Managed (VIP #2)
Plain Jane / November 14, 2016 / $14.00 print, $3.99 digital
It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big...ego.
I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.
That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.
I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.
If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.
Let the battle begin…
The VIP books are fast becoming one of my favorite series. Idol was first, and Managed is second. While Managed can definitely be read alone, and I usually am all for picking up and starting series wherever you like, I think it'd be really good to read Idol beforehand. First of all, it's an excellent book. Secondly, it just makes this book so much more because ... well, Gabriel Scott is one scary badass motherfucker. You do get that in Managed, but it's tempered by the delight that is Sophie Darling. And my god does everything about her fit her name.
I loved that Sophie is so confident, and fun. She's got an amazing sense of humor, she's down to earth, and normal ... but she's also got a job I think we'd all practically kill to have. She's a social media maven to the stars. Or at least, she's well placed in that field. Good enough. I found that realistic, and her interaction with the band very organic. They have a lot to overcome, but for once, it happens fast. There isn't unnecessary drama, and considering the past few months—but the election especially—I needed that. Reading this book was a lot of fun.
There's also the fact that Sophie is a (slightly) bigger girl. She has her self-conscious moments, but it's nothing that is A Big Deal. The fact that it is also not only a nonissue, but something Gabriel celebrates, is fantastic.
Sophie and Gabriel complement each other perfectly. He's stuffy and closed off (with good reason), and Sophie is frank if not cheeky. The meet cute forces them to really get to know each other on one level - a flight across the pond, and the fact that Sophie can't resist teasing Gabriel. (He does start off as something of an ass.) To his credit, he allows her to, and also gives a little back of his own. Gabriel is driven. He's got to push and control everything, and Sophie allows him to relax. To play, and to be human. Gabriel for his part leads Sophie to examine herself. Reflection, introspection, and growth is always a good thing. Even if it's painful.
What's unusual, but lovely, about this book is the slow burn. You don't see as much of that in romance novels these days. While you know they're going to get together, nothing is really said much less done until more than halfway through Managed. It really allows for the development of the emotional connection and relationship. Then there's also all the delicious sexual tension that practically singes any and all bystanders. You can practically get a contact high from the pages.
The setting, the characters, the story, the romance—it's all delightful. The writing is engaging, and I never wanted to put the book down. I'm already eager for the next book. In fact for all of the books. These boys—this band family (because we can't forget Brenna and Jules!)—they'll create a place for themselves in your heart. I already know I'm going to be re-reading this book.
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