ARC Review: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street #1) by Lauren Layne
21 Wall Street #1
By: Lauren Layne
Releasing May 22 nd , 2018
A sexy agent hounds Wall Street’s hottest new wolf in an exhilarating novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.
Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.
An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.
She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.
“[A] playful romance…Layne populates her world of high-stakes finance with charismatic characters, and the fast-paced story works well with the simmering sexual tension between the leads…It’s easy to root for this couple.”—Publishers Weekly
“Layne can always be counted on to create an engaging, steamy, and thoroughly rewarding reading experience.”—RT Book Reviews
I love reading about men in suits, especially men in suits who are closeted good boys pretending to be bad boys. Ian Bradely perfectly fit the bill. One of the things I like the most about Lauren Layne is how seamless and effortless her stories are. They can easily be read in one go and you can feel a whole bunch of emotions throughout. Something that’s guaranteed in a Lauren Layne book is the swoon factor and her ability to make the readers laugh. Hot Asset was no different. I had a smile throughout the 4-5 hours it took me to read this book. There certainly were sad, emotional moments in the book, but most of it was a happy breeze.
Ian Bradely is one of the Wolfe’s of Wall Street. A Wall Street hotshot with a seven-figure salary, the corner office and a slew of broken hearts behind him, Ian is the definition of a cocky, self-assured, ridiculously handsome man. He still hasn’t met a woman he can’t charm. That is until Lara McKenzie walks in and refuses to fall for his heart-stopping smile and sexy one-liners.
Lara McKenzie is a woman on a mission. An ambitious woman with a set dream, she is determined to walk in the footsteps of her FBI agent parents and become a part of FBI’s White Collar Division. To achieve her dream, she needs to prove the accusations against Ian Bradley for insider trading. Lara is determined to prove Ian guilty, and he is determined to prove her wrong. When two such strong personalities clash, fireworks are imminent.
I absolutely loved Lara. She is an ambitious woman, but she also has integrity and doesn’t believe in walking over people to reach her goals. While it was very important that Ian be proven guilty in order to achieve her goals, she went where the case took her, irrespective of the end result. And, she is no doormat. She never lets anyone walk all over her. She is as strong as they come.
Ian himself is a seemingly bad boy with a heart of gold. A guy who would buy his foster-father a new TV every time it broke (which was quite often), someone who would painstakingly care for a plan just because his assistant wanted to win a bet, Ian was a knight in the guise of a wolf. He appreciates Lara for who she is. He gives her dreams as much importance as his dreams. He works to make her dreams come true even if it could mean that he might lose her. Lauren Layne still hasn’t written a guy whom I haven’t loved.
One of the things I love about a LL book is that the supporting characters are always as good as the protagonists. The bunch of people we met in this book, viz. Kennedy (I have a feeling I will fall head over heels for him. Nerdy men in suits are my kryptonite), Matt, Kate (who is the assistant to all three Wolfe’s of Wall Street), Sabrina and Victoria are all such well fleshed out characters that I can’t wait to read their stories. Right after I was done with Hot Asset, I wanted to read Matt and Sabrina’s story.
The one thing I did wished to see in this book was Ian’s meeting with Lara’s parents and Lara’s meeting with Ian’s foster dad, and that was missing. Apart from this one little thing, I absolutely adored this book. In fact I am already gearing up for a re-read. Now I know what to pick up on a day when I feel low and need a pick me up. So thank you Lauren Layne.
Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in eight languages. Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers Weekly,Glamour,The Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.
Read an excerpt here.