“Aly Stiles delivers the perfect romantic comedy with Look Smart. I found myself laughing throughout and wondering what the secondary characters would do next. The connection between Nate & Nat filled my heart with pure joy and was immediately rooting for their HEA.” -Author Andrea Johnston
Look Smart, an all-new star-crossed lovers workplace romantic comedy from Aly Stiles, is now available in Kindle Unlimited!
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Look Smart by Aly Stiles
Series: Work For It #6
Published by Smartypants Romance on May 18, 2023
Genres: Adult Romantic Comedy
Source: the publisher
Nate Hanover’s future was set. The perfect girlfriend, the perfect career… He’s the perfect man with the perfect life—until he lost it all this summer. Now he’s not sure about anything, except that no one can know the truth lurking behind his “perfect” facade. Especially not at this week’s high-stakes corporate circus known as Tele-Con.
Natalie McAllister has no time for games. After working nonstop since… ever, she’s one win away from the dream promotion she’s been chasing for years. All she has to do is land the Sandeke Telecom account at this week’s telecom conference and life will be perfect.
But when a chance encounter leads these strangers to an incredible night of intimate soul-searching, “perfect” might look different than they thought. With so much on the line, it’s a good thing they’ll never see each other again. Well, not until the following morning when they learn they’re competing for the same account, their firms despise each other, and a nut-obsessed enigma named Chad Smith is the key to their success. Oh, plus their forbidden connection is still fully charged and more off-limits than ever.
What could go wrong when the perfect night explodes into the perfect storm?
‘Look Smart’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #6 in the Work For It series, Educated Romance World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
Grab your copy today!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3EtS8B3
Amazon UK: https://bit.ly/3EsHQ48
Amazon CA: https://bit.ly/3Eu71mV
Amazon AU: https://bit.ly/418lgr4
He grins, and I push the button for the eighth floor.
“What floor?” I ask him.
“Eight,” he says, his eyes flashing with humor.
“We’re not in the same room, are we? Because that would be awkward,” I say.
“I’m thinking we’d probably know that by now.”
“True. You look like a guy who uses a lot of closet space.”
He raises his brows, and I shrug.
“Do I? What do those guys look like?”
“I don’t know… Put together?”
I thought that answer would be safe, but maybe not when he frowns. With another tight smile, he faces the door. Guess we’re back to watching numbers do literally the only thing numbers can do.
Say something, Nat. You’re about to part ways forever.
“You could come check out my closet if you want.”
He fires what I count as his fifth confused look of the encounter, and I offer a conciliatory cringe.
“Sorry. That was not what it sounded like.”
“What did it sound like?”
The elevator dings, and the door opens. Floor eight. Thank the heavens.
I step out with relief, then remember it’s time for him to step out too.
Should have followed the wheat crystal debate up the stairs.
“Oh, uh. Well, I guess it sounded like I was inviting you back for sex.”
He just about chokes on air, and I OMG myself for that one.
“I wasn’t,” I rush out. “That’s my point. I was just… making conversation.”
He hesitates, and I squirm beneath his curious gaze. He doesn’t look upset, though. Or offended. Or even embarrassed. He looks… intrigued. By me? Most people aren’t a fan of my no-nonsense approach to, well, everything. And when I’m drinking? All filters are off.
“I see. So in this ‘making conversation scenario,’ how would a person respond to a question like that?” he asks.
“Like an invitation for sex that isn’t.”
I bite back a smile and shrug.
“However that person would want to respond, I suppose.”
“Is it a nice closet?” he asks.
“Probably the same as yours.”
“A little presumptuous, no? What if I have a suite? My closet would be very different.”
“Okay, but now you’re being presumptuous. What if I also have a suite?”
“No. Do you?”
That breathtaking grin slips out, and suddenly I’m not sure I was just making conversation. My gaze drops to a dark button-down shirt stretched over a body that has seen plenty of action in a gym. His rolled-up sleeves reveal several tattoos that clash beautifully with the business-casual attire. Gosh, is there also a modeling convention going on at the resort? He could be the hot stock-photo dude in all those “Look how cool it is to work here!” photos on the Careers page of every company website.
My door looms ahead, which ushers in corresponding disappointment. Even worse, Cautious Brain is now berating me through the margarita mist.
You can’t take a stranger back to your hotel room! This is the opening scene of every true crime show ever. You want your polaroid thumbtacked to a wall with a red string wrapped around it?!
Wait. Who uses the red string again? Is that a serial killer thing or more of a spy-conspiracy-theory thing? Do they still use polaroids for crime-solving? That seems inefficient.
“This is me,” I lie, stopping at a random room.
Smart, Nat. Good work.
“Yeah?” he asks.
He leans against the wall on the other side of the door to face me. Brown eyes scan me with amusement and something else. Something that triggers all kinds of tiny bubbles in my stomach. Yep, I’m now a walking champagne flute. Fantastic. Why did he have to be smart and funny in addition to being achingly beautiful? Ugh. What an unfair combination in a stranger you can’t have.
Well, shouldn’t have. Because, I shouldn’t, right?
Right. Because what you do have is a big day tomorrow.
“So, um, have a great night,” I say.
He doesn’t budge, and I start to panic. What if he is a creepy stalker? Aren’t the worst ones charming and attractive? Or maybe he’s considerate on top of everything else and is waiting for me to get safely into my room before going to his?
He’s not… actually interested in staying?
Not safe! Not safe!
Maybe, but I’m not getting a creepy vibe from him. I watched him with his friends all night and nothing about his demeanor screamed FUTURE THUMBTACKED POLAROID.
“Okay, well, I won’t keep you,” he says, straightening from the wall.
The disappointment is real when he pulls a keycard from his pocket, but it’s for the best. I’ve spent months preparing for this conference. It’s bad enough I had one too many drinks tonight. The last thing I need is an even bigger mistake.
No! It’s not! Come on. Break one simple rule. Just a small dose of “wild.” You don’t even risk the occasional rolling stop at a stop sign.
It’s true. Stop means stop. But fine.
“Wait. Would you maybe want to see my closet after all?” I blurt out. “Not for sex. Just to hang out. Maybe a drink or two?”
The corner of his perfect mouth tips up in a smirk. “You want to hang out in your closet?”
“Sure. It might be a tight fit, but if we move the luggage stand, we could make it work.”
His smile grows—and wow. Maybe I’m actually nailing this hookup thing.
“Sure. Why not?” he says. “It’s been a while since I’ve spent time in a closet. My room or yours?”
He studies the door beside us that is very much not my door.
“Yours,” I say.
He nods and slides his keycard into the slot.
“It’s so weird that they put us in the same room, isn’t it?” he says.
Oh my gosh, I almost had forgotten about Chad and his Mer-Nuts. Lol. This was a wonderful story, and even with all the hilariousness of it, there were some definitely emotional bits as well. The banter between Nate and Natalie is so good. But beyond that they just are so good at communication. Being able to really talk to each other and listen to each other. Except when emotions get in the way of hearing what is being said or realizing the subtext. One thing I love though, is that the characters, once they were alone, realized they had misheard or misinterpreted the previous interaction.
But it was so much more than just what was going on between the two characters romantically, and so much more than just the craziness of the Teleconference. Both characters, especially Nate, had a lot they were dealing with outside of those two things, and it added into the story and made it just as full as I’ve read lately. It wasn’t a long story, but so much depth, and so much humor, it was honestly one of my favorites this year so far.
I also loved getting time with characters we knew from other books in this series, as well as Martin Sandeke’s appearance. Not to mention the characters that were ones as a reader I definitely loved to hate. Martin’s father, Nate’s ex and co-workers, Nat’s co-workers were also people that weren’t great in my book.
Another winner from Aly Stiles, and I hope she keeps writing in this world!
About the Author
From angsty and dark to snort-laugh funny, Aly writes romance from her soul to yours.
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