Hard Sell (Jade Harbour Capital #1)
Author: Hudson Lin
Series: Jade Harbour Capital #1
Imprint: Carina Adores
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Romantic Leads: Male/Male
On-Sale: May 25, 2021
Much thanks to Carina Adores, the publisher, for this complimentary copy. This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own. Also, all quotes are taken from the ARC and may be different in the final published copy.
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One night wasn’t enough.
Danny Ip walks into every boardroom with a plan. His plan for struggling tech company WesTec is to acquire it, shut it down, and squeeze the last remaining revenue out of it for his Jade Harbour Capital portfolio. But he didn’t expect his best friend’s younger brother—the hottest one-night stand he ever had—to be there.
Tobin Lok has always thought the world of Danny. He’s funny, warm, attractive—and totally out of Tobin’s league. Now, pitted against Danny at work, Tobin might finally get a chance to prove he’s more than just Wei’s little brother.
It takes a lot to get under Danny’s skin, but Tobin is all grown up in a way Danny can’t ignore. Now, with a promising patent on the line and the stakes higher than ever, all he can think about is getting Tobin back into his bed—and into his life for good.
If only explaining their relationship to Wei could be so easy…
Jade Harbour Capital
Book 1: Hard Sell
Book 2: Going Public
About The Author
Hudson Lin was raised by conservative immigrant parents and grew up straddling two cultures with often times conflicting perspectives on life. Instead of conforming to either, she has sought to find a third way that brings together the positive elements of both.
Having spent much of her life on the outside looking in, Lin likes to write stories about outsiders who fight to carve out their place in society, and overcome everyday challenges to find love and happily ever afters. Her books are diverse romances featuring queer and disabled people of color.
When not getting lost in a good story, Lin hosts a podcast, interviews queer people of color, and a does bunch of other stuff.
Hitting All My Favorite Tropes
📚 Series? Yes.
📚 Genre? Contemporary Romance > LGBT Rep
📚 Read for? Carina Press Blog Tour
📚 Cliffhanger? No
⚠ Content Warnings: Homophobia | Transphobia |
⚠ Book Tags : Asian Author. Asian Leads. M/M Romance. F/F Romance Side Characters. Age-Gap Romance. Brother’s Best Friend Trope.
When I first saw Asian male leads on the cover of a romance book, I was sold right away. My heart was pumping with excitement and I really did had extremely high hopes. Were they met? A little.
Hudson Lin’s Hard Sell pitched a book with two tropes I want to read more about: age gap and brother’s best friend. I know there would be angst, pining, and some pain! I have to admit, this book really delivered that and I had a good time knowing both Tobin and Danny, as well as witnessing how their love story turned out.
In this story, both Danny and Tobin work in the world of business. Seven years after their one-night stand, they have a chance meeting through WestTec, a company Danny is eyeing to buy and where Tobin is working as a consultant. Sparks still fly between them. And Tobin, now older and braver, is ready to pursue and see where their attraction takes them.
What makes this book special to me is that these two leads actually grew up with each other. I wish the author expounded on their backstory because it would have been so awesome. However, the little things I got were still satisfying and it made me have a better appreciation for their current journey to love.
In this book, we experience a lot of push and pull in their love story. First, they are guarded with their feelings. Second, they have their work drama influencing their choices. And finally, the guilt they feel towards Wei, Tobin’s older brother.
Aside from that, you will see glimpses of the inner struggles of both of these men. I saw how they felt about their families, their career growths, their futures, and how their current self compares to their past.
Now in terms of the romance parts, this book is a whole of seggsy. If you are wishing for an M/M read with on-page spicy scenes, this one has A LOT a lot. Honestly, I am happy about that because some of my recent reads had fade-to-black moments or off-the-page scenes.
What hindered me to love everything about this book surrounds WestTec, the company they are working for. First off, this book was filled with business jargon and it took a huge chunk of the story. I don’t know if the goal was to educate, but for people who are not business majors, this can be boring and confusing.
Not only that, I felt uncomfortable with how this story handled human trafficking. It was touched on very little that you’ll miss it if you blink. But when you notice, you would look for some point of resolution — but it was pushed aside. Until now, I don’t know what to feel about that. It should have been just removed from the story if it wasn’t going to be addressed anyway. So, I am removing 0.5 stars from my rating of this book because of it.
Overall, this book had tons of potential to be a new favorite for me. Focusing on the romance, Hard Sell gave me a love story — and the epilogue definitely did seal the deal!
My Book Rating Breakdown
🌼 Main Character:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Significant Other: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Romance: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Pacing: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Ending: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Unputdownability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
-0.5 stars for a content issue
Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | 3.72/5
Exclusive Excerpt: The Hate Project
Read on for an excerpt from Hard Sell.
Danny adjusted the watch on his wrist as he headed out. If only he didn’t need a win so god damn badly. He would love to march back into the meeting room and rip up the offer right in front of Cyrus West’s face. What smarmy remark would Cyrus have then?
Unfortunately, Danny did need a win and, even more unfortunately, WesTec was his best shot. Maybe his last shot. Jade Harbour’s financial backers were starting to notice that his once stellar track record wasn’t looking so stellar lately. His ass was on the line, which left Danny with very few options.
Outside, he stopped, still vibrating with adrenaline from the confrontation.
“That was pretty badass.” Tobin looked back through the doors they’d exited, as if Cyrus was going to come bursting through them at any minute.
Perhaps it was, but Danny saw no reason to take pride in it. His job was to close deals and sometimes the sellers needed a little encouragement.
Tobin turned to him, and suddenly WesTec and Cyrus West didn’t matter anymore.
Was he dreaming? Was Tobin really standing in front of him? Chubby cheeks had given way to sculpted cheekbones. A bit of acne scarring on his skin made Tobin look even more adult. He held himself with such self-assurance; like he’d grown into too-big clothes that now fit him just right. He was striking. He would turn heads when walking down the street. Danny’s body certainly made its interest known.
Danny took a step backward, needing the extra foot of distance between them. Seven years ago, he had succumbed to Tobin’s appeal. There may be years and geography between them, but one thing hadn’t changed. Tobin was undoubtedly special.
Did he remember that night as vividly as Danny did?
A shy smile tugged at Tobin’s lips, as if he’d read Danny’s mind, and Danny couldn’t help but return it. It didn’t matter what Tobin did or did not remember. They were…childhood friends, practically family, connected in a way Danny didn’t have words for. It’d been too long since they were in touch. No matter their reasons for drifting apart.
“Are you free for dinner tonight?”
Tobin’s smile exploded at Danny’s invitation. “Yes! Yeah,
definitely, totally. Uh…” He patted his pockets. “Shit. I think I left my phone upstairs.”
Danny reached into the inner pocket of his suit jacket and pulled out a business card. Always be prepared. “Here. Give me a call when you’re done, and I’ll send a car around.”
Tobin took the card and ran a thumb over the embossed letters, as if committing them to memory. He clutched the card in his hand. “Oh, I, uh… I can meet you wherever.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll send a car for you.”
Tobin looked a little taken aback, almost as if he was going to put up a fuss. But then he chuckled and nodded. “Okay, sure. I guess I’ll give you a call when I’m done.” He held up the card in a wave as he walked backward toward the doors. “See you later.”
Danny nodded and watched Tobin go. At the building’s main entrance, Tobin stopped and glanced back at Danny as if checking to make sure he was real.
Danny felt exactly the same way.