Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Proposition by Elizabeth Hayley

Professional hockey player Ben Williamson doesn't quite know how he got himself into this situation; hiring someone to be his date to his brother's wedding is way out of character for him. But with family pressuring him to settle down, going stag just isn't an option. It would just be one more thing his polite, cultured family uses as ammo against him.

Ryan Cruz is having a bad day. Wait, make that a bad year. Broke, technically homeless, and living on a friend's couch, she's now also unemployed after her sharp tongue gets her fired from her job. So when a handsome stranger approaches her out of the blue with a proposition--he’ll pay her to be his date to his brother’s wedding for the weekend--accepting his offer is a no brainer. She needs the cash and figures it wouldn't be in the best interest of a professional athlete to murder her.

What starts as a simple business arrangement soon becomes more as these opposites attract and get caught up in the wedding magic. Will Ben and Ryan be able to turn their relationship into something more? Or is love based on a proposition too much of an obstacle to overcome?

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This was an interesting story. On the one hand, you have Ben who seems pretty put together. However, when you get deeper into his character, you find that he's struggling just like everyone else around him. He feels an inadequacy that stems from his family home life and he can't quite shake it.

For Ryan, she is just trying to figure out where she's going to get her next paycheck. She has survived a lot and won't let anything get her down. She has a strong moral code and despite sometimes having to do things she doesn't like, she holds tight to her morals.

Ben and Ryan's meeting was kind of hilarious. However, they recovered and began their journey of hiding who they really are. This story was full of family dysfunction, love that developed organically, and of learning each other in a way that was forced, but in the end, exactly what was necessary.

Ben really was kind of an immature jerk a lot of the time. I wondered if he would ever grow up. His brother was equally a jerk and I never really liked him. Ben's family – parents mainly – were also so clueless throughout the story that I ended up feeling bad for Ben. Ryan had her own struggles but since she was used to hardship, I liked her a lot more. She persevered and overcame a lot.

Ben and Ryan's chemistry was hot, and they had some great scenes. I felt that despite the quick "get to know you" part of the story, their relationship worked well.

4.5 stars

This is a sweet, fun, and easy read. The premise is a little bit Pretty Woman. The idea of a professional athlete hiring an escort for a wedding may not be very plausible, but it does make for a good story.

Ben and Ryan are a great combination. Ryan’s background has made her a survivor and she’s been caring for herself from a very young age. Ben comes from privilege and his biggest worry is his family’s disapproval of his hockey career. These two connect immediately on a physical and emotional level, but they really don’t understand each other’s worlds. Ryan’s reactions to Ben’s casual entitlement are brilliant.

The angst in this book feels contrived at times. There are several secrets in this story and some of them feel unnecessary – they’re only introduced to create or draw out conflict between Ryan and Ben. I really enjoyed Ben’s family and I loved Ryan’s friend, Camille.

As in the first book, the friendship between Ben, Gabe, and Jace is really special. As their lives diverge, these three spend less time together. I found Ben’s sadness at the loss of some of the closeness really moving.

I love that the story and the characters are completely different from those in the first book. On the surface, a cocktail waitress and a doctor might have very little in common, but Ryan and Ally are both wonderfully strong women and they are both women worth getting to know.

This is an enjoyable read with an original plotline that had me intrigued to the very end. Though I’ve read the first in the series, I still appreciated that this one can be read as a standalone with no confusion while still giving us glimpses of the characters from the previous book!

Ben is a professional hockey player who has been on the outs with his brother for years. His brother is getting married and Ben doesn’t want to face the wedding alone, especially since his brother is marrying Ben’s ex-girlfriend. One of Ben’s best friends, Gabe, recommends that he hire an escort and then suggests doing so at a strip club, where Ben comes face to face with the beautiful Ryan. Ryan is running low on funds and life keeps kicking her while she’s down. She’s resorted to working as a waitress at a strip club but loses that job when someone makes advances that she quickly shuts down. When she bumps into the handsome Ben outside the club and is mistaken for an escort, Ryan can’t bring herself to turn down the money that Ben is offering. In order to get to know one another well enough to pull off fooling Ben’s family, Ben insists Ryan move in with him until then and the two really hit it off.

I love how fast paced this book is, I couldn’t put it down. My favorite character in the book was definitely Gabe, he’s absolutely hilarious and I’m already highly anticipating him getting his own book! I also really enjoyed that this book has it all: romance, intrigue, and angst. Ben and his family drama is so relatable, and it had me in tears when he and his brother are talking at the end. This is great read and I highly recommend it!

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
I really enjoyed this book. It’s not your typical “man needs a date to a family wedding, so he hires an escort to play the part” story. It’s a story about struggle: the struggle to be more than what people expect you to be, the struggle to find good in bad situations, the struggle to overcome the demons of the past.

Ryan has seen more than her fair share of struggles; however, she has never faltered in her belief in herself, of being more than her drug addicted mother, of living a life she would be proud of. Her struggle has led her to be a waitress in a strip club, it's decent money and is helping her pay her part of the bills as she couch surfs at a friend’s.

Ben is a professional hockey player, who on the surface seems to have it all. Beneath the facade, Ben is still struggling from his brother's betrayal. Ten years ago, Ben's girlfriend decided that his brother, David, was the better man. Ben has carried the sting of that hurt with him ever since, and has distanced himself from his entire family so that he didn't have to witness their relationship first hand. During the times the family was together, it was tense and often led to disagreements, which led to Ben staying away longer and longer.

With David's wedding fast approaching, Ben knows that he doesn't want to go alone and face the demons of his past. He also doesn't want his mother playing matchmaker. Gabe comes up with a brilliant idea to hire an escort to play the part of his girlfriend. He's hesitant at first, then he meets Ryan and suddenly it doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

The relationship between Ryan and Ben starts off a little shaky but they quickly form a bond, sharing secrets and dreams. As the wedding gets closer, so do they. The question they both ask themselves: What happens to them after the vows are said?

Also Available in The Players Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our The Bet post.

Elizabeth Hayley is actually "Elizabeth" and "Hayley," two friends who love reading romance novels to obsessive levels. This mutual love prompted them to put their English degrees to good use by penning their own. The product is Pieces of Perfect, their debut novel. They learned a ton about one another through the process, like how they clearly share a brain and have a persistent need to text each other constantly (much to their husbands' chagrin).

They live with their husbands and kids in a Philadelphia suburb. Thankfully, their children are still too young to read.

Elizabeth Hayley's writing motto is best captured by the words of Patrick Dennis: "I always start with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind."

Connect with Elizabeth

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Proposition (Players #2) by Elizabeth Hayley to read and review.

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