Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★★★
Reading Time: 5 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of To Win Her Smile from Mackenzie Crowne in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author and/or publisher’s generosity. You can’t fake these stars, baby!
When sultry British Baroness Piper Darrow falls on desperate times, she needs a diversion—and cash. As a talented photographer, she jumps at the chance to travel to the U.S. for a Manhattan Marauders football event. But she gets more than she bargained for when buff quarterback Wyatt Hunter’s errant pass lands…in her face. And when it results in Wyatt’s comeback of a lifetime, the superstitious athlete is convinced Piper is his good luck charm…
With his sights on the Super Bowl, Wyatt will do anything necessary to keep Piper close. The fact that she’s a feast for the eyes is a bonus. And as they get closer, he discovers that beneath her proper English surface is a sweet, sexy seductress. Soon the notorious playboy finds himself genuinely smitten, and surprisingly open to love—until his powerful family uncovers something about Piper that threatens to shatter his trust. Now he’ll have to decide whether to team up with his fears, or his heart.
First Line: “Wyatt Hunter hated to lose. He glared at the game clock. Eighteen seconds…”
Call me India Jones because I’ve got me a whip-o-LUV! Is it bad that I am obsessed with Mackenzie Crowne? Probably. Is it dangerous that I think her characters are real? Wait, they’re not real?
Let me tell you THIS: you want Wyatt Hunter to be real. It’s important that we are on the same page moving forward, otherwise this is going to be a rough ride for you. There ain’t no fiction here, friends. We’re delusional, and he’s real.
Let’s get on to the sweet juju, shall we?
Wyatt Hunter is a quarterback and we are first introduced to him mid-game. The stakes are high! Aww sad panda, he’s losing.
He’s not losing for long, though, because he smacks a girl across the FACE with his pigskin and the game takes a miraculous turn! Win for the hotty hotties!… Except Wyatt thinks hitting this girl (aka Piper, the photographer) is the reason for the sudden turn of events.
“Introduce me. I need to talk to her.”
[He] laughed and drew his attention. “I know that look.”
“The look that says you’ve discovered your newest lucky charm.”
Our sweet, foolish, superstitious Wyatt wants Piper to be his WHAT?… For the next 5 months? Well, he had better act fast because she’s supposedly leaving for England in a couple of days.
I’m not quite sure what he’s expecting with this whole “lucky charm” theory; maybe have her dress up as a leprechaun and toss marshmallows at the corner of 2%-Lane? I hazz a pot of gold!
“What are you going to do? Convince Piper to let you break her nose every week for the rest of the season?”
YaaaOK. Good luck, Mr. Quarterback. (*snort* Secretly I’m screaming, “I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!” #shhh)
I can think of one reason why Piper would agree to such a bizarre request: money. She’s at an all-time low. With both of her parents in royal heaven, she’s left to her own devices to try and keep what’s important to her. Sure, she has bucketloads of cash in the land she owns, but she is one broke girl! Piper needs money. And BAD.
Good thing Wyatt has money and he is willing to pay $100,000 for this superstition of his. And Piper is willing to accept. Sit on the sidelines. Take some pictures. What’s the worst that could happen?
Oooo the drama is about to start, my friends! What chapter are we on? 4? Oh gaaawd this book is so delicious and nutritious.
What is Piper going to think when she finds out there have been other lucky charms before her? You know, when her feelings start getting intermingled in their… err-arrangement?
Now that Wyatt is Piper’s “side project,” there’s no way she can leave the States now. What a mess. But she does eventually go back overseas, right? When is she going to tell Wyatt she’s a Baroness? (Never.)
Uh oh… looks like a conflict. Let’s just pray our Baroness doesn’t get herself into a scandal (something she’s used to.) Let’s be clear: Wyatt ain’t a prince either, with his tainted secrets and jagged family history…
This plot is about to take a turn for the worst. Lucky charm? HA. Maybe in a parallel universe where things ACTUALLY go as planned… in this lifetime? Not a chance.
Mackenzie Crowne has done it again. To Win Her Smile is recklessly saucy. What starts as superstition, evolves into desire, and finally need. I am living vicariously through this book right now (I GOT NO SHAME!) and I ENVY Mackenzie Crowne. Mac, write me a book-o-heros, ya? Chapter 1: Wyatt Hunter.
To Win Her Smile is a beautiful juxtaposition: slow and tantalizing, yet volcanic with action. Always moving forward, characters always being developed. Every sentence has a purpose, every chapter takes us on a journey.
Desire, passion, selflessness. Doubt, faith, a viscous primal love. This standalone is PERFECTION.
Taste the rainbow.