Review: Huge Deal (21 Wall Street #3) by Lauren Layne

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

I have wanted a Kate and Kennedy story since book one in this series and Huge Deal did not disappoint. Lauren Layne reminds me once again why she is one of my favorite Romance authors.

Kennedy has been my favorite of the trio of guys in this series. I liked that he was more serious and less playboy-esque. He tends to be a little oblivious, though. While it was obvious in the first couple of books that Kate had a thing for him, it takes him a long time to really catch on. Meanwhile, Kate is trying to not have a thing for him anymore. For the most part, I liked the way their relationship evolved throughout the book. I liked seeing Kennedy realize his feelings for her and then pursuing her. I also like that he had to work for it a bit.

However, I thought he had to work for Kate’s affection for the wrong reasons. It’s one thing that she would want to be cautious because he’s hurt her in the past with careless words. Instead, the reason she started to pull back felt kind of disingenuous to her character. I don’t want to go too into it since it could be a spoiler, but she was basically one of those women giddy about the thought of love and then after a sad circumstance decides that it couldn’t possibly be worth the risk. It just didn’t really work for me. Thankfully, though, the story didn’t dwell too much on this stage.

Overall, I really enjoyed Huge Deal. I loved seeing the characters from the previous books and the addition of Kennedy’s brother, Jack. I wouldn’t mind a Jack book, actually. I loved seeing my Kennedy-Kate ship finally sail. This has been one of my most anticipated books of 2019 and it lived up to the hype for me.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

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11 thoughts on “Review: Huge Deal (21 Wall Street #3) by Lauren Layne

  1. Pingback: February 2019 Recap | Stephanie's Book Reviews

  2. I still haven’t read any of Layne’s books, although this series is totally on the TBR. I get aggravated when characters do something for the wrong reason – especially when there is a perfectly good reason sitting right there! I read a Denise Hunter (?? I think??) book a while back, and basically the main character gets date-raped (in a not-graphic way obviously) at the beginning so she moves back to her hometown yadda yadda but like she’s super aloof towards her old flame because of some stupid argument they had like 10 years ago… and not because she literally got raped like three months ago!? The fact that the character literally never mentioned this horrific experience again made it obvious that the author was just using it as a convenient way to get her character pregnant without having that character be “unchristian” and it was SUPER aggravating.

    Don’t you love the way I show up on your blog and rant about completely unrelated books?? 😀 Anyway, great review, and one of these days I am definitely going to get around to reading this series!!!

    • I’m glad this series made it through your TBR cuts! When you’re in the mood for something cute and fun I recommend Layne books. And I know which Denise Hunter book you’re talking about. Hunter is very hit or miss for me. My biggest issue with her is that her lead female character is almost always incredibly unlikable. Her male characters are usually always pretty great, though, and then I spend most of the book thinking he could do so much better. Another thing with her books, a good majority of them involve a pregnancy out of wedlock (and not in the drugged way like the book you mentioned). And the characters are usually supposedly Christian and there is never really anything said against it. Like, I’m glad there’s no slut shaming or anything like that, but I expect a little more in the way of morals in Christian Fiction and I really don’t understand how Hunter justifies some of things she writes in her books without addressing it. All that said, her more recent books have had more likable characters and less unwed parents. And I realize this complaint is a little ironic on a post for a book by a different author that includes several sex scenes between people who definitely aren’t married. I’m not sure if it’s right, but I hold mainstream fiction to a lower moral standard than Christian fiction haha.

      • No, I’m totally with you! To me, if you’re writing about any person who is religious, you ought to make that person behave in a way that is within their religious parameters, or at least acknowledge when they aren’t. This is especially true if the author herself also claims to be that religion! Someone like Hunter is setting her writing up as examples of what a Christian’s romantic relationship could/should look like, so I definitely hold her to higher standard than a nonChristian writer whose writing is just what happy, romantic relationship could/should look like lol. It’s the same kind of feeling of frustration I get when a YA author has her young adults behaving in a way that are definitely not good young adult behaviors. Like that’s fine if you want that to happen as part of your character’s story, but there should be some kind of acknowledgement that the behavior is actually not acceptable/a mistake has been made.

        For me, too, slut shaming is different than holding someone accountable for their actions. As a Christian, you’re basically agreeing to a bunch of terms and conditions, and while acknowledging that you won’t be able to meet them all, the point is that it’s the standard to which you are striving. Calling someone out at some level for not following those standards – and not being repentant about it – is actually a good thing. I think that someone like Hunter has a real opportunity to use those situations as learning/growth points, AND has a chance to point out that this behavior is just as unacceptable in men as it is in women.

        In short, I totally agree with you lol And I do think it’s right to hold Christian fiction to higher standard, because essentially those writers are claiming that their characters have signed up for the Christian Terms & Conditions, which involves not having sex outside of marriage. If you aren’t a Christian, you haven’t signed up for that, and while I don’t think it’s wise, I also can’t get angry that someone isn’t following my rules that I’ve agreed to follow. But I can – and do – expect something better from so-called Christian writing!

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