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I Belong


Review: Managed by Kristen Callihan

managed-amazonTitle: Managed

Author: Kristen Callihan

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: VIP (Book #2)

Publication Date: November 14, 2016

Format: eBook, 344 Pages

ISBN-10: 1539917789 (Plain Jane)

ISBN-13: 978-1539917786 (Plain Jane)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

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…

Quick & Dirty: A sexy romance set in a world of rock n roll with a cold male lead that can really turn up the heat.

Opening Sentence: You know those people who Lady Luck always seems to be kissing on the cheek?

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Managed is the second in the VIP series by Kristen Callihan. This series evolves around the rock band Kill John. It is a contemporary romance that will pull on the heartstrings of its readers. Managed is about the manager of Kill John whose cold, indifferent exterior finally meets his match with the warm and bubbly social media coordinator that joins the group. I am a huge fan of Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series so it was good to see her use of British vernacular with the British lead. This series isn’t as darkly creative as the paranormal world but I do like to see how Callihan treats the world of rock n roll.

Kill John is in need of some social media help. They’ve just recently started touring again after taking a year off after one of its member tried to commit suicide. The guys are trying to become brothers again and continue their life as one of the hottest groups in rock. In comes Sophie Darling, a woman who is also trying to find her feet in her own career field. The synopsis completely describes the beginning of this novel. Sophie is even more sarcastic and witty then I would have thought and I love how she doesn’t hold back when talking with Gabriel, even as she knows she will never meet this guy again, but you know Karma has a way of getting back at you right?

Gabriel cannot believe this woman whom he has to sit next to on the plane for the nine hour flight. He hates flying and this lady is just rubbing him the wrong way but yet also in just the right places. Sophie seems to understand his fears and is able to help him without calling him out on it. Then he is dealt another blow when it seems that there may have been another ulterior reason as to why she was seated next to him.

Sophie is a bit of a free spirit. She is fun and bubby but not extreme just enough to get under Gabriel’s skin because of how he enters her life. She does look a bit like Marilyn Monroe at the beginning but she loves to dye her hair. She thinks Gabriel might see her as being stupid at first but she really is more complex than that. I liked Sophie and I liked her even more when the “mind-blowing” twist was dropped and she didn’t make any excuses for herself. She owned up to her actions even if she didn’t want to do them at the time and is willing to take the consequences.

Gabriel is your “cold” alpha male, who cares about everyone’s happiness but his own. He pretends at indifference because when shit finally hits the fan he can walk away without being entirely hurt so he is a bit standoffish even with his close friends whom he’d die for but doesn’t want them to know how much they mean to him. I kept feeling like there was some deeper, darker secret he would never reveal but I loved how Sophie finally broke his walls down.

The story switches between Sophie and Gabriel’s point of view but it seems to stick with Sophie for most of the story. There are some reveals and surprises that did keep me hooked to the story. I really loved these two characters together, even if the situation was a bit unrealistic to me at least for as long as it lasted.

Overall, I really enjoyed the friendship and comradery of the cast of characters in this series. This story really smoldered for over half of the book until the fire was finally lit. I really enjoyed the buildup. Some of the events/themes were dark but the story itself was a ray of sunshine.

Notable Scene:

Why him? Why is it that one direct look from this man had the ability to paralyze my body, take my breath, make everything hot and sticky along my skin?

I didn’t lie that day on the plane. He is the most devastatingly attractive man I’ve ever met. But what I feel when I look at him, when we silently assess each other, has nothing to do with how he looks.

His male beauty isn’t what makes my heart ache like a tender bruise. It isn’t what has my insides swooping to my toes and my lips suddenly turning sensitive. And it certainly isn’t what makes me want to cross the small distance between us and wrap my arms around him, hold him close.

Because he looks so very battered. Thinner about the face, shadows beneath his aqua eyes. His gaze conveys pain, yearning, need. I see it, even if I’m fairly certain he doesn’t want me to see. I’ve always seen the lonliness.

Maybe because it matches my own.

We’re both experts at hiding our true selves behind a public mask. I make jokes and smile. He plays the robot.

VIP Series:

1. Idol

2. Managed

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FTC Advisory: Plain Jane/InkSlinger PR provided me with a copy of Managed. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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