Herkness's THE CEO BUYS IN (WAGER OF HEARTS #1) has a different premise since it's about a bet between a CEO, a football player, and a best-selling author. When they meet in their men's club, things get a little out of hand--the men make their wager while they are drunk.
This is the CEO's story.
The prologue sets the stage of what's to come, and the book held my interest from the first page to the last. There are complex characters that we get to know a little at a time, as their history and upbringing are revealed along with their family dynamics and what they want out of life.
Nathan's dad was a Marine, and he expected his son to follow in his family's footsteps, which Nathan had no desire to do since he's a techie and a geek. To say they are estranged is an understatement. Chloe mistrusts anything corporate due to her father's stories throughout her childhood, about how he was never compensated for his ideas. Fast forward to the present where Chloe it temping at a corporation as the CEO's assistant. Things get interesting from the moment they meet.
Chloe's elderly grandmother, who raised her, lives with her, so money is tight. Chloe doesn't want her grandmother to move into an assisted-living complex and be among strangers, so she's trying to make as much money as she can so she can continue to care for her. Watching her grandmother's take on life and on Chloe's relationship with Nathan was often spot-on, but at other times she gave Chloe mixed messages.
Chloe understands Nathan like no one else, and the fierce attraction they have for one another doesn't hurt. She makes suggestions to help get his life back on track and to make work fun again by taking a step back from sitting at a desk, where he does nothing but meetings and emails. Instead she convinces him to get his hands dirty in R&D, especially when a major project has "fail" written all over it. They are good for each other since he opens her eyes to what life could be like--especially with him--even if she knows it can only be short-lived.
The author did a great job building their world. The descriptions of their surroundings made me feel like I was there.
Herkness included family and friends, business, angst and emotion--all the things that money can't buy. The epilogue ties up the loose ends nicely and gives some closure, but I know we'll be back because there are two more books to the series.
I reviewed Herkness's terrific second book in the series--THE ALL-STAR ANTES UP--which made me want to try this one. I look forward to reading book three, which is due out in 2017. If this is Herkness's caliber of writing, I will definitely be back for more!