is the complicated friendship between Sawyer and Tyler, but once again you don't have to have read the first two to understand it because Flynn does a nice job of keeping readers in the loop. I enjoyed every moment of The Schemer and keeping up with the characters I've met previously. This is a super fun series that's perfect when you just want to let loose, laugh and watch these confident and successful men go toe to toe with these formidable women.

~ Bel

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