Self-made billionaire Nathan Trainor feels restless and disillusioned. His company may be thriving, but he can’t find a woman who sees him for more than his wealth. With his love life in the red, he meets two other billionaire bachelors at the ultra-exclusive Bellwether Club. The three of them make a wager of the heart: they must find women who love them for who they are, not their money.
Savvy office temp Chloe Russell is trying to scrape together the money she needs to support her grandmother. So when a flu epidemic strikes Trainor Electronics and she’s promoted to Nathan Trainor’s assistant, she jumps at the lucrative opportunity. But then Nathan himself falls ill, and he and Chloe must work from his penthouse while he recuperates. Before long, it’s clear there’s genuine heat between them, and it’s more than just a fever spike. Will Nathan win Chloe’s heart—and the bet? Or will their differences destroy any chance for love?
An author, a quarterback, and a businessman all meet in a gentleman’s club and make a wager…
What at first sounds like the set-up for a joke is actually the premise for Herkness’s Wager of Hearts series, in which the three men meet for the first time on a night when they each seem to be on the precipice of a major decision or event in their lives and agree to wager a priceless possession against the challenge of meeting and falling in love with a woman who sees him as a man and not as a wallet or name. Unlike many wagers, this is not one in which the first man to find that special someone with whom he can spend the rest of his life with wins the bet. Rather the bet serves as a motivator for each man to take the search for his other half seriously, with the ultimate prize being love. And first up is our businessman, Nathan Trainor.
I loved the way the author set up our introduction of Nathan because, for me, it allowed me to connect with him as a man looking for love and companionship, rather than as just another billionaire playboy. As we learn about Nathan’s past, I found it easy to forget about his bank balance because the man grew up as a military brat and only occasionally did his actions or behaviors come off as elitist. This is where Chloe comes in, because not only is she more than competent at temping as Nathan’s administrative assistant, she’s neither intimidated by him nor interested in his money or name. Chloe has family obligations that guide many of her decisions and while she’s not above asking to be paid what she’s worth, she is only interested in the money she can earn as Trainor’s assistant and no more. Until the sparks begin to fly and she’s unable to deny the physical attraction between her and Nathan. Chloe doesn’t believe she’s in Nathan’s league and decides that she will enjoy the time she has with him before he gets bored and leaves. And let me tell you, there are some VERY enjoyable times in The CEO Buys In because Nathan Trainor is even more capable in the bedroom than he is in the boardroom. But when the lines between their personal lives and their professional lives begin to blur too much, Chloe has to decide who and what is most important in her life.
Herkness has created an interesting cast of characters in The CEO Buys In. Not only did I connect with both Nathan and Chloe, I found Archer and Miller to be interesting in their own rights as the author provided just enough information about each man that I can’t wait to read their stories. But it was Grandmillie who I absolutely adored. The relationship she and Chloe had was so full of love and support and it made Nathan’s desire to win Grandmillie over so believable (and endearing). The fact that Grandmillie wasn’t afraid to tell Chloe the truth about her father’s bitterness so that Chloe could get out of her own way was perfect. I enjoyed watching the relationship develop between Chloe and Nathan as they were good for each other, challenging one another when they needed it. That the chemistry was off-the-charts hot made for one heck of a bonus. The CEO Buys In was a great book to kick off the Wager of Hearts series and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series already.