REVIEW AND EXCERPT TOUR: MANAGED by Kristen Callihan

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managed-amazonIt 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 down 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…

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Review

Lady Luck just might have put the devil himself and herself together at the start of Kristen Callihan’s newest release, Managed. From the beginning of Gabriel and Sophie’s story, it’s clear that they rile each other up, in both amusing and frustrating ways. What’s also evident from their initial conversation and time spent together on their flight to London is that their introduction into one another’s life will alter who they are and what they want out of life in paramount ways.

Gabriel Scott is a man who controls every facet of his life with an iron fist and an icy demeanor, and he manages most of his relationships with indifference because he doesn’t know how to be affectionate towards those who matter to him nor does he have the inclination to do so because of his past. But Scottie’s world becomes quite the emotional mess because he finds himself consumed with thoughts of Sophie, needed her in ways that he’s never needed or wanted anyone before, which not only freaks him out, but it also diminishes his control, forcing him to recognize just how much Sophie makes his life better despite turning it into a maelstrom of feelings.

Sophie Darling definitely has Gabriel’s number. She easily understood his true self just from their time together in first class, and the depth of her understanding continues as her interactions with him become more frequent and more intimate in terms of what Gabriel allows Sophie to do and see.

I appreciate the fact that Kristen Callihan doesn’t force a sexual relationship between Gabriel and Sophie; regardless of how much they may want one another, a bond needs to develop between them – one that allows for their witty banter and bouts of sparring to be channeled into a connection based on the removal of their masks and layers of their walls being chipped away as they become essential people in one another’s lives and learn that their idiosyncrasies complement each other and give them what they need to showcase who they truly are beneath the facades they show everyone else.

Sunshine and Chatty Girl’s story is definitely a slow-burn romance; the prickly man needs to realize and understand just how much of a game changer his darling girl is before he can figure out how to loosen up and fit the woman who throws him completely off-kilter on a daily basis into his managed and controlled world.

Callihan continues to create interesting and unique characters as well as story lines that allow readers to see and understand just how complex her heroes and heroines are and why they do and say the things they do. I can’t wait for the next rocker’s story – I’m hoping Jax gets knocked on his ass by love in book 3;)

4.5 Poison Apples Review

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Excerpt

In all this time, I had yet to see Gabriel without a shirt. He hides his body like a pious Victorian, never letting me see anything other than him fully dressed and polished. Now I know why. Had he let me get a glimpse, I might never have been able to form a coherent thought around him.

This man’s chest is a work of art. It’s every fantasy I’ve had about a man’s body made real. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but I’m not about to complain. God, he looks touchable. Olive skin, tight little brownish nipples, a smattering of dark chest hair over the most incredibly honed—

“You’re staring.” His tone is dry.

“Yes, I am.” I drag my eyes up and find his expression bemused.

A thick brow lifts. I try to mimic the look and fail when both of my brows lift as one. His lips twitch in amusement.

He shifts his weight, causing his abs to clench. Good Lord. He’s not some overdeveloped gym worshiper, just solid and strong, that perfect balance between defined musculature and healthy male—

“You’re still staring, Sophie.”

“You think it’s easy looking away from all this splendor?” I ask his belly button, licking my lips when he huffs out a laugh and just a little bit more of his lower abs are revealed, slanting toward the thick bulge of his cock, which is lamentably hidden behind his slacks.

“You’re impossible,” he mutters, though there is humor in his voice. He strolls farther into the room and then practically kills me when he sits in one of the low-slung armchairs. That body, sprawled out on display, those thick, long thighs braced as if to take me in his lap—it’s too much.

I want to straddle him and lick my way from the hollow of his throat to the tip of his cock.

He eyes me as if he knows what I’m thinking, and the air thickens. So many things we left unsaid. I’m remembering his lips now, surprisingly soft, but strong with purpose.

From the way his lids lower, I wonder if he’s remembering things as well. But he doesn’t move. Tension glides over his body and snakes around the room. I feel it in my throat and down my spine. We’re closing up again, retreating.

Slowly, I toe off my shoes and set my gear down, never breaking eye contact. “I was being completely honest,” I tell him. “I see you like this and I want to stare forever.”

He snorts, shaking his head even as he rests his temple on his knuckles. “What do you mean ‘like this’?”

“Undone.”

He tenses. It does lovely things to that chest. I focus on his face, mainly to maintain some semblance of decorum.

“You think this is me undone?” he asks quietly.

“It’s a start.” I reach for my camera bag. “Will you let me photograph you?”

There is safety to be found with the camera between us. A way for both of us to hide until we’re comfortable around each other again.

“You’re serious?”

“You sound surprised.” Holding my camera, I sit in the sofa opposite him. “Don’t tell me no one has asked to take your picture before.”

“They’ve asked. I never saw the point.” He shrugs. “I’m not the story.”

You’re my story. You always were.

“This is just for me,” I say instead. “No one else.”

His shrewd gaze pins me. “Why do you want this?”

So I can have a bit of you forever. “Pictures capture moments in time. I want this one—when you finally let me see a sliver of the man behind the clothes.”

His nostrils flare on an indrawn breath, and he slowly lets it out. When he speaks, his voice is a rasp. “Take the pictures.”

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KCauthor

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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