Series: Wild Wedding, #1
Published by St. Martin’s Press on May 30th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips - on the surface he’s pure perfection.
Too bad he's an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.
Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.
So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.
Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.
I absolutely adore the opposites attract trope, there’s just always so much potential with the character development. Well combine that with Ann Marie Walkers impeccable writing; the way her characters come to life, the pace of the plot and the amazing dialogue, and I found myself in reader heaven. In the very opening pages we witness Cole and Olivia in a daily encounter that’s been going on for three months or so. Encounters Olivia necessitates in order to “influence” Cole about his company’s lack of environmental policies. Olivia is tenacious and these interactions are contentious at best, but when they find themselves in Vegas attending the wedding of a mutual friend, things just happen and you know the saying.
But this isn’t the case, what happens in Vegas follows them back to Chicago; the lone steamy night of passion that led to a hilarious Elvis style wedding, that leads to Cole and Olivia living together in harmony *snort*. The newlyweds co-habitate purely to satisfy the business deal they’ve made so that Cole can remain in control of his business and Olivia gets his backing on her conservation project. A simple business arrangement. pfffft. There is nothing is simple about it and that is what makes this a fun and delightful.
There are many challenges; assumptions made about each other, his rightly suspicious grandmother, and an ex that suddenly reappears, but they manage to find a way through and begin a tenuous friendship. The story is made in this intense connection. Their banter is spectacular and shows Cole’s sweet and charming side, Olivia’s smart and snarky reaction to him, and the slow burn of a fantastic twosome. Black Tie Optional is one of my favorite types of books to read. there’s some angst but it’s relatively low and it left me feeling light and happy. BTO is a definite 5 Star recommendation!
~ Review by Cyndi
Olivia’s eyes darted up to meet his. Surely, she’d known this was coming? It was how every damn wedding ended. And what was the big deal anyway? It was just a kiss, something they’d done countless times the night before. Then why were his palms sweating? And why did it suddenly feel like Tiny Angus was duck walking across his gut? Cole knew the answer, even though he tried his best to push the thought from his mind. This wasn’t just any kiss. It was the kiss to seal their union.
He leaned forward ever so slightly and touched his lips to hers. He only meant for it to be a quick peck, just enough to satisfy the witness’s watchful eyes. But her mouth was so soft, softer than he remembered from the night before, and she tasted so sweet, like vanilla and cherries, and before he even realized it, he was cupping her jaw and deepening their kiss. Her lips parted, inviting him in, and he took full advantage, his tongue sweeping over hers in firm, lush strokes. With a soft moan, her body went lax against his and for a few brief moments, Cole forgot not only where they were, but why.
Elvis cleared his throat in a not-so-subtle reminder. Cole pulled back, and the King nodded his approval. With a curl of his lip, he tossed a white scarf in Olivia’s direction and mumbled a familiar “Thank you, thank you very much.” A track of “Viva Las Vegas” began to play from the speakers and with his cape held aloft to properly display the red, white, and blue eagle bedazzled on the back, their minister made a dramatic exit.
“I guess Elvis has left the building?” Olivia joked.
After a few awkward moments, she asked. “So what now?”
Cole checked his watch. “We better get back to the hotel.” The combined bachelor and bachelorette party for Matthew and Emily was later that night. And even though a loud party was the last thing Cole was in the mood for at the moment, it was, after all, the reason they were in Vegas.
“Oh right, we have that thing tonight.”
“Yeah, the thing.” Jesus, they sounded like a couple of middle school kids having an awkward conversation behind the school cafeteria. Maybe they could spend their honeymoon locked in a closet for a round of Seven Minutes in Heaven.
“Supposed to be the hottest club in town,” Olivia added as they made their way through the chapel doors and into the parking lot.
Cole squinted at the setting sun. “That’s what I heard.”
“So I guess I’ll probably see you there.”
He kicked a piece of gravel with his shoe. “Probably.” Yup, it was exactly like middle school. Only there wouldn’t be Seven Minutes in Heaven or anywhere else for that matter. His new bride had made it very clear that, despite the mind-shattering orgasms he’d given her the night before, she had no desire to consummate their marriage. Then again, she did seem rather invested in that kiss and as much as it pained him to admit it, so was he. Despite her smart mouth and stubborn attitude, the fact remained that he wanted her. In his bed, on her knees, bent over his sofa. Fucking hell right now he’d even settle for the backseat of his rental car. Perhaps she was feeling the same way. And it was their wedding night after all . . .
Cole looked up, hoping to gauge her interest, but it was too late. She was already gone.