Author: Lyla Payne
Series: Whitman University #4
Release Date: December 10, 2013
My Rating: 4 Stars
Sam Bradford has it all—he’s the #2 tennis player in the world, plenty of girls want to date him, and he’ll never want for money. At least, that’s what he thought until his accountant stole everything and disappeared. Interpol has no idea where to start, and neither does the American F.B.I., so Sam figures he’ll just have to take care of his body and play a few extra years to make it back. When Blair Paddington, the accountant’s daughter and a friend of a friend at Whitman, shows up and claims she can help Sam get his money back he’s torn between wanting justice and the very real possibility that Blair is just as big a con man as her father. When she promises not only money, but justice, Sam agrees—but only if he can go along on the search. The two of them set off on an adventure neither rich kid is prepared for—cheap hostels, the same clothes three days in a row, and nothing but a backpack of possessions—so they can fly under the radar as college lovers on a winter break. In spite of Blair’s shady family, her daring and resourceful personality strike Sam’s interest and he finds himself falling for the one girl he shouldn’t. When they finally find her father, the truths that come to light not only make Sam question his affection for Blair, but could cost him more than money—if they can’t work together one last time, neither of them may be going home. Ever.
Staying On Top was my introduction to Lyla Payne and I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future! She put a fresh spin on the deceit trope, and added in a hilarious couple to boot. Sam and Blair are polar opposites that find solace with each other. Blair is tough, and hard-hearted, where Sam is sweet and open. Their bickering and chemistry sucked me in from the get-go and never let up. I was all set to read another college based new adult novel, and got a fun-filled globe-trotting adventure instead!
"For the first time in maybe my entire life, it felt okay to sit next to someone and not worry that they would hear a million confessions in the silence."
Blair and Same set out on an adventure to get Sam's money back. Money that was stolen by Blair's father. So, you can imagine Sam's hesitance to accept Blair's help in this endeavor. Nonetheless, the two begin searching high and low for her father and get into some pretty tight spots along the way. While Blair has her own motives at the beginning of their trip, they quickly become null and void as Sam worms his way into her heart. Sam, is definitely a charmer. From the minute they started traveling he has been the King on Innuendos and pervy yet, hilarious, commentary. I was chuckling throughout the entire book. Between the banter from Blair and Sam to the rough trail they follow there was never a dull moment.
"But as stupid as it sounds, I've never felt this way about anyone- like nothing would be real if I couldn't tell you about it. Don't give up before we give it a try."
It all comes to head though, when secrets are revealed and Blair must make decisions about her future. I totally adore sweet, and charming male leads but, I think Blair might be my favorite character in Staying On Top. She has always had to be so strong, and it has turned her somewhat bitter. That all changes with Sam, and she finally finds a backbone where her one weakness is concerned. Overall, Staying On Top is an enjoyable read. It was fun, steamy, and hilarious. It was refreshing to read a light-hearted, and light on the angst book. Sometimes I get so deep into the angst, I need a breather and this was just the book to give me a entertaining and delightful reprieve. Would I recommend it? Absolutely! I definitely added all three predecessors to my TBR list and can't wait to read all about the other couples' stories :)
*ARC provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*
I’ve long had a love of stories. A few years ago decided to put them down on the page, and even though I have a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where I found a home. I've published Young Adult under a different name, but when I got the idea for Broken at Love (my first New Adult title), I couldn't wait to try something new – and I’m hooked. In my spare time I watch a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), play a ton of tennis, and dedicate a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life.
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