Title: The Wedding Wager (Weddings in Westchester #2)
Author: Barbara Deleo
Released: May 16, 2016
Nick Katsalos has a foolproof plan to save his parents' floundering wedding venue. The last thing he expects is for Erin O'Malley, the captivating daughter of his parents' biggest rival, to waltz in and charm the client who could finally get the family business back on track. Nick would be furious--if only he could stop thinking about her.My Review:
When Erin and Nick enter into a wager to determine who will win the contract she prepares for the worst...and is surprised by the glimpses of warmth she sees in the man behind the numbers. But Erin isn't about to forfeit what could be the biggest wedding of the decade to a man as cold as Nick. Especially since securing it means she could finally prove to her father she's just as capable of handling the family business as him.
But as the competition heats up, Erin and Nick must decide what's more important—winning or love.
SO SO GOOD! I’m tempted to end my review right there, but that won’t do this book justice. I enjoyed The Wedding Wager so freaking much. It was so great. It is a quick read, my copy was only about 146 pages, but it was still so worth it. I binge-read it in about 2 hours when I should’ve been sleeping, but I wasn’t. This book is worth every second of your time.
So the plot was a little fast-paced, but that was because it is such a short book. There seemed to be some aspects that were rushed and at moments it was a littler hard to tell the timeline, but it was eventually cleared up and my understanding of the book never diminished. I was so into this book that I was very upset when it ended. I WANTED MORE! I NEEDED MORE! Can I please have some more?
Erin is just trying to prove herself. She is the first-born of a very proud Irish man who wanted a son. When her father’s health goes down, she steps up to take over the company and gain her father’s approval. She was so stubborn, which I guess she had to be when she was trying to gain her father’s approval and couldn’t back down against him. But there was moments when I wanted to reach in and shake her. Yell at her to stop being so stubborn and just accept what is happening between her and Nick. She is also so intelligent. She was quick-witted and fierce. I hope to be as good of a businesswoman as she was.
Nick looks like a freaking Greek God. That is all you need to know about him. Just kidding, there is more to him than just looks. He is a very closed off, cold, logical person. He is also extremely intelligent and sweet when he wants to be. It was great watching him take over his families business to try and bring them back together. I wish I could know more about Nick because we didn’t learn a lot about him. I want more Nick in my life!
All in all, this book is a great read. If you’re looking for something short and sweet, this is the book for you. Also, don’t be fooled by its length, it packs a great story into those few pages and it is worth your time!
As she neared the secluded part of the garden with the paper bag of birdseed in her hand, she stopped still. There was movement behind a tree, and she thought she could see the toe of a man’s business shoe poking out. Her skin prickled. Had someone come here to have a secret cigarette? Had a groomsmen wanted a stolen moment with one of the bridesmaids?
The doves were roosting on the dovecote, so whoever it was hadn’t disturbed them, or else the person had been there for some time. On a hunch, she stayed perfectly still.
One minute went by, then two, the only noise the cooing of the doves and some garden irrigation switching on in the distance. And then the foot moved out, followed by a leg, and then a body. Nick Katsalos in all his perfect, arrogant gorgeousness stood before her. A wave of heat swept through her before she tried desperately to work out why he was here, alone in her garden.
“Oh,” he said as his face dropped, then he took a deliberate step away from the tree. “I thought you’d gone.”
She folded her arms and pressed them close to try and stop the delicious tremble in her body. “Obviously. Please don’t say you were hiding from me.”
He cleared his throat. “Not hiding exactly.”
She swung her shoes by their straps. Enjoying the feeling of having him cornered. “Skulking, then.”
“Skulking. It means wandering around trying not to be noticed, most commonly without good intentions.” She tipped her head on one side. “Were your intentions in lurking behind that tree good, Nick?”
He pulled at the collar of his shirt, and she couldn’t help the burst of satisfaction inside that he really did look like he was squirming. “I thought I’d come over and take a look at what my competition was,” he said, holding her gaze defiantly. “I didn’t jump any fences or run a security patrol, if that’s what you’re asking. Did you bring me some supper?” he said with a grin, nodding at the bag.
He looked so perfect, like he was the prize on “The Bachelor,” and she had to remind herself just why she had to keep her distance. She lifted her chin. “So, you’re cheating then. You’ve come to look at what we’ve got going on here so you can copy it and win? I’m sure Wedding World would be interested in the fact that you’d resort to such underhanded tactics.”
He slid a hand into his pocket and crafted himself into a position of indifference. He looked so hot and in control, and it killed her.
“No, not cheating, either. Any smart businessman will want to have a realistic understanding of how his opposition works. Nothing wrong with that.”
“Then why didn’t you just walk up to the front door like any normal person would and ask to be shown around?”
“So, how was the movie?” he asked.
She frowned and looked at him sideways. “Which movie?”
“Pretty Woman. I know you’d have gone and watched it after I told you about all the mistakes.”
Her eyes narrowed. “As a matter of fact I did watch it again and you’re totally, one hundred percent wrong.”
He shrugged. “Am not.”
She put her hands on her hips defiantly and heat flared through him. “Vivian could totally have been eating so quickly that she went from a croissant to a pancake, to another pancake in the place of a few minutes while Edward was talking.”
He smiled to himself. He’d been right. She was competitive enough that she’d want to prove him wrong. “Why would she do that? Unless she wanted a pretty mean case of heartburn.”
“She’d never been in a hotel room like that, not eating breakfast, anyway.” She waved her hands in the air as if she were speaking about a real woman, a friend, someone who she’d talked to at length about this. “Maybe she hadn’t eaten for days. Maybe she’d never seen so much food on the table before and she wanted to eat as much as she could before they took it away.”
“Maybe she’d burned up so many calories when she slept with Edward that she was starving.” He couldn’t resist, and the blush it brought to her cheeks was worth it.
Her eyes flicked to his, then suddenly away, and in that second Nick had never wanted anyone or anything more in his life. He cleared his throat. Living in a wedding hall must have caused his logical brain to stall. He kick-started it just in time. “Or the continuity guy was sleeping on the job.”
She made a growling noise. “I’ve never met someone so infuriatingly cynical.”
“You’re just angry because I pointed out a fact to you and now you can’t unsee it. In fact, you voluntarily watched the movie again, and you’re pissed because you know I’m right.”
She moistened her lips. “You still haven’t proven any of those mistakes, and until you do, I’m not going to believe any of them. Besides, the Rockwell painting is old and so is Pretty Woman. With all the advances in technology, mistakes aren’t going to be a problem anymore.”
He paused for a moment, wondering how far he could push her. No, it wouldn’t be fair, would it? But she was glaring at him, challenging, and he couldn’t resist making an excuse to have the same sort of passionate discussion with her again. “Seen The Fault in Our Stars?”
She spun back to him. “Oh no you don’t! I cried through that entire movie, and I am not going to have you destroy that for me. You’re sick, Nick Katsalos. Sick, sick, sick.”
He grinned. “I wouldn’t dream of telling you if you don’t want to hear. But you did ask.”
He wasn’t joking. She knew by the tone in his voice and the set of his body that he meant every word. And it melted her from the inside out.
“You’re an interesting equation, Erin O’Malley.”
“What does that mean?”
He tilted his head and gave her a look that made her feel as though he could see right into the most secret parts of her. “It’s pretty easy to get most people’s number, work out what makes them tick, how the sum of their parts will add up to a neat solution. Not with you.”
“That’s an original pickup line.” Her fingers drummed rapidly against the bowl of her wineglass.
He chuckled and shrugged. “I’m a mathematician. What can you do? But at the very least you should take it as a compliment. I will work you out, Erin. I’ll find your variables and your points of differentiation. By the time we’re through, I guarantee I’ll have you summed up.”
He stepped closer and still she held her ground, but now her cells were screaming for her to lean into him, to taste his mouth and to feel his body beneath her fingers.
Instead, she squared her shoulders. “That’s just about as arrogant as anyone could possibly get. Being so certain that just because you work with numbers and percentages you can work people out. I can tell you now, a guy like you would never understand a woman like me.”
Instead of bending his face toward her as her body wished he would, he reached out and twined his fingers with hers. “If you really don’t think there’s anything happening here, then I’ll accept it, but no matter what happens, I don’t ever want you to think that I don’t respect you, Erin. You couldn’t be more wrong.”
She swallowed as he squeezed her hand and all her blood seemed to pool where they touched. He was smiling at her, and all she could think was how much she wanted his mouth on hers. There was something about Nick Katsalos that drove her crazy, and she didn’t know how to stop it. And then she squeezed his hand back.
Before she could think about what she was doing, they were kissing, her hands around his neck, his arms around her waist.
She’d imagined he’d taste heavenly, but she’d expected the bitterness of beer on his lips, not the sweetness of ginger and honey. When his tongue pressed along her bottom lip she thought she might crumble. As if she were in some sort of vacuum, the noise of the bar around them disintegrated, and all she could hear was his breathing and the rush of blood in her ears. He pulled her closer, his hands splayed across the bare skin of her back and she pressed herself to him.
Moments later, when they sprang apart, it was as if they’d broken the surface of a pool and the noise of the bar, and the heart-pounding reality of what she’d just done came rushing up at her.
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About the author:
Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago, much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.
After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins.
She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.