by Elizabeth Hayley
Series: Strictly Business #3
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
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.
I loved this book so much, I asked the publisher if I could share with you and they said YES! I am excited to offer a US only giveaway for a copy of The Wedding Agreement thanks to Penguin. Good luck!Caffeinated review, exclusive excerpt + #giveaway for Wedding Agreement by Elizabeth Hayley Click To Tweet
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