Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Virtually Impossible by Lauren Stewart

Title: Virtually Impossible
Author: Lauren Stewart
My Rating: A

Genre: New Adult Romance 
Series: Once and Forever #2
Main Characters: Andi and Hayden
Release Date: July 2016
Publisher: Off the Hook Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot




Story Overview:
Fairy tales aren’t real…but love is.

Sara has a kick-ass life—loyal friends, a house in San Francisco, and an amazing job as a virtual assistant. It's perfect…except that Sara doesn’t actually exist. She’s just a borrowed name that Andi Clark hides behind. Using a fake identity lets Andi stay safely shielded behind the screen of her computer and concealed from the real world. With her history, pretending to be someone she’s not is the only way Andi can make up for the mistakes of her past. Not exactly ideal, but hey, no one’s life is perfect.

Actually...

Hayden Bennett’s life is pretty damn perfect. He’s married to a beautiful woman, lives in a luxury apartment, and is prepped to take over the multi-million dollar company his father built. Perfect...except that his wife is madly in love with someone else, his career is meaningless, and he’s forgotten how to live, let alone be happy. But when Hayden hires a new virtual assistant named Sara, her sharp wit and intelligence leaves him wanting something more. Something real. Something incredible.

Two people need to wake up to understand how perfect they are...for each other. If they can't, any chance either of them have of finding a happily ever after will be virtually impossible. 


My Review:
A virtual assistant...I've never heard of such a thing, but I guess it's the same thing we authors do with personal assistants who work via computer. But that is the set up for this book. Andi is a virtual assistant. Right now she's working for Hayden, although he and none of her other clients actually know who she is because she couldn't do her job if she used her real identity. An identity which isn't allowed to use computers since she admitted to committing a crime when she was a naive 18 yo.

So Andi hides behind her computer screen and fake identity to do her job...until Hayden messes with her careful balance.

Hayden has his own walls which keep him safe from the world. He learned way early in life that he had to protect his emotions, so he doesn't feel anything...until Andi, who he knows as Sara.

This book was so good. I loved Andi's back-story and could totally see how that could happen, although I don't see how she could actually function in today's world without computer access. I really did love her character, and how she knows that everything that's going on both with Hayden and with her job is probably going to come back and bite her. She's not a person meant to live behind a glass wall (like in the fairy tale.) That's just not her personality. I love also that she realizes early that Hayden isn't a guy who takes life lightly and that she recognizes that she brings something (mainly laughter) to his life when he doesn't normally have it. I think that recognition is all part of her personality. She knows he has commitments that means this relationship will never work, but she NEEDS to bring happiness to his life. At her heart, Andi is a giver...in every way possible and the reader gets to see that over and over throughout the story. 

Then there's Hayden. His back-story is heartbreaking, but I love how strong he is for it. He is the guy there for the underdog. Just what he's doing for Clare shows what an amazing man he is. Seriously, I loved him and Clare together and who would have thought that going into this book? They had some amazing scenes and I love how much respect there is between them. He's just an all-around good guy who doesn't want to get hurt again. And that makes my heart bleed for him. I love a good, wounded alpha hero and he's a great one. I like how his fascination develops with Andi. He doesn't know what to do with what he's feeling for her...it's such a foreign thing to him to actually feel happiness, he literally doesn't understand it. And again...he and Clare are awesome just for their amazing friendship which also evolved and developed so much in this book. While I loved getting to see him fall in love with Andi, it was incredible to watch the relationship arc change between him and Clare. 

This was a great, great read. I also really loved the first, too...Darker Water. So I was very excited to see at the end of the book that there will be seven books total in this series. That makes this reader fangirl EXTREMELY happy. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Title: Virtually Impossible
Series: Once & Forever #2
Author: Lauren Stewart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Fairytales aren’t real…but love is.
Sara has a kick-ass life—loyal friends, a house in San Francisco, and an amazing job as a virtual assistant. It's perfect…except that Sara doesn’t actually exist. She’s just a borrowed name that Andi Clark hides behind. Using a fake identity lets Andi stay safely shielded behind the screen of her computer and concealed from the real world. With her history, pretending to be someone she’s not is the only way Andi can make up for the mistakes of her past. Not exactly ideal, but hey, no one’s life is perfect.
Actually...
Hayden Bennett’s life is pretty damn perfect. He’s married to a beautiful woman, lives in a luxury apartment, and is prepped to take over the multi-million dollar company his father built. Perfect...except that his wife is madly in love with someone else, his career is meaningless, and he’s forgotten how to live, let alone be happy. But when Hayden hires a new virtual assistant named Sara, her sharp wit and intelligence leaves him wanting something more. Something real. Something incredible.
Two people need to wake up to understand how perfect they are...for each other. If they can't, any chance either of them have of finding a happily ever after will be virtually impossible.
~~~~~ 
This highly-anticipated sequel to DARKER WATER is a standalone contemporary romance inspired by Sleeping Beauty. VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE is Hayden and Andi's story, and this is how their fairytale begins: 
Once upon a time there was a woman who made the mistake of trusting the wrong man. And that mistake led to another. And another and another, each more damaging than the last. But the woman was as ignorant of her mistakes as she was of the damage they caused. Until she was punished for them. 
Around the same time, but in a totally separate part of the city, lived a noble man and his beautiful wife. Though their castle was the envy of all, its empty halls echoed of loneliness and regret. For the man had lived his entire life asleep, and both of them remained silent of who they truly were and what they truly wanted. And then one day, the woman entered the man's life and forced him to awaken...

~Andi~
Today’s torture was ‘spinning’. Seriously, who comes up with this shit? Twenty-five sweaty women pay good money to ride fake bikes while horrible music blares and a man in tight spandex shorts yells at us for being lazy. And we do this by choice? Even worse, we actually had to sign up in advance for this crap, just to get a spot.
“Do you want to press charges?” Emilia asked about a mile in. At least, I’m assuming we’ve gone a mile. I wouldn’t be sweating this much otherwise, right?
“What are you talking about?” I yelled back. Thankfully—and I use the word in the most ironic way—we’d gotten to the class early enough to snag two bikes next to each other. But even so, screaming was necessary.
“Hayden Bennett.”
“Hayden?” My guess is that she waited until now so that I’d have no more oxygen flow to my brain and wouldn’t be able to understand what she was talking about. Well, boy was she wrong—I wouldn’t have known what she was talking about five minutes ago. Did that mean we could stop now?
“I’m not sure how we’ll do it without your name coming up, Andi. But if you want to press changes, I’ll support you.”
“You have no idea how confused I am right now.” And I couldn’t blame a runner’s high because we’re biking to nowhere. Plus, I don’t actually know what a runner’s high feels like. It’s supposed to make this easier, isn’t it? And not so excruciating? “Why would I press charges against anyone, let alone Hayden?”
“Sexual harassment doesn’t have to be physical, Andi. It can be verbal too.”
I stopped spinning and waited for her to follow. Because obviously, I wasn’t the one with impeded oxygen flow. “He didn’t sexually harass me physically or verbally, Emilia. Why would you think that?”
The instructor yelled at me, his voice the only sound more piercing than the music. “Don’t stop now! We got a long way to go!”
He was kidding, right? We weren’t going anywhere. But, evident by the amount of glares I saw in the room, everyone else seemed to think I was holding back our journey or something, so I started pedaling again.
Emilia wiped her hair from her face. “First, you tell me to reassign him because you thought you might have crossed a line—which I totally didn’t believe, by the way and why I tried so hard and so successfully to talk you out of it.” She puffed out a few breaths as if she were in labor. No irony there. “But if my advice pushed you into something harassment-ish, I’ll never forgive myself.”
“There’s only one thing you should never forgive yourself for, and that’s making me do this class. But you didn’t miss anything where Hayden is concerned. Or was concerned. Promise.” I crossed my heart, holding it an extra moment to make sure it wouldn’t explode. I swear someone told me exercise was supposed to be healthy. Liars.
“I figured, but I had to ask.” Her non-pause made me wonder about the honesty of our relationship. But before I could call her on it, she started talking again. Well, huffing and puffing and talking again. “Especially after he called and practically begged me to convince you to work for him again. For more money, too.”
“He begged you? Are you sure you’re not getting him mixed up with one of the other men who can’t live without me?” At least that’s what I tried to say—my wheezing probably made some of the words incomprehensible. “I don’t think Hayden has needed to beg for anything in his entire life.”
Lauren Stewart grew up reading Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, James Clavell, Piers Anthony, and Agatha Christie, which explains why she can't seem to stick to one genre at a time. She loves emoticons and hates when people speak in the third person, so...
I got to the more romantic stuff pretty late, but romance was what changed me from an obsessed reader into an obsessed reader AND writer. I think my writing style comes from a mash-up of my early favorites and my new ones, women like JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Nalini Singh, Charlaine Harris, and Janet Evanovich. Wow, how much would you pay to be invited to that dinner party?
I want to make people think, cry, and giggle, not necessarily all at the same time (although it's great when it happens). In every one of my books, you'll find elements of other genres - fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women's literature, all with a touch of humor and a lot of sarcasm.
Because what doesn't kill us should make us laugh.



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1 comment:

Lauren Stewart said...

Thank you so much, Christi! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! <3