RATING: BUY IT
A few weeks ago, I was searching through my Kindle Unlimited history looking for a book for a friend. I couldn’t remember the name, so I went back to the beginning of my KU membership, July 2015, and started from there. It wasn’t the book that I was looking for, but I came across The CEO Buys In (Wager of Hearts Book 1) by Nancy Herkness. I recalled how much I enjoyed the first book and clicked to see if the rest of the series had come out. Imagine my surprise and joy to see that Book 2 in the series, The All-Star Antes Up, was coming out in only a few weeks.
Fast forward to last week and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I posted a link to the book in KUbbies’ Korner. I was curious if anyone else in the group had read it and if it was as good as I remembered. The response was an emphatic, “YES!” Many of the responses were similar to my own – we all remembered it fondly and were ecstatic that Book 2 was coming out. Some didn’t know it was coming out and were thankful for the reminder. Yet others, changed their weekend plans to re-read Book 1 to prepare for Book 2’s release. And, even those that hadn’t read it, inspired by the responses, downloaded it that night.
Given the response, and the long Memorial Day weekend ahead, I reached out to Ms. Herkness to inquire if she was releasing any ARCs and to let her know about the warm responses in the group. She was absolutely lovely! She sent over an ARC and then connected with the KUbbies on the thread.
I started The All-Star Antes Up Saturday morning and finished it late that afternoon. I simply did not want to put it down. This might sound odd or even boring to say, but the writing is just so solid and so good, it’s no wonder Book 1 stayed with me as long as it has.
The series, Wager of Hearts, is about three powerful men that have succeeded in every area of their lives, but one – love. Late one night, they meet each other at an exclusive, members-only club and concoct a wager to find that love. The All-Star Antes Up is the story of Luke + Miranda. Luke is the hottest quarterback in the league and Miranda is a high-end concierge at Luke’s condo building. While the entire book takes place over a very short two-week period of time, the build-up and the development of the story are simply wonderful. The characters and back-story are beautifully fleshed out and you never once feel a hint of anything less than plausible. Their feelings, emotions and desires are spot on and the chemistry between the two is off the charts. Oh, and so is the sex! One word: H. O. T.
Regular readers of the blog know how often I remark about my less-than-remarkable memory, so I purposefully did not re-read The CEO Buys In prior to picking up The All-Star Antes Up. I wanted to read it as someone who had not read the first book and I can absolutely say with confidence that it reads as a standalone. However, be prepared to turn right around and jump into The CEO Buys In – that’s exactly what I did.
As as side note, Ms. Herkness let us know in KUbbies’ Korner that the third book in the series will be out next spring. And, she has plans for a fourth book, a Christmas novella slated to release this year, set in the same world.