Series: The Ladies Who Brunch #3
Release Date: September 4th, 2022
CW: mentions of drunk driving (past) and death (past)
That was the agreement between me and Maddox Taylor, the NFL’s most notorious playboy and mega-talented quarterback who happened to be out in California for one night—one night in which I broke all of my rules and gave in to the undeniable attraction I felt for the man.
He wooed me with dirty jokes, 80s musical references, an obsession with Steve Harvey, and a very specific piercing. How the hell was I supposed to fight that?
However, I should have listened to my gut because my reaction to him wasn’t just physical—it was more, something I hadn’t felt since the last man I let in left me all alone, and I vowed never to fall in love again.
Six weeks later, I find out I’m the new PR spokesperson for The Los Angeles Bolts football team, a team that just signed Maddox Taylor to their roster in hopes of a winning season.
With his signature cocky swagger, he corners me in my office, intent on rekindling our connection, but the tables had turned—I was now working for his team which created a conflict of interest, and put my job and both of our reputations on the line.
But that stubborn man wasn’t taking no for an answer, and before I knew it, I agreed to date him in secret even though relationships weren’t my thing.
And when Maddox had finally had enough of me refusing to open up, I was faced with a choice—do I let go of the one man that I’ve ever contemplated letting in despite the rules I’ve lived under for the past twelve years?
Or was now the time to face my demons so I could hold onto a future I didn’t know I wanted…
I knew, with every bone in my body, that Penelope’s book was going to make me go through all of the feels and just completely short-circuit my brain. And I was right. As the loud and outspoken and sex positive one of the group (Amelia is also pretty sex positive, let’s be honest), I knew that she was going to be a hard one to pin down in a romantic relationship, but Harlow gave us such a beautiful story and a wonderful book about allowing yourself to feel something even when the past was holding you back. Penelope and Maddox were so beautiful and hot together, I was completely blown away!
Now’s The Time has:
✨ a one night stand turned many night stand
✨ forbidden workplace relationship
✨ charmingly persistent nfl superstar hero
✨ pierced and tattooed hero, yup!
✨ badass boss babe heroine
✨ best girlfriends ever
✨ THE BANTER! THE CHEMISTRY!
✨ some really good sexy times
✨ a good amount of angst and lots of feels!
Penelope and Maddox had such great chemistry from the moment they met and their relationship hit the ground running with this book. She’s one of the best PR people in the city, working for a well-known agency, and Maddox is the hot ticket NFL player that everyone wants a piece of—so you can imagine when two people with dominant personalities meet, everything is going to be cranked up to a 100. And they don’t hold back. Except, Penelope has a rule about athletes and football players especially and Maddox has ‘trouble’ and ‘danger’ written all over him. But when her body craves him despite her hesitations and fears, she willingly throws caution to the wind. Only for everything to really get so freaking complicated!
“You know what the second-best part about being in the NFL is?”
“That it led me to you.”
It’s a known fact that Harlow James writes fantastic steam, but you know what else she writes really well? Banter. Penelope and Maddox spend a good amount of time getting to know each other and connecting in and out of bed, and their relationship is so refreshing. There’s a whole lot of desperation and lust and desire coursing through their veins, but at the same time, their relationship is just so much more. They talk and laugh and learn about each other, there’s a lot of sneaking around because as the PR person running point for the Los Angeles Bolts—Maddox’s new football team—they have to keep things on the downlow. But they still find little ways to connect and really build that relationship.
I loved how attentive Maddox was and how he made notes on what Penelope likes and how she enjoys the little things so he could treat her to all of that and really make her enjoy their relationship. Especially since her hesitation is not too much of a secret and Maddox can sense it and feel her pushing him away at times. I also really enjoyed seeing Penelope come to the conclusion that her life is better with Maddox than without, which really added to the relationship so much more. Also can we please take a minute to talk about Maddox’s extensive dirty joke directory? Because I chuckled every single time.
“But those shots I’ve taken? It’s because I’ve known the risk was worth the reward. And you are worth it. Us together—our connection and chemistry—is worth it to me. It’s why I followed you in here . . . because I care about you.”
And of course, you can’t forget the Ladies! Seeing Amelia, Charlotte and Noelle again made me happy. As a sucker for great female friendships (and friendships in general) in romances, Harlow really did a wonderful job building these four up. Amelia and Penelope’s deeper connection was so beautiful and at times, I found myself tearing up because of how strong it is and how wonderful they all are for each other.
Thanks to Harlow James for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.