Ms. James is on my auto- buy list. I love her larger-than-life characters, her clever dialogue, and her way of spinning a tale that enmeshes her readers into the lives and loves that unfold from her clever pen. The first meeting between Annika Lund and Ax-hell Hammerquist was not promising at all and the second was even worse, but …
With Axl’s public ratings at an all-time low, his agent approaches Lund Family PR guru Annika Lund for help. Holding her brother’s sports career hostage, he blackmails her into a pretend relationship with Axl to help take the public attention from his womanizing ways and focus him on a winning career with the local hockey team. So begins a fake public romance between the two of them that quickly spirals out of control as they spend time together and give the red-hot chemistry between them free rein.
As it turns out, Axl’s true persona is not quite the womanizing front he puts out for the public, and a genuine relationship is in the making between these two. I really like how patient Annika is with Axl’s lack of English as she helps him navigate situations where he needs to use the language. Of course, as it turns out, Axl speaks impeccable English, and when he comes clean to the press and his team, he’s asked to pay a price that’s going to give a whole new jolt to his relationship with Annika.
Readers really get to see and like the real Axl beneath his bad-boy persona. He’s a great listener and his encouragement to help Annika find herself and go after her goals is very heartwarming. Annika decides to use his blackmailing agent to help her set up a meeting with a top-notch, very secretive group to promote Lund family products in return for becoming Axl’s public girlfriend. Unfortunately, this charade comes to a screeching halt when photographs of Axl smooching with a brown-haired babe at a party gone wild are released to the press. The fickle public, who was hard on him earlier, now seems to be anti-Annika and all encouragement of Axl creating an all-time high for his public ratings.
Before Annika can come clean and admit that she’s the brown-haired babe in disguise, Axl’s agent announces that their romance is over. Unfortunately, now the two of them are truly in love, but because the group that Annika is pursuing likes a low profile, she and Axl are forced to hide their now true romance from the world. Of course, poor Axl gets the brunt of it, since Annika’s brothers are determined to show him the error of his ways and punch him out for hurting their sister. The author adds in some interesting twists and family dynamics to keep the tale amusing and intriguing.
This is a delightful new series and I just love the dynamics with Annika’s mother and her butchering of the English language phrases that are sprinkled through the books, giving readers some fun moments. The Lund family is delightful, and we get to poke behind the scenes and learn more about the their skeletons. I can’t wait to see how some of these threads work themselves out in future books.
A pro hockey player and a PR powerhouse burn up the ice in the third sexy Need You novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Mastered Series and the Blacktop Cowboys® Series.
PR agent Annika Lund can spin any disaster into a win. But revamping the reputation of a notorious Swedish hockey player will take every trick in her arsenal, especially when his agent insists that convincing everyone he’s no longer a playboy is top priority. And that it requires a sham relationship—with Annika playing the part of the loving girlfriend.
On fire in the rink and in the bedroom, Axl Hammerquist couldn’t care less about being anyone’s golden boy. So when his agent forces him to play nice with a new publicist, he takes satisfaction in being as much of a pain as possible. But the more time he spends getting to know Annika, the more Axl starts to think that being Mr. Nice Guy might be worth it if it gets him the girl…
Read an excerpt.