Madison Avenue Mediator
by Nicole Sanchez
Book 2 in the Love in the Big Apple Series
Ainsley Seaborn always gets what she wants... except when it comes to having a baby.
Multiple Ivy-league degrees, a job as one of New York's best divorce mediators, a parade of toe-curling hookups with the hottest men in NYC--easy.
Finding the right guy to make a baby with? Not so much.
Until Ken Baker, that is.
He's perfect in all the right ways, sexy as hell, and eager to give her exactly what she wants.
There's just one tiny problem.
She's mediating his divorce.
Until the papers are finalized, nothing can happen between Ainsley and Ken. Even if the tension is sizzling and torturous in the best way.
When he's finally free, he makes her an offer that's too hard to refuse. Being with Ken is easy, and so much better than Ainsley imagined. Turns out, Ken is a cinnamon roll in the streets and an alpha in the sheets.
But as their babymaking starts to feel more like lovemaking, Ainsley starts to wonder if she needs to guard her heart. Not so easy when Ken is whispering the filthiest things in her ear about how much he wants to fill her and how he wants to see her body change with the baby he put inside her...
Their arrangement should be enough to fulfill her desire to be a mom. So why does she want more? And how much is she going to have to risk to get the baby and the happily ever after with the man of her dreams?
Madison Avenue Mediator is a stand alone novel set in the Love in the Big Apple world and can be read without reading the preceding books.
I've never heard of this series, but I have read Nicole Sanchez before, so when I was sent an arc of Madison Avenue Mediator, I was intrigued. It's not my usual trope, I will admit. I'm a real life mom, and reading is an escape of my adult responsibilities, so I tend to not read too many books that involve pregnancy. That being said, there were things I really loved about this book, and some things I didn't like so much.
I don't know if you can lump this book into the whole breeding kink trope. From my understanding, breeding kinks are when one's sole purpose is to impregnate the main character, with no romance involved. So while Madison Avenue Mediator doesn't fully fall under that umbrella, it kind of does? There is romance, but it almost feels like an afterthought to all the sex and baby-making. This leads to the one thing I didn't love about this book. For much of the book, it very much felt like Ken was just using Ainsley as an incubator. I could understand Ainsley's confusion over her feelings and Ken's intentions, because Ken was all over the place. I think if there was more emphasis on the romance between these two, I would have enjoyed it more.
I did enjoy the writing. The banter was good. The premise felt unique. I loved Ainsley's friends, and Ken's family. I loved Ainsley's no apologies given attitude about her dating life, and her willingness to go for what she wants, even if its unconventional. And even if I saw it from a mile away, the start of Ainsley and Ken's relationship was definitely interesting.
While Madison Avenue Mediator isn't one of my favorite reads this year, I still enjoyed it. I added the other books in the series to my tbr in fact, because their stories, or potential future stories, sound interesting.
He looks confused by my presence for a moment, until the night comes back to him and he smiles.
Ainsley: "This is all just a dream. Go back to sleep or the Easter Bunny won't leave you any presents,"
I whisper, giving u p on the search for my underwear. Maybe I wasn't even wearing any to begin with. I wouldn't be surprised by that.
Ken: "I'm agnostic,"
he whispers back, and I don't have a moment to feel bad about it because I've started to back away from the door.
Ainsley: "Do you regularly make it a habit to pick people up at a bar together?"
The snark slips out of me before I can apply my filter. I reach for my coffee and take another sip. Kenneth's eyes slide to me, and I get the feeling he'd seeing a dangerous amount of myself. He's not mad or annoyed, but interested.
Ken: "Just the good looking ones."
I think I need a spray bottle on hand so I can be sprayed like a cat on bad behavior anytime I have impure thoughts about this man."
Taryn bangs her knife on the table.
Taryn: I demand order in my court. Enough fighting. Ainsley is going to do what Ainsley does best, toe the line of appropriate and inappropriate and look like a boss bitch while doing it."
Ainsley: "Is that how you do things? You have someone else handle them for you?"
Parker: "If you're asking if I'll make you finish the job for yourself when we're together, the answer to that is a resounding no. I deserve the ire, but when it comes to satisfying my partner, I get the job done."
I set down my wine glass n finally engage,
Ainsley: "Big talk."
Parker: "I'll let my dick do the talking."
Ainsley: "I slept with a guy who called his dick Hotrod,"
I tell him, as if this is meant to scandalize.
Parker: "And was it?"
Parker asks, leaning forward.
Ainsley: "Was it what?"
I feel like I've lost the thread of the conversation.
Parker: "Was it a hotrod or was he all talk and no action?"
Ainsley: "Chad had the moves."
I can't believe I'm talking so candidly about another guy I've slept with.
Parker: "I don't know what I want to focus on more, that you slept with a guy named Chad or t hat he had a cock named Hotrod and that this is the most Chad thing I've ever heard."
Ken: "That's right, when. I realized something, Ainsley, sometime around when you recklessly let me into your office when no one else was there, and when I heard you fired up to help your friend. I realized that there is no world in which I won't fall in love with you. And watching you grow swollen with our child, watching you be a boss bitch eight months pregnant and not slowing down, I know I'll be hopeless for you, because I already am. But this is new, and we're trying to figure a lot of shit out right now. So yes, when I propose to you."
Apple: "I should warn you, Tobias is obsessed with his penis."
Ken: "I would tell you he'll outgrow it, but I'm thirty-seven and I'm still obsessed with my dick,"
Ken adds with a chuckle.
Kyle: "Where is all this hostility coming from? Did Eloise tell you those rumors she's been starting?"
He pushes my door all the way open, so the whole office can hear every word we're saying,
I stand to my full height before walking around my desk in my four-inch red-bottomed heels. My movements seem effortless as I glide in his direction. I'm careful not to touch him, but just having me prowl toward him has Kyle on edge and he takes a few steps back to keep space between us. HE knows who my father is, what my father can and will do. He might fuck around with my paralegal, but he's not stupid enough to fuck with me.
Ainsley: "This hostility is coming from you thinking that I'm afraid of your pencil dick energy. Stay away from Eloise and stay away from me, or you'll be looking at a class action lawsuit for the firm. Eloise is off limits."
Kyle: "She's a firm asset. She doesn't belong to you."
He's trying to muster courage and I want to coo at him for thinking that it will accomplish anything.
Ainsley: "Let's you and I run that past the partners, see who they value more: you or me. I've kept in touch with all of the twenty-eight women who have come and gone through these doors. I've held their confidence all this time. I bet they would all love to come down on you with the whole force of the law."
Kyle sneers at me.
Kyle: "If you actually had something actionable, you would have already done something about it."
I grab his tie and tug it down so I can whisper in his ear.
Ainsley: "Believe it or not, it's not every woman's wet dream to talk about how you dry humped them while they changed the paper in the copier. How else would I know how little you're packing? You're overcompensating for something. Actually, a lot of somethings."
I let him go and level him with a firm glare.
Ainsley: "Leave the women in this office alone."
I stalk back into my space and slam the door in his face. The glass pane rattles satisfyingly. When I look at my faithful paralegal, she's grinning behind a folder.
Eloise: "I have never been more turned on by a woman in my life than I was while watching you put that asshole in his place."
Ainsley: "I'm pretty turned on by myself, if I do say so."
Sean is silent as he moves from the seat across from me to the one beside me so he can slide an arm around my shoulders. The more I try to calm myself down, the worse it gets, until Sean starts to rub my ears. It's enough of a shock to jolt me back to myself.
Ainsley: "What was that? Why were you rubbing my ears?"
Sean flushes red.
Sean: "When Olive would get upset, it would help her calm down. I didn't know what to do. I haven't had to deal with a crying female since the funeral."
Ainsley: "That is weird, but also sweet."
Ainsley: "We still need to talk,"
I remind him, not wanting to lose the thread of want is important, but he only snickers.
Ken: "We can talk when your throat is sore after screaming my name. Until then, be a good girl and open your legs wider for me."
Ken: "Wait, you ran a background check on me?"
Ken says, finally realizing that this is how my father knows all this information.
Dad: "After hearing how you broke my daughters heart? I had to know just how many people would come asking questions when you disappeared."
Ken laughs, like it should be a joke, but my father's face doesn't budge.
Ken: "Oh, you're serious."
Taryn: "How are you feeling?"
Taryn asks, shoveling a piece of sushi into her mouth. I scowl.
Ainsley: "Like my tits hurt and all I want to do is have sex, all the time."
It's the gospel truth. I've been insatiable, wanting to feel Ken. No amount has been good enough. Ken has had quite the time trying to keep up with all of my cravings. He hates when I bring up the time he actually fell asleep while I was riding him, but it's something he will never live down.
Charlie coughs into his drink, looking to Ken.
Charlie: "Want to get a drink with me?"
he asks, trying to lead Ken away from the all-female talk.
Apple: "I know how that is. Until Tobias, I was trying to get Howie to have sex with me everywhere we went. When I was pregnant with Tobias, I would want it, but by the time Howie was done taking off his pants, I was passed out.:
Ken turns to Charlie.
Ken: "I would love that drink."