Rules of Negotiation

Inara Scott
Rules of Negotiation
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Entangled Publishing
Release Date
February 2012
Contemporary Romance

He let her make the rules…

NYC's most eligible bachelor, Brit Bencher, is also known as The Slayer for his reputation in the boardroom…and the bedroom. And he'll do anything to take care of his family, even seduce high-powered corporate attorney Tori Anderson in the hopes of getting her to reveal confidential information about one of her clients. But for the first time in his life, he finds he's falling for a woman.

…and then he started to break them.

After juggling the demands of her career and the stress of caring for her ailing mother, Tori Anderson doesn't have time for relationships—but that doesn't mean she doesn't want to feel like a woman. When Brit offers a no-strings attached fling, it sounds like exactly what she needs. But what will she do when Brit decides he won't take "one night stand" for an answer? When Tori uncovers his lies, will he lose his chance with her forever?

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Aug 02, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
172 people found the following review helpful
For a passionate, emotional journey in a single-sized serving, look no further. This is a moving, evocative book of two lonely souls and how their physical desire evolves into something so much.

To say Tori Anderson has issues with relationships is something of an understatement. After her father walked out on the family when she was young, her mother has convinced her never to put her trust in anyone but herself, and never, ever to fall for a handsome or charming man. As a result, Tori's career as a corporate attorney is flourishing, but her personal life is in shambles. Too busy with work and caring for her sick mother to have any kind of a relationship, Tori is also too wary of getting her heart broken to really attempt one.

When she is brought into negotiations with Brit Bencher, Tori knows that everything her mother said was true. Brit, known as ‘The Slayer' for his boardroom ruthlessness and bedroom prowess, is everything she has been taught to avoid—handsome, charming—and inexplicably interested in Tori. So when he proposes a no-strings-attached weekend together, Tori convinces herself she can avoid getting too attached, and burn her desire for him out in two days of uninhibited pleasure.

Brit was delighted to hear that Tori would be visiting his office. His sister's recent heartbreak has left her hollow and miserable, and Brit is determined to take any measures necessary to get her a job with a reclusive robotics genius—even if it means seducing it out of the lovely blonde attorney who has his personal number. But just a few moments in Tori's company, and Brit knows his plans are destined to fail; because Tori is maddening and beautiful and the only woman he could ever dream of loving. But when she finds out his deceit, and confirms her worst fears about attractive men in the process, is there any hope for Brit to convince her of his real feelings?

Brit may be a bit domineering in his management of his family, but his heart is absolutely in the right place. An inherent loneliness in him drives him to fix all his sister's problems for her and to attempt to handle Tori the same way. Though his deception was less than endearing, I could understand the higher motives that justified it, and appreciate that he came to realize the error of his ways. I wasn't an enormous fan of his behavior, but by the same token, it was refreshing to have a modern hero who had bad habits and a journey he needed to make along with the heroine to find a happy ending.

I love Inara Scott's writing, and her well-crafted, passionate characters. And it's because this story is so well written that I had a hard time with Tori. Her insecurities run deep, and her mother's wealth of painful lessons have left her believing that she will neither find nor deserve love. Maybe it was because I felt so deeply for her and genuinely liked her so much that her insecurities really bothered me. I was hurt by how much she herself was hurting—and while this is unequivocally the sign of a well-written story, I don't think I was quite prepared to feel this way about her as a heroine.

The chemistry between Tori and Brit was sizzling, but I was also intrigued by the relationships within Brit's family, especially amongst his siblings. Though he may be the most successful in terms of business and bank accounts, Brit's family is a talented, close-knit bunch, and I really enjoyed getting to meet them through Tori. Most especially, I loved watching Brit's sister learn to work for her own happiness again after all she has had to endure lately.

Coming up with a rating for this story was a little challenging. The tension and chemistry between Tori and Brit really is explosive and passion and tender, and I really wanted to follow their story to the end. However, I wasn't prepared for just how emotional the story was going to be, or how I personally would respond to Tori's psychology. In the end, I love both Inara Scott's writing and her storytelling skills, and this story is just further proof that her books will always draw an emotional reaction from her readers.
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