Managed by Kristen Callihan

Managed (VIP, #2)

by Kristen Callihan

It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big...ego.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.

That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.

I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.

If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Let the battle begin…

Reviewed by EBookObsessed on

4 of 5 stars

I adored Gabriel and Sophie together, so why haven't I finished the story, you ask...

I adored the romance between Gabriel Scott and Sophie Darling in Managed. They are such polar opposites. Gabriel (or Scotty as his friends call him) is very stoic even with his friends in the band, Kill John. Sophie is bubbly and funny, the type of person everyone wants to talk to, and it is her unreserved nature which burrows past Gabriel's defenses and wins his heart. So why didn't you finish. We'll get to that.

Obviously, we met Gabriel in Book 1 of the series. He is the manager of Kill John, the most popular rock band in the world. At the start of the story, Gabriel is taking a transatlantic flight from New York to London to meet up with the boys for their Europe tour. He is upset since he purchased two seats in first class and finds Sophie sitting in the other seat. Scotty is a bad flier and he doesn't want anyone to witness his terror on the flight. Of course, Sophie being Sophie starts off giving Gabriel a hard time for being annoyed by her sitting next to him until she realizes that he is so stressed and she begins needling him as a distraction. So begins the basis of a seven hour friendship with Sophie helping Gabriel through his stress of flying. Sophie dubbing Gabriel "Sunshine" and he was calling her "Chatty Girl."

We come to find out that Sophie is going to London for a job interview but she hasn't been told who with. Of course it turns out to be with Gabriel's company to photo document the tour and manage the social media for the band which is still suffering from negative publicity from Jax's suicide attempt last year.

Since landing in London, Gabriel is suffering from insomnia. He realizes that the only time he has any real, restful sleep is when he was sleeping next to Sophie in the plane. So Gabriel asks Sophie to share his bus for the tour and to sleep (just sleep) with him so he can get some rest. Sophie, being a nice person and highly attracted to Gabriel, agrees to stay with Gabriel on his bus for the remainder of the trip. Of course, the guys presume they are together together because they see the way Gabriel looks at Sophie and they are very happy for their friend.

I really loved listening to how fun Sophie is and how she becomes so important to Gabriel, who keeps even his friends and arms length. Sophie is the only one who dares to call him Gabriel and the only one to see that Gabriel's stoicism is just a thin façade so he doesn't get too friendly with anyone.  Gabriel starts calling her Darling but is it a endearment or just reference to her last name which he allows her to think. It seems to have more meaning each time he says it.  This was just such a wonderful, blossoming romance and when they finally admit that they both have fantasies about the other, these two burn up the pages. So why haven't you finished...

well, you know how some books have that moment where one character does something so stupid, you just have to close the book and walk away so you don't throw your phone or ereader against the wall. Yeah. That's what happened here. There is only about an hour left in my audiobook and suddenly Sophie makes a decision which will absolutely bite her in the butt. Sophie is keeping information to herself, which Gabriel and the band need to know about, and if she doesn't change her mind, it will, of course, look like a betrayal. After listening for 9 hours, building up this wonderful romance and experiencing far Gabriel has come opening up to Sophie and letting her into his life, I just didn't have the heart to listen to his little heart breaking wide open if he thinks Sophie betrayed them all. (I am certain that cracking noise would be part of the soundtrack.) You know how I love my wounded heroes. Well, I also have a special soft spot for the stoic ones who lost their Moms young and don't want to be hurt like that again. Seeing him open up to Sophie, bear his soul to her and then have him lose faith will just break me. I just need to step away from all those feelings before I can watch this train wreck happen. :(

I decided to move on to my next audiobook and come back to finish this one up. Who knows, maybe Sophie gets it right in the next three minutes and doesn't destroy Gabriel's fragile trust. We'll have to wait and see. I will update this review once I actually finish.

As far as romance, I was loving this story up until that dreaded "conflict." Why does everyone feel that every book needs one because sometimes it really sucks all the good out of the book. In this case, it screwed up my sweet romance mojo and I just couldn't bear to witness it.

One thing I found very interesting about this audiobook, and a little confusing, was that someone chose two different narrators for this story vs Book 1.  That is unusual.  On one hand, I would say, great idea since we have different characters, it is obviously a good idea to give them their own voices.  The problem is that we already have a female narrative giving voices to the characters, and a male narrator giving voices to whoever shows up in their chapter, but after listening to Book 1, some of the secondary characters had a more distinct accent where they didn't really have one in Book 1.   Now Gabriel and all the members of Kill John all met at an expensive private school (Gabriel went there on scholarship since his family didn't have money) so I guess they all should have British accents but jumping narrators in the middle of a series screws up the voices in my head. At least the ones that had to do with this series.

We will revisit this review again soon.

Last modified on

Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 9 February, 2021: Finished reading
  • 9 February, 2021: Reviewed