Book Review: Managed by Kristen Callihan

Title: Managed (VIP #2)
Author: Kristen Callihan @Kris10Callihan
Reviewer: Ivy @PoisonIvy70
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 344 pages
Rating: 4.75 Stars


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 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.

Ivy's review

The Good

-The setup was so fun. Sophie and Gabriel meet with Sophie’s upgraded to first class for that long flight to London to meet a potential employer and Gabriel is on his way to meet up with the rock band he manages, Kill John. The teasing and bickering captured my attention from the very first moment and there’s enough sexual tension as a lovely undertone to it all that kept me turning that page. Gabriel’s a bit of a stuffed shirt, very buttoned up with some dark edges, just the type of hero you want to see get all mussed up. Sophie’s a bit flighty and fun, with her own dark past that is just the first of several obstacles these two need to traverse on their way to a HEA.

-Excellent Firsts. I’m a big believer in how crucial the Firsts (meet, kiss, love scene) are to a romance. Ms. Callihan handled each one with skill and wit and I was completely on board with Gabriel and Sophie. The time and care spent in giving both of them their own voice was apparent and I’m definitely adding Gabriel to the “bespoke heroes” section of my book-boyfriend stable.

-Fantastic chemistry. That chemistry is strong and just keeps building throughout the story. I love that their attention never wavers, that they’re completely drawn to each other and unable to fight that longing, even when everyone in the room (and probably on Mars) can tell they’re just inevitable. Which is good, because ….

-Slow burning. Damn if Ms. Callihan doesn’t like drawing on that tension until you’re tighter than a new pair of boots. When they finally get to that moment, you can’t help but sigh and say finally. Considering I like that touch of pain, I’m a big fan of the slow burn. It makes that payoff that much sweeter, as long as it’s done as well as it’s done here. That said…

-That final obstacle. Once they come together (heh), I think the story needed a bit more time to delve in Gabriel and Sophie’s individual issues. Any longtime reader will know what this final obstacle will eventually be, but it’s the blowout that follows that exposes some deep issues that aren’t quite addressed as much as I’d like by the end.

-So fun. Taking all this into account, the numerous pros far outweigh any cons as far as I’m concerned. The writing, the banter and the tension made this one of my favorites this year.

The Bottom Line

I really, really enjoyed Gabriel and Sophie’s slow burning romance, even if I would have loved to see just a bit more time spent in dealing with some outstanding emotional issues for both. I’m truly looking forward to who’s up next for the Kill John crew.

– Ivy


Book 1, Idol: Amazon USAmazon UK
Book 2, Managed: Amazon USAmazon UK

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