Wednesday, March 22, 2017

[Pat's Review]: "Counterbalance"

romance novel covers, contemporary romance, Counterbalance by Kelly Moran
Counterbalance by Kelly Moran
Publisher: KDP (March 21, 2017)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

She’s a beauty, but he’s just a geek.

The world might think billionaire Xavier Gaines has it all, but he’s got a big problem. His successful software company is about to sign a government contract that’ll land him smack in the glare of the public limelight, and his lifelong battle with social anxiety has marked him as a cold, uncaring bastard in the eyes of the press. To dispel the unflattering image, he needs help, and there’s only one person he trusts with the job—Peyton Smoke. Gorgeous, kind, and funny, she agrees to be his media relations director and soon imbeds herself so deeply in his life, his world will crumble if anything upsets the balance. He cannot screw up their solid unit. No matter how achingly he desires her. Yet, how is he supposed to resist when she tugs emotions from him he didn’t think he was capable of experiencing? Especially since it appears he’s not the only one fighting their undeniable attraction. 

Ever-after just might be possible...if he can convince her to believe in love again.

Peyton Smoke is looking for a change, and working at Gaines Industries has given her the boost she needs to fill the empty void in her life. Xavier is the perfect boss. Under his seemingly callous, frigid demeanor lies a compassionate man who cares about causes and those precious few he lets into his inner circle. What she wasn’t prepared for is the smoldering passion suddenly flaring between them, nor the hot-as-sin alpha side beneath the layer of sexy nerd. Getting involved with him puts more than her job at risk. She’s been trampled one too many times, and she vowed never to leave herself vulnerable again. But the heart wants what the heart wants. If only she can figure out whether his feelings are genuine or if this is a mistaken case of gratitude wrapped in lust, then their shot at forever may not seem like such a fruitless hope. 

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Pat's Review:

Xavier Gaines and Peyton Smoke knew each other in high school. He was the out of shape geek with big glasses and an even bigger mind. She was the captain of the cheerleaders, beautiful, and loved by all.....including Xavier, who tutored her in math.

Xavier is now one of the youngest member of the Fortune 500, owner of Gaines Industries, "most eligible bachelor" according to People and called "Deep Freeze" behind his back by his employees. He is negotiating for government contracts and needs a makeover. "Business he could do. Being social not so much." He knows just who he needs to talk to.

Peyton Smoke is the PR director for a local politician, and he wants to reach higher. Peyton is ready for a change and was surprised with Xavier's call. After meeting, exchanging old memories, and negotiating, she is convinced she wants the job, on the condition she does it her way. Xavier is open to anything she can do.

Two years later as the story picks up, she smoothly handles his business, and knows everyone's names and personal story. Xavier is under her spell, and can even see the changes in himself. He knows Peyton lost her brother in Iraq, and her fiancé committed suicide not long after his return. He wants to take things deeper, but is afraid to ruin the wonderful relationship they have. Peyton is equally attracted but afraid to love again. This journey for them, past friendship and their working relationship, is a slow, sizzling romantic climb. The characters add so much to the story, and it even has a little teasing intrigue.

This novel makes you laugh, fall in love with Xavier and Peyton and the sweet, sometimes tortuous search for their HEA. This is a stand alone novel, but all Ms. Moran's works are great reads.


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Pat received an e-ARC of this book from the author/publisher.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Kelly Moran; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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Thanks for the review, Pat! This sounds like a great read. :)


Until Next Time,


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