Audrey Mathews has worked hard to get here. Now she’s up for a promotion and nothing will stand in her way—including Zach Black. He’s hot, smart and the competition. When they’re assigned to the same project, she’s shocked at how much she actually likes about him…and how much she misjudged him.
Before long Audrey is seriously falling for Zach—and indulging in an affair that’s against company policy. And the stakes rise when it’s clear only one of them can get ahead. So where do they draw the line between competition and love? Especially when she doesn’t want to lose either the promotion or the guy….
If you know me, you’ll know that I will devour a good friends-to-lovers story. However, one of my favourite tropes is the enemies-to-lovers one. The whole to-ing and fro-ing and the “I hate you, I love you” can be awesome if the author gets it right.
I am more than happy to say that Sarah Mayberry has hit the target with Her Favorite Rival.
There is just something so believable about how a Mayberry character is created. Her heroes and heroines are real, flawed individuals with actual issues and concerns that could easily be your own. It is never too hard to imagine her characters as real people.
This is definitely the case with Audrey and Zach in Her Favorite Rival. Both are deeply driven people – for differing reasons which become clear throughout the course of the book – and when the opportunity for a promotion comes up, both are as keen as mustard to get it. But both are equally qualified for the role and there is only one position. From there, it’s on like Donkey Kong. Not only are they battling each other for the promise of promotion, they’re fighting against an attraction to each other that burns brighter than the sun.
The dialogue and interaction between Audrey and Zach is brilliant – there’s a certain deliciousness about them as rivals, then friends and ultimately as lovers. Both have been shaped by their pasts, which have not been easy, and I also really appreciated that their feelings about this are realistic and not out of place.
There is another in this series, Her Favorite Temptation, which is the story of Audrey’s sister, Leah. It runs parallel to the events in Her Favorite Rival. You don’t have to read them in order necessarily, but if I were you, I’d read Temptation first. Things made a little more sense that way. The relationships between Audrey and Leah, and Audrey and her friend Megan, are beautiful and strong and add that extra something to the story.
I loved the humour and emotion in Her Favorite Rival, and boy, she does the sexy so very well! Please keep writing books like this, Ms Mayberry!
My rating: 5 out of 5
Release Date: 3 September 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Harlequin via NetGalley in return for an honest review.