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…
My Rating: 5 Stars
Have you ever found yourself flying through a book all the while wishing you could slow down so it wouldn’t end? I’ve only felt that way about a few books in my lifetime, and Managed was one of them. I actually put this book down at the 60% mark because I wanted it to last longer – after about an hour of trying to watch TV, play with my cats, and do my nails, I picked my kindle back up and finished the book in one sitting.
While very recently stalking Kristen Callihan’s twitter to determine the release date of her next book, I stumbled across this tweet: “Don’t be afraid to give some of your best lines to your secondary characters. Strong supporting cast makes for a fully fleshed book”.I wholeheartedly believe that all authors should live by this advice.One of the best things about Callihan’s books are her secondary characters – she fully develops them in every book she writes. In this series, the band members not only add humor to the books, but help the reader understand why the main characters are the way they are. A big part of Idol, and now Managed, has been Jax’s suicide attempt and its effect on his friends. It was great to see Jax again in this book, not only to help understand why Gabriel is the way he is, but to build anticipation for the books to come. It is strongly hinted in Managed that Jax’s story is next, and I can’t wait. I also enjoyed the easy camaraderie the band has with one another -their constant banter was one of the most fun parts of this book.
Gabriel claims that he started falling in love with Sophie Darling as soon as he sat next to her on the plane in chapter one. Well Gabriel, hate to break it to you, but I fell in love first. Maybe not the same kind of love, but love nonetheless. There were times while reading this book that I busted out laughing at some of the things coming out of her mouth. I loved Killian’s wit in Idol, but he’s got nothing on Sophie. She is charming, carefree, determined and just a little bit insane. There is absolutely nothing that I would change about her as a narrator.
While I didn’t particularly care for Gabriel in book one, he really grew on me in Managed. Unlike my adoration for Sophie, my love of Gabriel was more of a slow burn. He kind of snuck up on me with his half smiles and wry sense of humor. The mother hen role he took on with the band members and his staff was heart warming. Sophie may have made me laugh loudly and at inappropriate times (pretty sure my boss thinks I’m a weirdo now), but Gabriel made me tear up on more than one occasion. He may not the most loquacious of characters, but when he talks, I swoon. With each passing page, he developed as a character – watching him open up to not only Sophie, but his friends was truly touching. I sincerely hope we get to see more of him in the books to come.
My favorite type of romance novel is one filled to the brim with angst. Fortunately for me, Sophie and Gabriel had it in spades. By the time they finally had sex, I was as excited for it as they were. I have to say though, Managed was a first for me – before today, I had never laughed while reading a sex scene in a book. Not only did I laugh at the main character’s near incessant and endearing bickering, I grinned like a fool every time they interacted. It really felt like Sophie and Gabriel were best friends as well as lovers, something that is a rare pleasure to read.
My Takeaway: Managed is a sexy, sweet and humorous read that every fan of romance should read. The entire VIP series has been my favorite of Callihan’s so far and I can’t wait to see where she goes with it next.