on May 30th 2017
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Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips - on the surface he’s pure perfection.
Too bad he's an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.
Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.
So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.
Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.
Olivia’s eyes darted up to meet his. Surely, she’d known this was coming? It was how every damn wedding ended. And what was the big deal anyway? It was just a kiss, something they’d done countless times the night before. Then why were his palms sweating? And why did it suddenly feel like Tiny Angus was duck walking across his gut? Cole knew the answer, even though he tried his best to push the thought from his mind. This wasn’t just any kiss. It was the kiss to seal their union.
He leaned forward ever so slightly and touched his lips to hers. He only meant for it to be a quick peck, just enough to satisfy the witness’s watchful eyes. But her mouth was so soft, softer than he remembered from the night before, and she tasted so sweet, like vanilla and cherries, and before he even realized it, he was cupping her jaw and deepening their kiss. Her lips parted, inviting him in, and he took full advantage, his tongue sweeping over hers in firm, lush strokes. With a soft moan, her body went lax against his and for a few brief moments, Cole forgot not only where they were, but why.
Elvis cleared his throat in a not-so-subtle reminder. Cole pulled back, and the King nodded his approval. With a curl of his lip, he tossed a white scarf in Olivia’s direction and mumbled a familiar “Thank you, thank you very much.” A track of “Viva Las Vegas” began to play from the speakers and with his cape held aloft to properly display the red, white, and blue eagle bedazzled on the back, their minister made a dramatic exit.
“I guess Elvis has left the building?” Olivia joked.
After a few awkward moments, she asked. “So what now?”
Cole checked his watch. “We better get back to the hotel.” The combined bachelor and bachelorette party for Matthew and Emily was later that night. And even though a loud party was the last thing Cole was in the mood for at the moment, it was, after all, the reason they were in Vegas.
“Oh right, we have that thing tonight.”
“Yeah, the thing.” Jesus, they sounded like a couple of middle school kids having an awkward conversation behind the school cafeteria. Maybe they could spend their honeymoon locked in a closet for a round of Seven Minutes in Heaven.
“Supposed to be the hottest club in town,” Olivia added as they made their way through the chapel doors and into the parking lot.
Cole squinted at the setting sun. “That’s what I heard.”
“So I guess I’ll probably see you there.”
He kicked a piece of gravel with his shoe. “Probably.” Yup, it was exactly like middle school. Only there wouldn’t be Seven Minutes in Heaven or anywhere else for that matter. His new bride had made it very clear that, despite the mind-shattering orgasms he’d given her the night before, she had no desire to consummate their marriage. Then again, she did seem rather invested in that kiss and as much as it pained him to admit it, so was he. Despite her smart mouth and stubborn attitude, the fact remained that he wanted her. In his bed, on her knees, bent over his sofa. Fucking hell right now he’d even settle for the backseat of his rental car. Perhaps she was feeling the same way. And it was their wedding night after all . . .
Cole looked up, hoping to gauge her interest, but it
was too late. She was already gone.
~~Reviewed by Amy~~
I love romances and I love the feeling when a good book makes me laugh out loud. Sure, authors can be funny, but creating a story that’s both funny and sexy is a talent not many people have. New-to-me-author, Ann Marie Walker, has that kind of talent. Black Tie Optional has a generous measure of humor and passion. So prepare your ribs to be tickled and your heart to be melted in this first book of Walker’s Wild Wedding Series.
Olivia Ramsey had spent her adult life and most of her teens speaking on behalf of those who couldn’t. Working for non-profits, she championed causes that meant most to her. Her latest target though was proving tougher than most. He might be a gorgeous, sexy CEO but he was an arrogant ass. A self-righteous megalomaniac with a total disregard for the environment. Not able to get an appointment with him, she’d taken to cornering Coleman Grant III on his morning coffee stop. Every morning. For the last 3 months. Olivia never gave up and Coleman Grant was not going to blemish her record. Her life had become a routine of wake, stalk, research, sleep, repeat. She was looking forward to her weekend trip to Vegas with her BFF and a break from dealing with the asshole.
In the last 6 years, Cole Grant had turned Grant Industries into something greater than his parents could have ever imagined. But he was ready for a break from business and dealing with his viper of a grandmother. His attorneys were working around the clock to put an end to her rein of tyranny, but Cole could lose it all if he couldn’t find a loophole in the codicil to his parents’ will. And to make matters worse, this was day 83 of dealing with the “hippie humanitarian”. “With her stack of spreadsheets filled with mind-numbing data and photos of snotty-nosed bats, she’d pushed her way into his life one aggravating day at a time.” She was not his type and definitely not worth the aggravation. So why could he not quit visualizing erotic images of her? This upcoming weekend in Vegas was just what he needed to get those images out of his head.
The Vegas trip had barely begun when trouble fell right into Cole’s lap. Literally. In the form of Olivia Ramsey. Evidently, they were in Vegas for the same bachelor/bachelorette party and, as luck would have it, they were running into each other at every turn. Needless to say, this was Vegas, and after much drinking, they woke up in bed together with a fuzzy recollection of frantic hands, greedy lips, and earth shattering sex. About the same time they both agreed the whole night was a mistake that would never be repeated, Cole got a call that the lawyers couldn’t get him out of the requirements of his parents’ will. If he’s not married by his 30th birthday- in 3 days- he loses Grant Industries. So Olivia and Cole find themselves in front of Elvis at the Hunk O Hunk O Burning Love Wedding Chapel tying the proverbial knot. They’d made a deal. If she married him for 3 months tops, he’d back her conservation project. They’d either made the worst mistake of their lives or taken advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime.
This has to be one of the funniest, most well-written books I’ve read in a long time. From start to finish, it was a delightful read. Smart and witty, this story is consistently funny and genuinely affecting. The plot is exceptionally clever and imaginative. The wedding scene and visit to the country had me giggling and snorting. Olivia and Cole are 2 unique characters you can’t help but love and need to see them united. Despite the fact that Olivia was smart-mouthed and annoying, Cole wanted her. For Olivia, Cole went against the grain of everything she stood for, but one touch from him and all her self-control and logic went out the window. The passion between them was undeniable. I loved watching their relationship evolve from adversaries to tolerating each other to falling in love. The secondary characters were every bit as enchanting. Conor, Cassie, and Rebecca were great additions to the story and I hope future books have more of them. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved this story and Ms. Walker’s writing style. This is a series for which I will be anxiously awaiting each new book.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.