A Tycoon’s Rush by Avery Laval
Series: Sin City Tycoons
Released: February 5, 2018
Blue Crow Books
Reviewed by: Sheena
Favorite Quote: “Excuse me?” she said, flustered, imagining him thinking the same thing as her, sizing up the potential in this little rental Fiat and coming to the same conclusion. Tricky, but worth it.
A Tycoon’s Rush is a very short, very unfinished novella. Perhaps less than a novella…it is more so a snippet, a morsel, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it romance-ish sort of thing. The blurb felt more consequential and complete than the actual story and while reading, it was necessary to make one too many rationalizations and common sense suspensions, to get through it without reading it with a permanently raised eyebrow. -Which is important because being in a perpetual state of “gimmie a break, that makes no sense” is super distracting and I really much rather just enjoy the story!
Natalie is the under-appreciated and overworked assistant to a successful sports agent. Forced to do all of the grunt work, she is biding her time until she can finally launch her dream career as a sports journalist. She’s sent on a mission to get Olympian gold medalist and recluse, Charlie, to sign a lucrative contract and rejoin the public eye. Natalie has also just made a mess of things kissing her roommate Davis, whom she has no real romantic interest in and uses the trip to recruit Charlie as a perfect getaway because she can’t possibly deal with kissing her roommate, she may even have to move because “awkward.”
Full disclosure? I’m barely keeping it together by this point. Natalie is all over the place and her motivations are weak and silly. You are a grown woman, you kissed your platonic roommate. Clear the air and move on, neither of you was that into it anyway and the way she describes him, he probably already had two (or three) women under him before Natalie hit the TSA line at the airport to run away from it all *eyeroll*
But, fine, cool. No sweat. Thin character motivations? I can hack that in my sleep, so I push onward, and one transatlantic flight later, Natalie tracks down a depressing, heap of wasted Olympic athlete, Charlie, in a bar in a remote town in Europe. Charlie is in the dumps and nursing expensive scotch and eye-fawking the local women in a very uninspiring and half-hearted lecherous manner. Poor Charlie has decided to hang up his skis and has had his fill of indiscriminate sex. Unsurprisingly, Natalie catches his eye and they circle round one another, she, trying to convince, goad and charm him into signing the endorsement contract; he, trying to reconcile his desire to bed her and his reflex to drive her away.
Natalie is tenacious and not falling at his feet, which (shocker) intrigues him and they agree to go out on the slopes on the condition that Natalie does not pry into what is keeping him from ski jumping again. Maybe he is doping and is ashamed and being eaten alive by his guilty conscience!? Unfortunately, Charlie’s motivations are just as thin (if not ridiculously thinner) as Natalie’s.
Insta-lust is about as far as this goes. They ski, they have a burning awareness and attraction; their chemistry does play rather nicely, despite the other pitfalls. They have sex and bond over Charlie’s big secret. You know, the huge, traumatic issue that has driven him from the sport he loves, a secret so devastatingly underwhelming, that hell, I wish he had been doping, just for the intrigue!
There is little to no conflict, they connect over common sense advice Natalie gives him and continue to hook up. He signs the contract deal almost as fast as he vowed to never sign it, so that little drama was over before it started. There isn’t one iota of believable love. I believe they just find one another hot and interesting and that is good enough for them. The ending does not count as an HEA or a HFN, for either of those to apply I need to see some sort of relationship. Sorry, a confirmation that they are still sleeping with one another from time to time when Charlie comes to town does not a relationship make. There are no love declarations but the author did throw us a bone and the new and improved Charlie asked Natalie to quit her job and move in with him so he could chain her to his bed and have her whenever he wanted, so there is that…
Ultimately, even as a novella, it needed more substance. The story and its characters and overall weakness fell flat despite its early promise of yummy romantic tension. I am further disappointed because there was a lot of potential between these pages that went unrealized. Even with the obstacles, I was oddly committed to seeing it though, which magnified my disappointment at the blunt ending. I’m interested to see what author Avery Lavel would do with a full-length novel, complete with legitimate conflict, issue resolution, and a suitable ending. I’d usually close the book and never look back at a story plagued with these obstacles, but as I mentioned before, there was a sort of delicious tension between Charlie and Natalie that was starting to make an impression despite the challenges and holes. For instance, whatever happened to Davis? She clearly never moved out so I’m supposing they were adults about their unimportant kiss after-all? Who knows.
Also, fair warning, the story abruptly ended on my Kindle at around 60% and the remaining 30% are blurbs and snippets of other novels. I didn’t read them, I couldn’t muster the interest.