The V Card by Lauren Blakely and Lili Valente | Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Synopsis

When you think about how easy it is to lose keys, phones, sunglasses and your dignity on social media, you might figure it'd be a cinch for me to ditch my V Card.


You'd be wrong.


At 25, I run a successful business, live in a fantastic apartment, and have fabulous friends to go out with any night of the week. And yet I'm still a card-carrying member of a club I don't want to belong to anymore. Good thing I know just the man for the deflowering job—my brother’s business partner and best friend.


Graham Campbell is charming, smart, and, I’m told, oh-so-skilled in the sack. As long as I keep my eyes on the prize, there’s no way this pluck-the-flower project could possibly complicate matters.


***


Work and pleasure. As the CEO of a fast-growing company, I've been enjoying both to the fullest. What do I do when the board throws me for an unexpected loop so I can keep my business in my hands? I enlist the help of my best friend's little sister since she holds a big stake in the company. But then I learn there's another big stake she wants.


The one between my legs.


I can do this. Seven nights to teach her everything I know in the bedroom. There's no way I'll fall for her, even though she’s earning top grades in every single sinfully sexy lesson. And turns out I’m learning something too. The trouble is I don’t have the answer key to what to do when I fall hard for her. And that throws a whole new hitch in my plans.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The V Card | REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY 

by Lauren Blakely & Lili Valente 

The V Card showcases a seamless blending of the writing styles of two authors known for their tempting and hilarious novels. This story is filled with humor, and heart, with little drama and lots of steam. A perfect read if you're looking to laugh, swoon, and fall in love. Since one of the characters loves making lists, let me share my own list as to why this book was a hit for me:

Reasons Why I Loved The V Card

1. Brother's Best Friend, Friends to Lovers romance

Graham Campbell, the CEO of lingerie company Adored, was the best friend of CJ's brother Sean. They grew up together, started the company together, and were the thickest of thieves until Sean passed away. With the loss of CJ's brother and Graham's best friend, they gave their time and support to each other, eventually becoming closer than when they were young. You know Graham is never going to hurt CJ intentionally, and the love is already there between them; it just wasn't romantic before, at least not on Graham's part. I love seeing friends become more, because there's already a strong foundation and some pretty strong affection between them.

2. The pacing of the story

A 7-day tryst is a recipe for an insta-love story, but it never felt that way when I was reading The V Card. From the start of the story, you can easily tell how close CJ and Graham are and how long they've known each other, so it was easy to get swept into the romance. They didn't jump head first into falling in love but waded their way into it with their sexual and non-sexual bonding moments. 

3. Perfect balance of sweet and sexy

You'd think this would be more focused on the sex, since the story is about Graham teaching CJ about it, but this book has its fair share of swoon-worthy and adorable moments between Graham and CJ. Even during their trysts, you can feel their bond and care for each other. How easy it is for them to laugh and talk about everything. I love it.

4. Caroline Jessica "CJ" Murphy

I love her. Absolutely adore her. CJ confident, sweet, caring, and has a great sense of humor. I love her shirts, quirky accessories, her own sense of style. I've read contemporary romance books where the virgin heroine is too innocent and clueless at 25 and will only become something more when she finally meets a man. CJ is nothing like that. She's inquisitive, a go-getter, and comfortable in her own skin. Plus, I love how much she loves her—and her brother's—cat, Stephen King.

5. Graham Campbell

Another hero to swoon over! Graham is a man who, as Drake says, "started from the bottom now we here". This man has been married to his job for a long time, but you know it's not about the money. He's passionate about his business, his products, and women. It's not a secret that Graham was a bit of a womanizer, but he's not disrespectful and misogynistic about it, pretty similar to Lauren Blakely's heroes. Plus, his affection for CJ is so authentic and adorable, gah. GAH. Then when the romantic feels comes pouring in, GAHHHH. I am a pile of mush. And the thing he did before the happy ending. Ahhhh. I had a stupid grin on my face during a special moment at the arena. 

"She's taught me something so much more vital than what I've shown her. She's taught me how it feels to fall in love."

Kudos to Lauren Blakely and Lili Valente for giving me—and I suspect, a lot of people—something I didn't know I wanted, a fantastic collaboration! I loved both their works and was more than pleased with The V Card. I'm afraid I'm spoiled now, so pretty please, with a cherry on top, won't the two of you write together again?

Tropes: Brother's Best Friend, Virgin Heroine, Childhood Friends, Friends to Lovers
POV: First Person, Dual POV
Standalone: Yes

EXCERPT

As we settle in, the busboy brings the waters, and I cut to the chase. “So, I hate to crash the Sunday Funday vibe, but I invited you to brunch with an ulterior motive. I need a favor.”

She spreads her napkin on her lap with a raised brow. “What kind of favor?”

“I need you at next Monday’s board meeting. As you know, we lost an important account last month when Beaux Rêves in Paris went with a cheaper option. Obviously, they aren’t our only account, not by a long shot. But given how volatile the industry has been lately, I need to make it crystal clear to the shareholders that selling isn’t the right path. With the number of mergers and acquisitions going on, they’re seeing dollar signs, but quick money isn’t the answer. That’s where you come in.”

“You want them to hear from me because of my shares?” she asks, her brow furrowing. “We don’t have anything close to a majority.”

Though CJ inherited Sean’s share of the business when he passed away, that’s not why I need her at the meeting. CJ has a way of putting people at ease, of winning their trust and confidence. She’s a successful business owner in her own right—her accessories company Love Cycle Creations is growing by leaps and bounds every year. Plus, she was courted early on by an accessories conglomerate and she declined—totally the right call, as her company is now a rising star in her field.

I nod. “Of course, but that’s not the only reason. I need to convince them that now is not the time to explore getting into bed with a huge multinational retailer. And to do that, it’ll help to hear from someone with an insider’s stock holdings and an outsider’s perspective. I want them to hear from you in particular since you went through something so similar with Love Cycle.”

“On a much smaller scale, though. My company is tiny compared to Adored.”

“Size doesn’t matter.” I pause to wiggle an eyebrow for effect. “Well, in this case.”

A faint blush spreads on her cheeks. “You and the innuendo.”

“I do love innuendo. I also love Adored. That’s why I want to keep it the way it is—growing, profitable, and independent. I don’t want it swallowed by some faceless corporate giant.” A smile teases her lips for a moment and then disappears. I can’t read her at all, so I’m on the edge of my seat, waiting for an answer. “Please, CJ,” I add when she stays silent for a long beat. “I need you.”

“You need me,” she echoes, her brow smoothing as she sighs. She takes a drink of water, sets down her glass, and runs the tip of her tongue across her lips.

I watch her tongue move, wondering why I’ve never noticed how amazing her mouth is. She has the bee-stung lips of a cover girl, in a shade of pink so deep it brings to mind flushed, hot, intimate things.

Things I should be thinking of in her presence.

In anyone’s presence.

Resist, Campbell, resist…

Finally, just as I’m gearing up to beg, she looks up, a mysterious smile curving her lips. “I know exactly what you need, Graham.”

Damn, that sounded…naughty.

I reach for my water glass, needing something to cool me down since innocent words from a woman I’ve known forever are sending my thoughts straight into the gutter.

“But before I agree to your request,” she adds, her fingers drumming lightly on the white tablecloth, “I need something from you, too. Something I’ve been thinking long and hard about. Very long. And very hard.” Her eyes meet mine, trouble flickering in her gaze.

Glass halfway to my lips, I freeze.

Christ. Who the hell is this sexy-as-sin woman, and what has she done with CJ?

giveaway

✮✮✮ENTER TO WIN THIS AMAZING THE V CARD GIVEAWAY!✮✮✮

EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR A HOT DATE! AN ADORABLE KATE SPADE HAND BAG TO CARRY THE ESSENTIALS NEEDED FOR DATE NIGHT ($179), A $75 GIFT CARD TO THE RESTAURANT OF YOUR CHOICE, AND A $50 GIFT CARD TO YOUR FAVORITE LINGERIE SHOP TO HEAT THINGS UP AFTER DINNER!

HTTPS://LAURENBLAKELY.COM/EVERYTHING-NEED-HOT-DATE/

About Lauren Blakely

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she's sold more than 2 million books. In October she'll release HARD WOOD, a sexy, standalone romantic comedy.

Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone romantic comedies like BIG ROCK, MISTER O and WELL HUNG, which were instant New York Times Bestsellers. In the fall she'll release THE SEXY ONE, a swoony contemporary romance.

About Lili Valente

USA Today bestselling author Lili Valente writes both naughty things and funny things (that are also naughty). She has slept under the stars in Greece, eaten dinner at midnight with French men who couldn’t be trusted to keep their mouths on their food, and walked alone through Munich’s red light district after dark and lived to tell the tale.

These days you can find her writing in a tent beside the sea, drinking coconut water and thinking delightfully dirty thoughts.

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