Release Blitz, Excerpt, and ARC Review: Managed (VIP, #2) by Kristen Callihan

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Blurb

It 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…

Find Managed on Goodreads

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Review

4.5 stars!

Idol is one of my favourite reads of the year – an epic rockstar romance that truly rocked my world – and I have been so excited for this follow up. Managed is the second book in the VIP series and from the very first page, I was sucked into this story. It’s funny, sexy and dramatic with an intense love story – a deliciously slow burning romance with epic banter, chemistry and sexual tension – and I loved it!

Gabriel Scott is the Manager of the hottest rock band in the world, Kill John. Scottie is a legend in the industry and he lives up to every part of his arrogant, levelheaded and controlled façade.

Gabriel Scott might know everything about everyone under his management, but to them he’s the unapproachable shadow in the corner of the room. He likes it that way.

Sophie is Gabriel’s complete opposite. Loud, hilarious, open and free-spirited, she is flying to London for a job interview when she unexpectedly finds herself in first class, sitting next to the hottest man she’s ever seen. She has no idea who he is, but for the hours that they are trapped together she barely shuts her inappropriate mouth. Gabriel is gobsmacked by the crazed woman beside him, though there is a definite attraction there, and from that very first moment the stage is set and the banter flies!

“You think if you sit there, looking petrified and tense, I’ll offer a blowjob to distract you from it all.”
My humiliation comes to a screeching halt upon hearing the word blowjob. “What?”
“Well, it’s not going to happen.”
Ignore the cock. Ignore him. He’s an idiot. Focus on the problem at hand. “You are deranged. Completely deranged.”

When Sophie ends up working on Kill John’s European tour, an unlikely friendship develops between her and Gabriel. They tease and banter, and each and every interaction is loaded with UST as they battle their attraction to each other. The whole book is a delicious slow burn and the chemistry is palpable. It’s chapters and chapters of foreplay, and it’s so freaking good!

“You what?” he asks, his eyes gleaming with mirth. “Thought I was a virgin?”
“No.” I kick his foot lightly. “No. I just…Gah! You said
fuck , and it got me thinking about it.”
“Fucking?” he asks, grinning wide enough to flash his white teeth.
I look away so I can’t be charmed any further. “I hate you.”
“No, you don’t,” he teases in a tone so unlike him – so like
me – that I meet his gaze.
“No, I don’t,” I agree quietly.

Sophie is a breath of fresh air in Gabriel’s life and every little moment between them had me squeeing with glee and bouncing up and down in anticipation of the inevitable as they get closer and closer to crossing that line.

The bed creaks as he eases closer. And then I feel it.
Oh, fucking hell. Just no. He can’t do this to me.
It’s big, it’s hard, and it’s nudging my ass.
We both freeze. Well, Gabriel freezes. His dick? It nudges me again, that blunt head pushing into the small of my back as if to say hello.
“Involuntary reaction,” Gabriel says in a strangled voice. “Ignore it.”
His hard-on says otherwise.
I swallow with difficulty. “Your hard dick is poking me in the ass. I can no more ignore it than if you slapped me in the face with it.”
He stills, a sound gurgling in his throat. I’m about to apologize for being so crude, when he bursts out laughing.

God, I LOVED seeing the man behind the façade. There are reasons why Gabriel is the way he is, but he experiences a freedom with Sophie that he hasn’t felt with anybody before. And with her, his walls slowly crumble as the control freak loses all control.

This isn’t solely about sex; if it was, I’d have fucked her already. This is uncomfortably more.
I have never experienced intimacy. I did not know how good it felt to simply be with someone and let everything else melt away. The world can fuck off when I’m with Sophie Darling. There is only us. I don’t have to be anyone else but Gabriel.

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Dangerously sexy and surprisingly swoony, Gabriel reveals himself to be a deeply emotional man who doesn’t hold anything back from the woman who he has fallen so madly in love with, and it’s absolutely beautiful to see!

“I wasn’t prepared to need you this much. I don’t know who I am anymore if you aren’t with me.”

And when it all finally happens, it’s so worth the wait. Gabriel and Sophie together are a force of nature. The sexy time is absolutely sizzling, and the emotional connection between them only intensifies as they give into to everything that is between them.

“You should know, I can’t be a fling. Not with you. If you want me, you have to be all in.”
A frown knots his brows, and when he speaks, his voice is a rasp. “I’ve lived my whole life denying myself what I truly want. And yet I cannot turn from you. Haven’t you realized it yet? I am yours. I will always be yours, whether I touch you or not.”

But can these two opposites make something lasting? Especially when the past and outside influences encroach on their newfound closeness. There’s drama to overcome, but Kristen Callihan balances it all perfectly so that it doesn’t overpower the story, but instead uses it to enable some self-discovery and character development that leads to a beautiful ending for the characters.

Christ Almighty, give me strength to let her go, or let me do her right.

Gabriel and Sophie owned me throughout this book, but just as awesome was the inclusion of the band and dynamics between the boys. This is a fantastic bunch of characters, and not only do we get the opportunity to catch up with Killian and Libby, but seeing all of the boys interact, tease and banter was absolutely sensational – and also ties in really well with Gabriel’s journey. I honestly cannot wait to read more about each of the guys.

I loved this book. It’s laugh-out-loud funny with lots of emotion and an absolutely beautiful love story. The dual POV is spot-on, and I loved every moment of Gabriel and Sophie’s journey.

Fantastic – 4.5 stars.

Advanced Reader Copy generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

VIP Series

Idol  managed  Cover Coming Soon - 80

Idol (#1) (Killian & Libby)
Review
Buy:  Kindle Ebook | Paperback

Managed (#2) (Scottie)
Review
Buy: Kindle Ebook | iBooks | B&N | Paperback

Untitled (#3) (Jax)
Releasing – TBD

 


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.”

 


About the Author

Kristen CallihanKristen 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.

 

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