Hard Sell


An Amazon Best Book of the Month

21 Wall Street, Book Two

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+ book summary

He’s a Wall Street wolf. She’s been hired to tame him. From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes a wildly sexy novel of business and pleasure.

Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.

For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have an explosive history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse—she can’t stop thinking about him. So who’ll dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.

+ excerpt

I narrow my eyes, because there’s something just beyond the usual stubborn determinedness in her eyes. Something . . .

She starts to move away, and I grab her arm as I realize what that something is. “You’re scared.”

Sabrina scoffs. “Of what?”

I have no idea, but I do know her well enough to know what’ll spur her into action—the action I want.

I lean forward slightly. “You’re terrified that you can’t do it. That you can’t pretend we’re a couple without wanting it for real.”

This time I get a snort. “Reverse psychology? Really?”

I give her a slow, taunting smile. “Prove it. Prove that you’re not completely terrified you’ll fall in love with me.”

“Oh my God,” she says on a laugh, tugging her arm free. “That’s so not going to work on me.”

I shrug, letting my expression go deliberately skeptical as I sip my drink.

The silence stretches on, and she lets out an indignant huff. “You’re not that irresistible, you know. This whole I can’t break the little lady’s heart routine is a bit nauseating.”

I ignore this and go to her fridge, even though I’m not hungry. “Got anything to eat?”

Exactly as I expect, Sabrina stomps toward me, slaps her palm against the fridge door, and glares up at me. “You’re the last person I’d ever fall in love with.”

“Have you ever been in love?” I ask, a little curious.

“Of course not,” she says.

“You don’t believe in it?”

She bites her lip, as though unsure of her response. “Not lasting romantic love like you see in the movies, no.”


“Why is that excellent?”

“Because it means there should be no problem with you posing as my girlfriend.”

She laughs a little and rests the side of her head against the fridge. “You’re relentless.”

“And you’re stubborn. Seriously, though . . . What are you so afraid of?” I ask it quietly.

For a moment, her expression’s unreadable. Then she gives a slow smile and leans in slightly. “You know, for someone so decidedly antirelationship, you’re pretty obsessed with the idea of my falling for you.”

She’s clearly not going to answer my question, and I shove aside my disappointment. Figuring out what the hell makes Sabrina tick was never going to be easy. I’ve always known that.

“What can I say, the apocalypse fascinates me.” I lean a shoulder against the fridge, mirroring her posture.

“At least you acknowledge that it’ll be the end of the world before I feel anything other than tolerant loathing for you.”

“Or I you,” I say, lifting my glass in a toast.

She clinks her glass to mine, even as she frowns, a tiny line appearing between her dark eyebrows. “You really think I can’t do it? Spend a month as your companion without falling all over myself?”

I push away from the refrigerator and go to the counter, setting aside my drink. “Doesn’t matter what I think.”

She follows me, fingers wrapping around my wrist. “Could you do it?”

“Do what?”

“Spend an entire month in my company without falling for my charms.” She says it mockingly, but the question is clearly a challenge.

I’ve never been good at backing down from a challenge, and one issued by her? Forget it.

“I think I’d manage.”

“You know,” she says, studying my face, “you’ve got me thinking.”

“Dangerous,” I mutter.

“Perhaps this could be good for us.”

My heart tightens in my chest as I realize that she’s actually considering going along with my plan. “Yeah?”

Sabrina nods. “This weird thing between us . . . the fact that we can’t coexist without tearing each other down or tearing off each other’s clothes—”

“For the record, I’m always a fan of the last one.”

+ praise

“Lauren Layne is working her strengths; she writes excellent friendships, new relationships and weaves them with situations that work. If she were a Stock on the Exchange, I would tell my broker to buy.” - Wendy, The Star Angels Reviews

“The connection between Matt and Sabrina jumped off the pages and the sexy scenes were HOT!” - Stacey is Sassy

“Hard sell is a bit slow burn but the chemistry between the characters is so strong, I was unable to put it down. Hard Sell was an enjoyable read. It was funny, it was hot, exciting and overall an awesome read.” - Vini, Goodreads

“Really adorable romance. Funny, sparky, sexy, cute! I really enjoyed reading it!” - BJ’s Book Blog

“I was sucked into this book immediately and was dying with laughter as I read the banter between Matt and Sabrina. The chemistry between them was off the charts!” - Ari, The Romance Corner Blog

“Lauren Layne, you're brilliant! I love you for writing such an amazing story! It's smart, funny and complex. I loved it will all my heart, as I knew I would.” - My Pink Fairytales

“Hard Sell did not disappoint.The characters were layered and so endearing. The plot was perfectly set up and I just could not stop reading!” Manon, Goodreads

“Hard Sell is a smart, sexy love story that set my heart to fluttering like crazy, and had me smiling so big. Seriously, the star rating on this one is directly reflective of the amount of time this book kept me smiling. I loved it. This story just got me, right in the feels, in the very best way. Definitely do not skip this one!” - Shelly, Bookgasms Book Blog

“Miss Layne is quickly becoming one of my favorite romance authors. I know her characters are always going to be fully developed and the plot well paced. Thoroughly enjoyed!” - Kimberly, Goodreads