The Invitation by Vi Keeland (2021)
Stella meets Hudson when she crashes his sister's wedding - their chemistry is great, until he realizes she's not who she says she is. Their paths cross again as Stella tries to get her business off the ground - but can they overcome their disastrous first meeting? I loved the "women in business" aspect of the story. I really felt Stella's passion for her custom perfume business and the work that goes into starting a business and taking on investors. Once some difficulties were overcome, I thought the romance was sweet - I've never read this author before, but for some reason I was expecting a bit more heat. I liked that Hudson had a well-rounded backstory and those family issues added to the story, but there were a few too many coincidences that helped move the story along. It was a little difficult to believe at times. 4 stars
Hot Asset by Lauren Layne (2018)
Ian is a hotshot Wall Street investor, and Lara is the SEC agent assigned to investigate him for insider trading. He swears he's innocent, but Lara knows cracking this case is her chance to impress her boss and may be her ticket to the FBI, her lifelong dream. What they don't count on is their feelings for each other. I thought this was a great read. I loved Lara's devotion to her job, but also her devotion to the truth when something didn't seem right. Her desire to take that next step in her career was really refreshing. Ian had a great backstory: he basically came from nothing and made a huge success of himself. Even though he's typically not a relationship guy, he really changes once he meets Lara. Watching them fight their feelings for each other was really fun, as their chemistry was undeniable. Great romance, some drama with the SEC investigation, and a cast of incredible secondary characters really made this a well-rounded story! 4 stars
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