Exclusive Excerpt: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Posted May 22, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Book Tour, Excerpt, Giveaways / 15 Comments

Exclusive Excerpt: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Exclusive Excerpt: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

“Dude.” Matt slows to an easy jog beside me. “When you asked if I wanted to go for a run, you could have mentioned you were trying to set an Olympic record.”

“You’ve done four Ironmans,” I point out, catching my breath.

“Exactly. Because I like the swimming and biking. If I liked the running part, I’d do a marathon like Prefontaine up there.

I slow my cool-down jog all the way to a walk. “Hey, Kennedy,” I call out. “Slow your roll.”

My other best friend doesn’t glance back, but I know he hears me because he slows his damn sprint pace to a walk, then stops and waits for Matt and me to catch up.

Kennedy’s not even breathing slightly hard, damn the man. We’re all in good shape, but of the three of us, Kennedy’s the runner. Matt’s all about the competition, and me . . . well, to be honest, I just like a good old-fashioned gym session, preferably with a hot female trainer.

Today, though, I’d talked the guys into a run with me. I see them enough around the office, but today I need them as friends not coworkers.

And there are no better friends than these two.

Matt Cannon, Kennedy Dawson, and I all came up with one another at Wolfe. We started the same year and worked the bullpen together, even as we were competitors. Investment brokerage is an up-or-out business—you either make it to the next level, burn out, or are pushed out.

All three of us had made it. We’re competitors still, fighting for the same clients, the same accounts, but friends in spite of it. Hell, maybe friends because of it. All of us are fighters in our own way.

Matt drops into a stretch. “For real, what was with the double-time sprinting?” he asks me.

“If the SEC were on your ass, you’d be running, too,” Kennedy says.

“I was running.”

“Could have fooled me,” Kennedy says, leaning against the railing along the Hudson, looking every bit as polished after a five-mile run as he does in the office.

Matt shoots Kennedy the bird, then turns his attention back to me. “So what’s our plan? How do we clear your name?”

See that? Loyalty. Told you these guys were solid. Not once since this went down have they thought or implied I was guilty of anything other than bad luck.

I brace on the railing and, dipping my chin to my chest, take a deep breath. “I don’t know, man.”

“Who’s your lawyer?” Kennedy asks.

“Dunno yet.”

“Damn it, Ian. You need a lawyer.”

I look up in irritation. “Yeah, thanks for the brilliant words of wisdom, Dad. I said I didn’t know yet, not that I wasn’t going to get one.”

“You found out about the investigation on Monday. Today’s Thursday. What have you been doing if not lawyering up?”

“Flirting with the SEC,” Matt chimes in.

Kennedy snarls, “What?”

Matt gives me a grin as I glare at him. “Kate filled me in. Dude, you bought her a Frappuccino? That was your grand plan?”

Kennedy braces both hands on his thick head of hair and turns in an agitated circle.

“We got off on the wrong foot. I was trying to make amends,” I say, defending myself as we start walking back toward our respective apartments.

“Bull,” Matt says. “You were trying to use the infamous Ian charm on her in hopes she’d go easy on your case.”

Kennedy’s arms drop. “Tell me he’s joking. Tell me there’s another explanation for why you haven’t made time to find a lawyer that doesn’t involve bringing the SEC whipped-cream concoctions.”

“In Ian’s defense, whipped cream has led me to many an interesting encounter with women,” Matt says, lifting his hands above his head in a stretch.

Damn it. Now a vision of Lara McKenzie wearing only whipped cream and her librarian glasses has me biting back a groan.

“Grandpa here’s right, though, about you needing a lawyer ASAP,” Matt says, his face turning serious. “Kate’s looked up every detail there is to know about this woman. She’s good. Doesn’t lose cases, doesn’t miss a beat, doesn’t screw up on a technicality. Doesn’t back down. Ever.”

“Sounds like someone we know,” Kennedy says with a pointed look in my direction.

“Right, because you two are so easygoing,” I snap, losing patience with the lecture. “Look, I’m working on it.”

“Work harder. McKenzie will send you to jail if she can, man.”

 

Title: Hot Asset
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: 21 Wall Street
 
Summary
 

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

 
About the Author

Lauren Layne, a former e-commerce and web marketing manager, moved from Seattle to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. Her first book was published in the summer of 2013, and since then, she’s written more than two dozen romantic comedies, hitting the New York Times, USA Today, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists. She currently lives in New York City with her husband.
 
Social Media Hits
 

 

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • I keep seeing this one around

    • I’ve seen a couple good reviews on it, too. 🙂

  • another Layne book oh gosh I forgot about this need it now

  • That sounds like it would be a good one.

    • I think so, too. A couple reviews have really made me want it even more.

  • I think I would enjoy this one. I will have to grab it 🙂

    • Yeah, the insider trade crime part is not something I read about much so I’m intrigued for that kind of suspense paired with office romance.

  • Hehehehe. Love the bro talk. I probably couldn’t ever read this book though, because one of the men has my dad’s name. LOL. Happy reading, Sophia!

    Have a lovely day. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Haha! I had the same problem with a different book. The heroine was Megan and the hero Ryan….the names of my oldest and youngest kids. It just felt so wrong reading that book.

      • Oooh, no, no, that would definitely be a weird one, for sure. LOL

    • Yeah, that would dampen one’s enthusiasm in a romance. I don’t think about it with my dad or my husband or even myself since we all have such common names that it seems at least one book a month is like that for me.

      Enjoy the rest of your week, Alyssa! 🙂

  • Just love that cover! She’s such a fun author, too 🙂

    • He does look mischievous. I still need to read one of her books. I have one on my Kindle waiting for me (of course). LOL

  • I just adored this book, and that a great excerpt too!