Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
The CEO Buys In (Wager of Hearts #1) by Nancy Herkness takes the familiar trope of the semi-emotional scarred billionaire hero who hooks up with the, dedicated and sweet "living paycheck to paycheck" heroine, and give it a unique premise. This premise that kept me interested is because of the first chapter. The hero Nathan is at his rich man's club (reminds me of a scene from a regency historical romance novel where the titled hero ends up at White's) drinking away his sorrows. The woman he was involved with, and whom he was thinking of marrying (not because he was head over heels in love with her, but she suited his needs as the right type of woman), is a con. She targeted him because of his fortune and role as a CEO of his company. While he's there, two other man chat him up. One is a best selling author, who currently has a major case of writer's block, and the other a famous NFL football star. They lament on their lacking love lives. Nathan doesn't believe in love. So they make a bet. They have a year to fall in love. Whoever is the last man standing without the love of their life, loses something big they own. This has a feel of a historical romance novel all the way with the whole, you must find your bride in a year or you'll lose everything you ever wanted. Nathan goes along with it because he's bored, or maybe it's because he's drunk?
There's Chloe, the office temp, who lives with her beloved grandmother, Grandmillie. She owes so much to her grandmother, who is getting on in her years. As a temp, Chloe makes very little, refusing to get a full time job at any big time corporations where she could have stability and more money because of her father who was wronged by the company he worked for. On the first day of her new temp job at Nathan's company, she given a raise of sorts. Nathan needs a temporary secretary/assistant for a few days. Chloe is wary working for the big man of the company, but still accepts the job. In the beginning both Nathan and Chloe don't have a real opinion about one another. But then Nathan falls ill- he has the flu, and Chloe is forced to work with him at his apartment because she soothes him while he's really sick. Eventually he recovers, and he begins to see Chloe in a new light, which means sparks flying, attraction building, and a passionate romance that may or may not have an end date.
The CEO Buys In should appeal to fans of contemporary romance with rich heroes like Nathan. He's not too douchey, and for the most part very sweet to Chloe as soon as he realizes she's something special. He does wine and dine her abd gives her nice things, but Chloe is there to give him a reality check. Like most romance heroines, she's not wowed by his money and the things he can do for her. She knows her place as an administrative assistant who is barely straddling the middle class with a grandmother who needs special medical attention that Chloe can't afford. She's the voice of reason, while Nathan is more of a, let's go with the flow, type of guy. Chloe surrenders to a point when it comes to the physical end of their relationship (Nathan gives new mean to the mile high club for Chloe in his private plane). These two are more analytical than spur of the moment type of people, unless it comes to sex.
There is the typical misunderstanding that arises near the end to create drama for Nathan and Chloe. The way it's fixed is pretty typical in a romance like this. But at least we get to see what Nathan was willing to sacrifice for his shot at falling in love.
The CEO Buys In is a solid romance with an overall nice couple, and some enjoyable love scenes.