Review: “The Dealmaker” by Jessica Peterson

Series: Sex & Bonds #1

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: June 7th, 2022

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CW: parental death, power imbalance in the workplace, 

Hating and dating: I didn’t realize they’re two sides of the same coin until I meet him. Theo Morgan.

One of Wall Street’s highest-paid traders, he may be hot as sin in his five-thousand-dollar custom-made suit and six-figure SUV. But Theo is the bane of my existence. He’s arrogant, rude, and as brash as they come.

As our bank’s newest star hire, he’s also after the same promotion I am. But I didn’t make it this far in a man’s world just to be passed over for an entitled egomaniac. Two can play at this game.

In a surprise to exactly no one, Theo and I butt heads from the beginning–and end up losing my biggest client with a trade gone bad. Our boss’s punishment: fly us to California together to make nice with the client—or else.

When a snowstorm back home leaves us stranded on the West Coast, we learn our hotel is fully booked, save for one room.

And of course that room would have only one king-sized bed. After a little too much wine, our deal to stick to opposite sides of that bed goes out the window. But on the flight home, my resolve to keep things professional remains intact, until Theo offers me a new deal.

The gloves (and clothes) can come off. But the lipstick stays on…

 

From the moment this book was announced, I was excited and ready to dive into a whole new Jessica Peterson world. I loved her North Carolina Highlands series and knew that whatever came next would also be truly magical. And she did not disappoint. The Dealmaker is the first in a new series set against the backdrop of the financial business world and it’s interesting in that it provides information about trades and stocks, but also delivers the classic Jessica Peterson storytelling and steam. And this book had me hooked from the moment I started reading.

Rivals to lovers is my jam. Nora and Theo are both working towards the same promotion and all of their competitiveness and sexual tension makes it really fun. Plus, they challenge each other and place bets to see who will do better; and it all just adds so much value and fun to the storytelling. They were complex and interesting, they had so much to offer and at the same time, they were so much more than their jobs and the world they come from.

“I’m marked by a man who knows what he’s doing—who knows me—and it’s overwhelming in the best, best way.”

Nora comes from a well known family, so everyone assumes that she got there with a little help, but she’s actually just really hardworking. She’s working towards changing the way the financial world sees and treats women in the workplace and that’s what she wants to achieve with the promotion. I loved how determined, driven and passionate she is about what she does, how important client relationships are and how she doesn’t let anybody or anything stand in her way of achieving what she’s set out to do. Theo’s got a slightly more tragic past. He’s lost a parent and works hard to make sure that he can provide for his mother and sisters. I loved him so much. Yes, at the beginning of the book, he’s a little frustrating and makes you question everything about him being the hero, but the guy really delivers when it comes to soft and heartfelt moments that are so beautiful. Theo’s whole world revolves around his family and making sure that they never have to struggle ever again.

The first few chapters shows you one side of their relationship—it’s angry, ragey and filled with fighting and pissing each other off—then everything changes. Their relationship is very exciting and interesting. Not a dull moment when it comes to Nora and Theo and I loved that so much. They’re both stubborn and set in their ways, but as they slowly spend time together and get to know each other, they thaw out. Together. Watching them help the other shed layers and break down walls was so beautiful. Plus, they’re stuck in a hotel room far away from home because of a snowstorm and you know what happens then.

“The beard is . . . just. Yeah. So good, Theo.” 

“I want you to ride it later.” 

“I’ll be there.”

“Good.”

Jessica Peterson always delivers top notch steam and I had no doubt that she’d do the same here. And she did. It was glorious. From the sexual tension to the flirting, the slow burn and the gradual building of their connection; it was all perfection. There’s some mutual love for historical romances and Bridgerton, there’s lots of shared love for other pop culture things that really heightens their relationship. Plus, there’s this one shaving scene that is both soft and hot. It’s incredible how something so simple can become something so much more.

The only thing that really bogged me down was a lot of the work talk. A lot of the information went straight over my head and it took me a few reads to fully grasp all of the lingo and the information that was relayed. But, having said that, I love that these two had lots of scenes at work and we got to see that environment that sets the tone for their relationship. I like that it wasn’t just a statement that they worked somewhere together, we got to see it. Even if none of it made sense to me, personally.

Having met all of the supporting characters, I am beyond ready to see how many of them get books. Because all of the teasers and the little hints we got has been awesome.

Thanks to Valentine PR for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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