She’s a beauty, but he’s just a geek.
The world might think billionaire Xavier Gaines has it all, but he’s got a big problem. His successful software company is about to sign a government contract that’ll land him smack in the glare of the public limelight, and his lifelong battle with social anxiety has marked him as a cold, uncaring bastard in the eyes of the press. To dispel the unflattering image, he needs help, and there’s only one person he trusts with the job—Peyton Smoke. Gorgeous, kind, and funny, she agrees to be his media relations director and soon imbeds herself so deeply in his life, his world will crumble if anything upsets the balance. He cannot screw up their solid unit. No matter how achingly he desires her. Yet, how is he supposed to resist when she tugs emotions from him he didn’t think he was capable of experiencing? Especially since it appears he’s not the only one fighting their undeniable attraction.
Ever-after just might be possible...if he can convince her to believe in love again.
Peyton Smoke is looking for a change, and working at Gaines Industries has given her the boost she needs to fill the empty void in her life. Xavier is the perfect boss. Under his seemingly callous, frigid demeanor lies a compassionate man who cares about causes and those precious few he lets into his inner circle. What she wasn’t prepared for is the smoldering passion suddenly flaring between them, nor the hot-as-sin alpha side beneath the layer of sexy nerd. Getting involved with him puts more than her job at risk. She’s been trampled one too many times, and she vowed never to leave herself vulnerable again. But the heart wants what the heart wants. If only she can figure out whether his feelings are genuine or if this is a mistaken case of gratitude wrapped in lust, then their shot at forever may not seem like such a fruitless hope.
I had the privilege to win an audiobook version of this title on the author page for Kelly Moran, and I was super excited to try the audiobook experience itself, as well. I was nervous about it, mainly that I would focus on the voice of the reader, and their performance, instead of the story. But Counterbalance drew me in so that I soon forgot someone was reading it to me, instead, I was completely absorbed in the life of Xavier Gaines and Peyton Smoke.
There's so much to love about this story, mainly because it breaks all the normal patterns of romance novels, it goes outside the box, yet is lovely, steaming hot, adorable, and attractive tale of friendship and love. The relationship between Peyton and Xavier is growing over time, really over the years, and they have a unique and true trust between them. The complete honesty they share is refreshing, how they deal with conflict is mature and an example most of could learn from.
Xavier is a self-made successful businessman, yet he has humbleness, dignity, honor, and loyalty that I admired.
Peyton gets Xavier like no one else does. She understands him and his social anxiety. She is a key player in the continuing success of Xavier's business yet she wants to make sure that the blooming relationship is not connected to their work relationship. Because of his economic status, she feels like she is not enough for him and his family, because of his geekiness and socially awkward behavior, Xavier feels that he is not good enough for her.
I loved, treasured each moment of the story, the fragile balance that X and Peyton were building on their romantic relationship, the adoration they had for each other, the passion and deeply rooted feelings they had for each other, the friendship they had formed in high school and were able to expand from, each element making the tale more enjoyable, the romance more believable, and the story more captivating and delightful. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the author's work, and Counterbalance delivers a heartfelt, ardent tale that I adored.
~ Five Spoons
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me