Release Week Reviews: Big Rock: Lauren Blakely

by - Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Big Rock
Lauren Blakely 

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Expected January 6, 2016

It's not just the motion of the ocean, ladies. It's definitely the SIZE of the boat too.

And I've got both firing on all cylinders. In fact, I have ALL the right assets. Looks, brains, my own money, and a big cock.

You might think I'm an asshole. I sound like one, don’t I? I'm hot as sin, rich as heaven, smart as hell and hung like a horse.

Guess what? You haven't heard my story before. Sure, I might be a playboy, like the NY gossip rags call me. But I’m the playboy who’s actually a great guy. Which makes me one of a kind.

The only trouble is, my dad needs me to cool it for a bit. With conservative investors in town wanting to buy his flagship Fifth Avenue jewelry store, he needs me not only to zip it up, but to look the part of the committed guy. Fine. I can do this for Dad. After all, I’ve got him to thank for the family jewels. So I ask my best friend and business partner to be my fiancée for the next week. Charlotte’s up for it. She has her own reasons for saying yes to wearing this big rock.

And pretty soon all this playing pretend in public leads to no pretending whatsoever in the bedroom, because she just can’t fake the kind of toe-curling, window-shattering orgasmic cries she makes as I take her to new heights between the sheets.

But I can’t seem to fake that I might be feeling something real for her.

What the fuck have I gotten myself into with this…big rock?

BIG ROCK is a standalone, dirty romance novel written from the guy’s POV by NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely… 

I do my best work in the bedroom. This is completely my domain. So it should be no big deal that she asked me to wait here. But something about being in Charlotte’s bedroom is wigging me out.

Mostly because there’s nearby nudity transpiring mere feet away.

She’s taking a shower, and no matter how you slice them, New York apartments are approximately thimble size. Let me spell this out—wet, naked, hot woman in a ten-foot radius.

Got it? Okay. Moving on.

I pick up a picture frame on her sky blue bureau of the dog her parents have. A fluffy brown summa dog—some of this, some of that. I’m going to focus on this mutt. Zero in on him. Look at his tail. Check out his ears. Yup, this picture is doing the trick. It is helping me not to linger on the naked woman and how well she kisses.

Or how much I liked it.

Why the fuck did I like it so much?

Of course you liked it, idiot. A pretty woman kisses you, and you’re straight—you’d be stupid not to like it. End of story. Doesn’t mean anything. Stop analyzing.

Especially since she just turned off the shower.

Maybe she forgot a towel. Maybe she’ll open the door a crack, and ask me to grab one for her.

I smack my forehead. Get it together, Holiday.

I set down the picture, draw a deep inhale and straighten my shoulders. The door creaks open. She steps out of the bathroom wearing only a white fluffy towel wrapped above her breasts.

“You might be wondering why I asked you to wait in my bedroom instead of the living room,” she says, in the most matter-of-fact tone.

I have no clue how she can be talking like we’re having a business transaction when droplets of water slide down her bare legs. But I’m a strong man. I can handle this. I’m not tempted at all by my best friend. Though my dick begs to differ, the traitorous prick.

“The thought crossed my mind,” I say, as I lean against the bureau, striking a casual pose.

“Because if you’re my fiancé, you need to be comfortable with me being naked,” she says with a crisp nod.

Shit, she’s going to do it. She’s going to drop the towel. She’s going to make us practice fucking. I am the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

Wait. No. I can’t fuck my best friend. I absolutely, positively, can’t screw Charlotte. Even if she tosses the towel on the floor and begs me to.

I lace my fingers together behind my back, linking these twitchy hands.

“Okay, so you’re getting naked,” I say, doing my best to imitate her cool-as-a-cucumber tone that is throwing me off big time.

“No. It’s the idea of me naked,” she corrects.

I give her a pointed look. “Seems to me it’s both the idea and the reality.”

“Fine, fine. They’re one and the same, and it’s part of the debrief.”

“Is this the exam portion?”

She walks past me, her arm brushing against mine before she yanks open the top drawer of the bureau. “Yes. This is the practical portion.”

“And this is because you somehow think we’re going to be required to be naked together in front of Mr. Offerman in order to pull this off? This isn’t like some feats-of-strength style fake engagement where we have to pass certain skill sets in an obstacle course. You know that, right?”

She nods, as she hunts around in the drawer. “I’m aware of that. I see this as more like the Newlywed game.”

“And in this version of the game we’re quizzed on how I get used to the idea of you naked and vice versa?”

Her breath hitches when I say that—vice versa.

I don’t know what to make of that small gasp, or if it means something about the idea of me au naturel.

She spins around, and holds up two pairs of panties, one in each hand. “Quick. Do you prefer it when your fiancée wears the black lace thong?” She waggles a scrap of silky-looking fabric that is so hot my face might be engulfed in flames right now because Charlotte owns that? “Or do you prefer her in the white side-string bikini?” She waves the white pair before my eyes, and all I can see is a tiny triangular patch of fabric that’s the slightest bit see-through.

Forget the flames. I am a fucking inferno right now knowing she owns this too. White panties that reveal pretty much everything.

Big cock.  Big rock. Big Trouble. Big Choices.

Spencer Holiday has a big problem. He kind of, sort of, just announced he was engaged to improve his image and help his Dad look favorable for a business deal. But there is one little hiccup....he does not even have a girlfriend. So he enlists the help of his best friend and business partner, Charlotte. They help each other all the time. Faking it for a week or so should be no problem...right?!

This is told in Spencer's unfiltered, cocky point of view. But I loved that even though he is arrogant and sure of himself, he also is a gentleman in his own way and has a good heart. He is a playboy who respects women, who understands women, and values his family and friends. But he also has sex on the brain and is a dirty talker and speaks in sexual innuendo. I loved his internal monologues and silent freak outs. He's kind of adorable and honorable, but also blunt, bold, and dirty-mouthed. The best of both worlds. He's the perfect mix of naughty and nice and  hot and sweet.

Soon they are putting on a show of a faithful couple. They are learning more intimate details and getting a bit more physical than they ever have...and they like it. What happens when your friend feels too good, looks too good, and kisses the hell out of you?

A proposition, set rules, and unexpected seduction lead to mixed messages, hidden wants, and miscommunication . Holy hotness at the untapped passion, need, and attraction. But it also brings out confusion, fear, hurt, and omissions. 

I enjoyed being in Spencer's head. His unpolished thoughts and monologues, his dirty talking, and alpha ways. But he was sweet, honorable, protective and vulnerable too. I totally fell for him and had a girl crush on Charlotte too. She was sassy, sweet, supportive and perfect for him, but she was also scared of rejection. They were so fun together, had such a connection, and strong friendship, but had such hot chemistry too. I loved their confusion, vulnerability, and cluelessness at times. They not only had to deal with their own personal issues and each other's expectations and fears, but also had to keep up with the lies they were telling. It just seemed to get more and more complicated.

This was funny, sweet, sexy, romantic, emotional, and just plain hot! I was thoroughly engaged, sucked into the story, and I could not wait to find out how they would navigate everything. I laughed, got tense, wanted to smack people, fanned myself, swooned, and just had such a big goofy smile on my face for so much of it. 

I loved getting two epilogues. I enjoyed his sister Harper and his charismatic friend Nick Hammer, Nick Hammer, Mister Orgasm. Can't wait to uncover more about him...

Beta copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review. 

 Spencer and Charlotte have been business partners and best friends since college. But when Spencer needs to hide his playboy ways in order to smooth his father’s business deal, he turns to Charlotte to play his fiance for a week. It just so happens she could use the cover of a fake engagement as well, so they quickly agree to a week of charades, but no emotions, no sex, and after the week is over they will go back to being friends.

I love watching these two interact -- first as friends, then as fake fiancés. Though we can’t see inside Charlotte’s head, there is enough that Spencer sees (not that he processes everything he sees…) that I didn’t miss knowing what she was thinking. It was often clear on her face.

I love Spencer’s voice throughout this story. This is a completely male POV story. Spencer is quick to use humor when he is uncomfortable and has no problem being self-deprecating if the shoe fits. He is honest about what he wants, at least during his inner monologues. He is confident, bordering on egotistical, but he backs up his overconfidence with actions whenever possible.

Charlotte is a terrible liar, but this trait just made their plan all the more hilarious as they begin outlining what will happen (and not) during the week they will play pretend. I love that she is smart and can hold her own with Spencer and his large ego.

As their fake relationship digs deeper into their lives and reality, I couldn’t help but wonder what the turning point would be to make Spencer face what was happening between them.

Oh, how I love a good friends to lovers story, and add in a fake fiance angle and this couldn’t help but hit every funny moment I needed to catch this week. This was a light, fun, sexy read that was perfect for the cold winter day I was reading. It is filled with a fun premise, fun characters, and Lauren Blakely’s unique sense of humor in her New York world.

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
Author pic - Lauren BlakelyLauren Blakely
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About Lauren Blakely:
 Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and she has had eight books on the New York Times Bestseller list and fourteen on the USA Today Bestseller list. Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire. She recently released SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS, the first novel in her new sexy romance series Sinful Nights that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. Her new adult forbidden romance, 21 Stolen Kisses, hit e-readers in May and landed on the USA Today Bestseller list. In September, she'll release SINFUL DESIRE, her next title in the bestselling SINFUL NIGHTS series. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, text BLAKELY + your email address to 678-249-3375 (please use the actual + sign).  
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