Review: Managed by Kristen Callihan

managedReviewed by Joanna

Scottie is the utterly beautiful manager of Kill John, super rock band. He’s excellent at his job, but has a stick up his ass and is as approachable as a cranky bear. He also doesn’t do well with flying, and is not best pleased to find a chatty American girl in the adjacent seat in the first class cabin as he flies to London. Chatty girl, Sophie, is a photojournalist heading for a job interview. She’s blinded, but not awed, by Gabriel Scott’s incredible looks and steps up her standard teasing attitude to try to weasel out any signs of humanity from the stiff. She messes with him, he gets stiffer. It’s cute.

“Are you quite well?” he intones, as if he thinks the opposite.

“No, you’ve nearly rendered me blind.” I flap a hand. “Do you have an off switch? Maybe put it on low?”

His nostrils flare, his skin going a shade darker. “Lovely. I’m stuck next to a mad woman.”

Due to a flight steward’s incompetence and a nice bit of terrifying turbulence, Sophie and Gabriel end up closer than planned, but for the duke-like gentleman, this has an unexpected bonus. Being close to Sophie helps his fear of flying and he finds her touch anchors him in a sea of fear he can’t control or manage. They get all cosy and Sophie, being a darling (that’s her surname), doesn’t mind one bit helping him at his low point.

Cue arriving in London, there’s embarrassment aplenty as they realize Sophie is there to be interviewed for a position running the social media campaigns for Kill John. Uh oh.

Think a long European tour, lots of forced proximity, and the increasing need between our couple to rediscover that shared peace they find in each other’s arms. They both only sleep well with the other there, but Scottie doesn’t do relationships, so whatever they can have between them, it can’t be sex. All he can commit to is all the lovely snuggling. Ahhh, I do love a sleep-together-but-no-sex deal.

They haven’t even left London when he summons her in the middle of the night, and it is smokin’ hot with a ton expectation (from me) that something was going to happen.

On that, it takes a while to get to the sex, or even to a kiss, as Scottie has a long way to go to let Sophie under that rock-hard shell he wears. By the time they jump into the sack for something other than snuggly sleep, so many feels have been had. The slow burn build-up is delicious and it made it all the more satisfying when they get there.

There’s a little bit of conflict from Sophie’s past, and a smidge from Gabriel’s, but the drama is light and the ending satisfying. The emotional charge is there but it’s all about building the connection between them, so it isn’t too angsty.

You can read this as standalone from book one, Idol, which belongs to Killian, the lead singer and his lady love. I think I liked this book a smidge more than that one, though both are excellent.

There are no significant gripes from me, but there was something that made me laugh. I complained recently about another author who used British characters but didn’t check the sayings with a native. I’m not going to keep pointing these out as not everyone’s going to have a UK buddy they can go to, but this one was a hoot.

Gabriel – an Englishman – uses the expression ‘Taking a piss’ several times. This means urinating. He meant ‘Taking the piss’, which means to tease or mock someone.

“You were taking a piss at my love of all things Star Trek,” has a very different meaning to the one the author intended.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

Managed
by Kristen Callihan
Release Date: November 14, 2016

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