by Elizabeth Hayley
Series: Strictly Business #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Love doesn’t always follow the same schedule...
Alex Walker doesn’t need a woman in his life. In fact, he doesn’t have time for one. Between his career in the FBI and the demands of being good father, romance is an unwanted distraction.
Likewise, Cassidy Mullen is fine on her own. The independent career woman has never had a husband in her plans—forget about kids. But when her friend Alex gets into a bind with his ex over their daughter, Cass finds herself suddenly playing the part of Alex’s stable, child-loving fiancée—and liking it a lot more than she’d care to admit.
Soon Alex and Cass can’t deny the real passion growing between them. But as fake affection turns into real love, Cass and Alex will have to make a choice: say “I Do” to their feelings or give up on happily-ever-after for good..
The Wedding Agreement by Elizabeth Hayley is the third book in the Strictly Business series and works as a standalone. If you like snark, banter and adorkableness wrapped in a little heat you are going to love The Wedding Agreement. Check out my review, an exclusive excerpt and enter to win a copy of your own
The writing team dubbed Elizabeth Hayley has fast become a favorite for me in the contemporary romance genre. I was excited for The Wedding Agreement since the “arrangement” trope is a personal favorite. I love watching two adults make a solid plan only to have it all unravel into something more. The Wedding Agreement offered a twist to this trope and I enjoyed watching it all unfold.
Alex Walker and Cassidy Mullen are both strong characters. It was nice dealing with stable, independent and well-adjusted characters. He is career FBI, and despite his first marriage falling apart, he is a dedicated father. While he longs for more time with his seven-year old, he is in a good place. Cassidy is independent, loves her career, and is not looking for a picket fence. I loved how snarky and quick-witted Cassidy was. They have a fantastic set of friends and interaction with them added depth to the story. Scenes with all of them together offered hilarious moments and it was obvious they cared for one another.
Cassidy and Alex are good friends, who enjoyed each other’s company. Occasionally they tangle between the sheets in a no-strings attached relationship and it works for them.
Alex wants more time with his daughter but the ex says he is unreliable. After an argument where he claims he can juggle the demands of work and look after his daughter for the summer duty calls. Not wanting to call his Ex, Alex asks Cassidy to help. When he gets back from the call, he finds he is engaged to Cassidy. The setup was hilarious, sweet and oh boy, are we going to have fun!
I loved watching them fall deeper into the scheme. Initially I was concerned about Alex’s seven-year-old daughter, but the authors addressed this and to be honest, we all know where this arrangement is headed. Banter, wickedly delicious romps, and tender moments slowly turned this arrangement into more. Of course, we had a few bumps as these two needed to reevaluate their life plans, but it was all worth it. Their romance was sweet and felt genuine leaving me flipping the pages towards my HEA.
The Wedding Agreement was such a wonderful tale. I easily connected with both characters and delighted in their banter and “ah ha” moments. Fans of fun, sweet and sizzling romances should add The Wedding Agreement to their bookshelf.
The setting was familiar but the plot wasn’t. Cass didn’t normally welcome overnight company. It had always seemed more intimate than she’d been willing to get with any of the men she’d dated in the past. But feeling Alex’s naked, solid body behind her, the weight of his arm draped over her, the steady rise and fall of his chiseled chest, she had to admit she was suddenly a fan. She snuggled closer, allowing the unmistakable press of Alex’s morning erection to nestle between her ass cheeks. Yeah, I can definitely get used to this.
A quick swat to her backside startled her. “Stop molesting me in my sleep,” Alex murmured as he pressed his face into her hair and placed a soft kiss at her nape.
She ground her ass harder against him. “Are you really complaining?”
Alex tightened his hold on her and growled. “Hell no. Do that again.”
Cass reached back and tangled her hands in Alex’s hair as she rocked into him, his cock sliding up and down the crease of her ass.
“Fuck, that feels so good.” Alex slipped his hand down her bare stomach and in between her legs. He began rubbing her clit slowly as Cass sped up her movements. Neither of them tried to turn it into more; what it was was already so good. This coupling was all about the chase for release, so different from the sweet melding of bodies they’d experienced the night before.
Cass came first, her body shaking from the unbelievable torrent of sensations running through her. Alex exploded on her back a minute or so later. It was raunchy and carnal and hot as hell.
Alex pushed her gently onto her stomach. “Stay put. I’ll get something to clean up with.” He dropped a kiss on her shoulder before getting up. He returned quickly with a warm washcloth and wiped her back before snuggling back down beside her. “Have anything to eat around here?”
Cass scoffed in mock horror. “You expect me to feed you too?”
She felt Alex’s chuckle reverberate through her body. “You wrung me out. The least you can do is replenish my energy.”
“No, the least I can do is point you toward the nearest coffee shop. What time is it anyway?”
Cass groaned. “My alarm isn’t set to go off for another half an hour. Let’s go back to sleep.”
“For thirty minutes? What’s the point in that?”
“The point is that sleep is awesome,” Cass replied, her eyes already closed and her breathing starting to even out. She was startled back to alertness by Alex’s fingers digging into her ribs.
“You are not seriously going back to sleep.”
Cass bucked and slapped at Alex’s hands. “Stop assaulting me. I’m tired.”
Alex rolled over onto all fours and began bouncing on the bed. “Get up, Cassidy. I’m more persistent than any alarm clock.”
“ ‘Annoying’ is a more accurate term.” She rolled onto her back so she was looking up at him. God, he’s gorgeous. It wasn’t that she’d never noticed how attractive Alex was, but there was really nothing that compared to sleep-rumpled Alex, with his hair sticking up in all directions, a sexy stubble spread across his chiseled jaw. Cass lifted her hand to rub over the roughness on his face. “You’re pretty,” she said with a sincere smile.
He returned her smile as he bent down to place a closed-mouth kiss on her lips. “You’re not so bad yourself.”
They stared at each other for a moment, Cass’ hand gently grazing over Alex’s skin. There seemed to be more said in those few minutes of silence than had been spoken in the nearly two years they’d known each other. Of course, Cass could project her own thoughts only through her eyes—that their relationship was shifting, that they both wanted more, that this was the beginning of something equally terrifying and exhilarating. Finally Cass dropped her hand. “I guess I can whip something up.”
Alex dipped again and nipped at her shoulder. “Don’t say the word ‘whip’ when you’re naked under me.” He pulled back, reluctantly it seemed, and let her roll out of bed. After pulling on his boxers while she put on a camisole and underwear, he followed Cass out of the bedroom..
Cass opened the refrigerator, and Alex pressed up against her so he could peer inside as well. “Omelet?” she asked.
“Sure. What do you want in it?”
They chose cheese and a few vegetables she had. Moving around each another seamlessly, they made breakfast and settled down to eat together at Cass’ small kitchen table. Alex had retrieved both of their phones, and they ate quietly as they scrolled through their favorite news sites. Despite the fact that they weren’t saying much, Cass was overcome with a sense of how right it all felt.
[bctt tweet=” Caffeinated review, exclusive excerpt for Wedding Agreement by Elizabeth Hayley” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
This sounds like a book I will enjoy! Thanks for the great review!!
The wedding agreement sounds like a sweet read ♡ Thank you
Happy Mother’s Day!
Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day too!
I love stories about wedding!
Me too, good luck Diane!
snark, banter and adorkableness wrapped in a little heat Literally everything I love in a book! I will definitely have to check out this series! I love fake engagements, too haha! Great review, Kim!
Right. I have had such fun with this series and hope you try this one!
This sounds like a really cute series!
It is fun with some added spice!
Snark, banter and adorableness sound like a win to me!
Right. I hope you try it!
oooh friends, strong characters, only for that I wouls want to try!
Agreed. Thanks Melliane
Yes to snarky! Yes to books that can be read as standalones! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Win-Win! Thanks Lauren. I love this writing duo
The Bibliophile Babe
This sounds so fun!
It really was a fun one 🙂
While I don’t typically read romance novels, I can certainly appreciate some good snark! It sounds like this novel does a good job of being just unique enough without straying too far from the conventions of the genre.
I agree Ethan, they add their own flair to the genre.
Braine Talk Supe
Awww this romance sounds cute and very realistic. More often than not, one person has a “carry on” bag with them so it’s great to have a romance that shows the dynamic of a single parent, and the like, finding new love.
I agree, and the fact that both were responsible, confident adults made it even better.
A Belle's Tales
I like all of those things! 😀 I especially like that it can be read as a stand-alone. Thanks for the review and giveaway!
Good luck Michele. Yes this totally works by itself.
I love these kinds of arrangements in a plot! You always know where it’s going to go but it’s so fun to watch it get there. I am glad that the child’s feelings are addressed especially given her age. 7 is old enough to know what’s going on but not always old enough to really understand and that could have worried me a bit. Glad it’s not an issue. This sounds like a great read!
Yes, little ones are very sensitive but they handled it well.
This sounds like a great chic-lit book. A good book to read outside once it gets warm
Yes it would be perfect for the beach. This has some heat to it too which was nice:)
Wow! This premise sounds right up my reading alley. Thanks for the post.
Thanks Angela, this was such a good one!
Sounds fantastic. I love books with snark and banter in them.Ya gotta have some laughs.
Agreed Joanne. Hope you enjoy it!
I love arrangement and fake romance trope so much, Kim. Thanks for putting this book on my radar. I was worried about Alex’s daughter for a moment here, glad to hear this was addressed. Wonderful review!
Nope he is a standup guy, and like many in law enforcement the job takes a toll on relationships.
Quinn's Book Nook
ooo, I love pretend relationships, too. And I’m really excited that they are both stable adults.
Isn’t that refreshing. I love this writing duo and the characters they create.
I enjoy the arrangement type trope, too. And I’ve not tried a book by this pair of authors.
Ooo I hope you try them Sophia. I adore this trope as well.
Oh nice excerpt. I really like the sounds of this one.
Wasn’t though. I hope you try this Mary 🙂
You can never go wrong with snark and banter. I love these types of cute reads. Great review!
I absolutely love the sound of this one Kim! A story where good friends become more? Yup, it’s a favourite.
I love the trope too Lily..enjoy!
This does sound like it was fun and has some of my most favorite tropes in it too, so win win!
Good luck Ali, this was fun and totally works as standalone 🙂
This book sounds good. I added it to my extensive “To Be Read” list. Some day I will find the time to start crossing books off my list. Until then, thank you for introducing me to some really good books!
You are welcome. I hope this author duo finds their way onto your shelves!
Snark and banter I can live without but I do enjoy a bit of adorkableness though not necessarily with heat every now and then.
Oh I love when the couple teases each other Thanks Tracy 🙂
I love what you said about watching as a solid plan unravels into more…I think that’s why I love the arrangement trope. Especially when the plan seems so sound and solid. That excerpt was hot and sweet and shows that their plan is coming apart at the seams! *ha* I’m eager to check out this book, Kimberly, because it sounds fun and the characters are a bit older. Plus, you know I love snarky. 😉
Enjoy Brandee..I hope you love it as much as I did 🙂
This book sounds like a lot of fun…I’m up for snark, banter, and adorableness. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Laurel I hope you try it 🙂
Definitely a hot, hot, hot excerpt. Fanning myself here. 🙂
Anna from elements of emaginette
LOL….it was such a good read 🙂
This sounds delightful!
It was! I hope you decide to try it 🙂
Tyler H. Jolley
Looks like a really fun read. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway!
Anytime Tyler 🙂
I sure want snark, adorkableness and banter, Kim! This sounds like a delightful book, but I haven’t read anything by the authors, so I must clearly change that. These look like feel-good stories. 🙂
Ooo you need to try this writing team Nick!!
This book sounds really good! I’m glad you could connect with some of the characters, that’s always so nice when you can. Great review , thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks Cindy. I have been enjoying this series 🙂
how did that guy manage to have a kid, I hope it’s not a sad story behind it.
Not sad, well it is always sad when a young marriage falls apart but it happens.
I wouldn’t be surprised, FBI agent is hard work
This book sounds amazing Kimberly. I always love stories were friends become more. They are, most times at least, very romantic. Good to read you connected with the characters, that always makes for an even better read.
I definitely have to put this one on my TBR. Awesome review! 😉
Yes friends to lovers is one of my favs too.
It looks cute 😀
It really was Linda!