Sunday 13 October 2013

Blog Tour - Review and giveaway - Market for Love by Jill Elaine Hughes

Heroine Miranda Johansson has had a very bad day.  The strait-laced, ultraconservative
stock-market analyst in Chicago’s LaSalle Street financial district just lost
eighty-seven million dollars of her clients’ money in a massive stock-market
implosion.  And if that weren’t bad enough, she just had wild, no-holds-barred sex with a complete stranger on her coffee break----and that complete stranger turns out to be her new boss!  

Can Miranda get control of herself without losing her job, and her mind?  Or will
her sexy new boss completely derail her self-discipline, her stock portfolio, and her career?  (Not to mention the sudden intrusion of his manipulative ex-girlfriend---a scheming, ruthless woman who controls half of Wall Street.)

Will Miranda survive the ups and downs of her new love life, which is just as volatile and unpredictable as the market?  Or will her new romance go down the tubes along with the economy?  Only time will tell.

Readers who are down and out about their trashed investment portfolios can pick up a copy of MARKET FOR LOVE and forget all about the economic downturn.  Read the
book, and have a little fun peeking inside the unseen world of the sexy young
investment bankers who’ve been pushed to the edge along with everyone else.

Review by Janeane  - ARC received for honest review

Ever had one of those days?  A career ender?  No light at the end of the work tunnel?

That's the kind of day Miranda has just had.  In a crash on the stock exchange, she has lost $87 million of her clients money.

So what's a girl to do?  Get coffee of course!  Lots of it and strong.  And her is where he day changes. In the coffee shop she has an altercation with the barista, which turns into an altercation with the guy behind her.  The Drop. Dead. Gorgeous guy in line.

Not realising she might have looked a little like this
the sexy stranger offers her the use of his private office to clean herself up.

I have access to a private office suite on this floor, he said, his voice even and businesslike.  Private bathroom, too, which should also have some better facial soap available.  You can clean up, take a breather, whatever you need to do.  Follow me.  Without waiting for Mirandas reply, the man took her by the hand and gently led her across the lobby.  Before Miranda knew what hit her, she was whisked into a small, luxurious office, complete with leather-on-mahogany furniture, Oriental rugs, and a six-foot-high decorative fountain.

The bathrooms over there, the man said, pointing to a doorway just to the right of the fountain.  If theres anything else I can get for you, let me know.

Umm, Miranda mumbled again, and made a beeline for the bath.  Her eyes widened as she closed the heavy paneled door behind her and took in the posh powder room.  Everything was made of marbleeven the ceiling.  The fixtures were spotless polished white porcelain.  On the gleaming countertop was an array of high-end toiletriesand a few brands even the hopeless shopaholic Miranda hadnt heard of.  There was a basket of clean, folded silk-terry washcloths, and another, smaller basket full of cotton balls and cotton swabs. There was even a laundry pen for removing clothing stains, a lint brush, and a miniature fabric steamer. After some consideration, she chose a bottle of astringent and a cotton ball to strip off her ruined makeup. It worked perfectly.  It even helped exfoliate the top layer of her skin, revealing a healthy glow shed never been able to achieve with hundreds of dollars worth of other cleansers.  Miranda made a mental note to pick up a bottle of the stuff next time she was at the mall.  She used the laundry pen to clean the makeup off the collar of her suit, and then applied some moisturizer to her face, dabbing some extra around her eyes in hopes it would help reduce the puffiness all her crying had caused. 

Satisfied with her refreshed appearance, Miranda took a deep breath and headed back out into the tall, super-sexy-yet-anonymous mans private office.
He was waiting for her just outside the bathroom door and when her brown eyes met his blue ones, her stomach did a flip-flop rivaling that of any Olympic diving champion.  Oh! she squealed as her hand jerked itself onto her belly.

Feeling all right? he asked.  I have some antacid in my desk drawer if you need it.

No, umm, thats OK, Miranda replied, her voice still high-pitched and squeaky.  I umm, I just hiccupped, is all.  A lie.  The truth was, this man was making her feelwellquidgy. Quidgy all over, but especially right between her legs. It was a delightful feeling, but a scary one, too.  She decided she needed to thank him, guzzle her giant espresso, and make a graceful exit before anything got out of hand.  I, ahhhh, I really need to get back upstairs.

Suit yourself, the man said.  But youre espressos getting cold.  Youre welcome to have a seat and relax for a few minutes while you finish it.  He indicated one of the heavy leather armchairs, gesturing for her to sit.  Without thinking, Miranda did.  She noticed with surprise that there was a huge fireplace directly across from her chair.  The tall, azure-eyed man flipped a switch, and a blazing fire appeared out of nowhere.

Gas fireplaces are the eighth wonder of the world, he said as he sat down in the leather chair opposite her.  Dont you think?

Umm, was all Miranda could say.  The quidgy feeling that was so delightful in the nether parts of her body had a funny way of paralyzing her from the neck up.  After much concentration, she finally got her jaw and lips to work.  I, umm, never knew this place was here, she stammered.

My company has several floors of offices in this building, the man said.  The management gives me use of this little private hideaway as thanks for all the money I drop here in rent.  I can use it whenever I need some privacy.  He paused, smiled.  Or, when someone I know needs some privacy.

Thats nice, Miranda said, drinking the rest of her espresso in one gulp.  The quintuple dose of caffeine hit her bloodstream like a shot of heroin.  She could almost feel her pupils dilating. 
Are you sure youre all right? the man asked, his turquoise eyes meeting hers.  You seem kind ofagitated.

Thats because I am! she blurted.  The caffeine was working fasttoo fast.  Miranda felt her heart start racing, felt her lips forming words faster than she could think about what they might be.  Ive had such a bad day!  I lost eighty-seven million dollars for my clients just this morning!  Im totally screwed!  Im going to get fired!  I hate myself!  Im .

Whoa! the tall man said, holding up both hands. Slow down.  Like I said back at the coffee shop, ingesting that much caffeine in the space of two minutes isnt good for people your size.  Or to be more specific, very attractive young women of your size.

Are you coming on to me? Miranda sputtered, her mouth going a mile a minute.  Because if you are, you should really stop.  You know why?  Im a walking disaster area.  Thats what my last boyfriend called me when we broke up.  Plus .

The tall mans blue eyes were serious.  Miranda felt them drill into her, felt them penetrate the private, sensual part of herself shed kept carefully locked away ever since her last boyfrienda dry-as-a-bone commodities broker named Paul--had dumped her more than four years before.  And now, the attractive-yet-mysterious man sitting across from her didnt just penetrate that most private part of Mirandas inner being.  He downright melted ithell, vibrated itwith just one ice-blue glance.  

You dont look like a walking disaster area to me, he said. 
But I am!  Didnt you hear what I just said?  My ex-boyfriend called me a walking disaster area, and he was right.  Because only a walking disaster area would lose eighty-seven million dollars of her clients money in the space of fifteen minutes.

The tall mans expression softened.  He loosened his green silk tie, stretched out his legs a little.  If theres one thing Ive learned about the stock market in my career, miss, its that you can often earn money back just as fast as you lose it.  If you know how to play the game.

The mans acute comment caught Miranda off-guard.  I .

I bet your work has something to do with the telecom sector, he said.  The accuracy of his guess shook Miranda to the core.  That areas taken quite a beating this morning, as I understand it.

How did you know?  Mirandas voice trembled, just as she felt her nether parts getting warmer and warmer.

I have a live CNBC feed in my limo, he explained.  Plus, by my calculations, thats the only market sector where its possible for anyone to have lost, say, eighty-seven million dollars from their fund portfolio just this morning.  Am I right?
Miranda nodded, unable to speak.

I bet if you can make even a portion of that money back for your clients by the end of the market day, your boss wont be too upset with you, he went on.  In fact, Im sure of it.

B-but Im an analyst! she protested.  Im not a broker!  I have to do weeks and weeks of research and analysis before I can recommend any stock to my clients.  I cant day-trade!  Its against the rules!

I never said you had to day-trade, the man said, leaning in closer.  Miranda could feel the tiny stirrings in the air between them from his breathing.  Those stirrings excited her.  Excited her a little too much, in fact.

Then what can I do? she sputtered.  The SEC regulations on what analysts can and cannot do are pretty strict, you know.
Im familiar with all the SEC regulations, miss.  I did your job once myself.  What I can tell you--based upon my own past experience as an analystis there is quite a lot you can accomplish in a short period of time if youre creative.

Creative?  Miranda wasnt creative.  Not even close.  She was a right-brained, numbers-obsessed, stock-market-loving bean counter.  That was the whole reason she had gone into finance in the first place instead of say, oil-painting.  Miranda voted Republican, checked her stock portfolio every day, and always wore gray or black pinstriped suits with pantyhose and high heels.  

Umm, she stammered for the umpteenth time that morning.  Im not really--creative.  Im more of a . She trailed off.  Suddenly her tongue felt too large for her mouth.

Its all right, miss, the tall, azure-eyed man said, taking her right hand in his and squeezing it.  We all have bad days in this business.  Goes with the territory.  As long as you can make up some of your losses, Im sure youll be fine.

As long as you can make up some of your losses.  He made it sound so easy. 
But it wasnt.  Anyone whod ever invested a dime in the stock market could tell her that.  Well, um, I guess I should really be going! Miranda stood up, looking right and left for a wastebasket where she could toss her empty espresso cup. 

Ill take that, the tall man said, standing up.  He reached for the empty, and their hands touched again.  Miranda felt a bolt of lightning streak right through her body as his skin grazed hers. Shed never felt these kinds of sensations before.  Not with Paul. Not even with her old college boyfriend Bradley--the man to whom shed given her precious virginity. Not with anyone. 
The entire lower half of Mirandas body was in flames. 
Her nipples had gone rock-hard, and the space between her thighs was slick as melted butter.  Her head throbbed, and her lips, teeth, and tongue screamed for the feel of his mouth on hers.
What the hell was going on?

Miranda felt her cheeks flush.  How could this be happening?  She was a prim, proper, and very strait-laced woman.  She didnt go throwing herself with wild abandon at total strangers--let alone total strangers shed met while on what was supposed to be a five-minute coffee break from work.  And yet, her body was telling her that throwing herself at this nameless man with wild abandon was exactly what she had to do, right now, just to stay alive, just to keep breathing.

 Without giving the matter another thought, Miranda leaned forward and kissed the tall, generous, anonymous mans lips.  And it wasnt just any kiss, either.  It was a grab-his-ass, stick-her-tongue-halfway-down-his-throat kind of kiss. It was a kind of kiss Miranda hadnt known she was capable of giving anyone--let alone a man shed met less than ten minutes ago, a man whose name she still didnt know. 
A man who was kissing her back with as much gusto as she was kissing him.

Miranda has always been the prim and proper looking librarian type, boring suits and hair in a bun.  But not today.  What can it matter,  things can't get worse, right??  And all that coffee - I am sure I would have been all over the place drinking what she did
 Max has been in the background of his father's business since things went south while he was in his teens.  Today is the day he takes control again.  He has made some choices in the past that are still haunting him to this day, personally and professionally.
When an offer to use his office to clean herself up turns into something a lot more steamy, who is he to say no?  He has always got what he wanted, and this is no different.  But after the most earth-shattering sex of his life, things are about to change.

When Miranda realises that the sexy stranger is her new boss, she turns cold and professional with him.  Or tries.  I like that she is a Wall Street hard arse analyst, but when it comes to Max, she gets all flustered and acts like a teenager with a crush.

I love that we see the softer side of her, and she becomes more human.  She is attracted to Max, she wants him but knows professionally she can't have him.
Max is all alpha male, but does not know what to do when Miranda fights their attraction.
Add to the mix a vindictive ex and her family (seriously f&*ked up family there!!), a Wall Street scandal, hostile takeovers and a sexy as all hell couple and what you get is a great read.  
Market for Love had me hooked from the first chapter and I did not put it down until I had finished. 

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