Slick’s Review – Tripped Out (Blacktop Cowboys 8.5) by Lorelei James

Lorelei James takes takes a bit of a risk with this book, jumping out of the norm in the Blacktop Cowboys series, and writing a fun and educating book about two people working to take their company to a higher level (hey, I never promised not to use ANY references to weed). ~ Slick, Guilty Pleasures 

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lorelei James, comes TRIPPED OUT, a new novella in her Blacktop Cowboys Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!

About TRIPPED OUT:

Where there’s smoke…

Stirling Gradsky abandoned the corporate rat race for a more laidback lifestyle. So it’s ironic she’s stuck working with a hard-bodied, know-it-all scientist who treats her like a stoner instead of a stone cold business woman capable of running a large scale cannabis operation. Dr. Hot and Tattooed with the big…brain needs to stop sampling their product; he’s under the half-baked idea that he’s the boss.

Dr. Liam Argent’s doctorate isn’t in chemistry, but from the moment he meets his sexy new coworker, there’s enough heat between them to short out all the lights in the grow house. First item on his agenda? Clearing up the sassy, blunt blonde’s hazy notion that she’s in charge.

Sparks fly as their attraction blazes. But can they weed out their differences without getting burned?

Grab your copy of TRIPPED OUT today!

As I begin my review of Tripped Out, I have to admit a couple of things; one I’m still smiling at the verbal foreplay between the two main characters because it was so smart and sassy, and two, I have so many “high life” cracks running through my head I have to push them out so I don’t sound like a total stoner writing this review. Lorelei James takes takes a bit of a risk with this book, jumping out of the norm in the Blacktop Cowboys series, and writing a fun and educating book about two people working to take their company to a higher level (hey, I never promised not to use ANY references to weed).

For the past ten months Stirling Gradsky’s life has been a living hell working with Dr. Liam Argent, a biochemist her brother and business partner saw fit to hire. What I loved about this book is that almost from the start Stirling and Liam are calling a truce to the pranks they’ve been playing on one another for nearly a year, yet we hear about them during their conversations in this book, so we are privy to their antagonistic start but the personal relationship building between them begins immediately. I appreciated the easy way these two fell into a friendship that built to more, but even more important was how their snarky, quick witted comments never ceased. While they did seem to be able to open up a bit more to one another while enjoying some of their fine product, it was evident pretty early on that trust was building between them daily.

Working together and going through ups and downs that come with owning and working for a very busy and lucrative legal cannabis company added a bit of drama to their relationship, but these two worked hard at communicating effectively in many interesting and sexy ways.

The secondary characters were a colorful lot including some that fans of Ms. James previous works will no doubt recognize, I know I was very intrigued by what was going on between two that appeared at a Gradsky party, and the High Society crew was entertaining to say the least.

While a departure from what fans normally see in the Blacktop Cowboy series, Tripped Out was an intelligent, humorous, and sexy story and I loved every minute of it.

Review copy provided for a voluntary review.

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Excerpt:

The first rule of being a prankster?

A killer poker face.

And Stirling Gradsky had that down pat.

The second rule of being a prankster?

Learn your opponent’s weak spots.

Maybe Stirling didn’t have that rule down entirely. Her pranking prey, Dr. Liam Argent, remained as much a mystery now as he’d been when he’d waltzed into High Society ten months ago and declared himself emperor.

Okay, maybe not emperor, but he definitely acted like the laboratory was his private kingdom.

His appearance hadn’t been a surprise. Stirling’s brother Macon, her business partner in High Society—a cannabis operation that included a retail store, a medical dispensary, and an onsite grow house—had informed her that he’d hired a guy from California, a cannabis expert, to work in the lab.

After dealing in euphemisms regarding all things cannabis related, Stirling believed “the lab” was Macon’s shorthand for the grow house. She imagined the California dude to be an older version of the iconic stoner character Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Turned out she had been wrong on both accounts.

Macon had indeed meant he’d created a full-blown, state of the art laboratory, complete with a beefed up security system for their resident cannabis expert. And the “dude from California” turned out to be Dr. Liam Argent, stuffed shirt extraordinaire, with advanced degrees up the wazoo.

The man drove her crazy.

Crazy.

From day one he’d refused to tell her what he was working on in his fancy-ass lab. When she’d complained to Macon about Dr. Argent’s secretive manner, he’d instructed her to leave Dr. Argent alone.

Her brother may as well have waved a red flag in front of her.

She’d tried being friendly…to no avail.

She’d tried being bossy…to no avail.

She’d tried every “employee relations improvement” tactic she’d learned in her years in the corporate world…to no avail.

Hence her oh-so-mature decision to prank him until he cracked. She’d worked with men like him before. At least if you got them angry enough, they’d yell at you, which nine times out of ten led to an actual conversation.

Except Dr. Argent hadn’t shown the slightest chink in his armor. In fact, he’d joined in on her prankfest and one-upped her on occasion.

Which was why today’s prank ranked as one of the better ones he’d pulled on her.

It was also why Stirling was massively annoyed.

About Lorelei James:

Lorelei James is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary erotic western romances set in the modern day Wild West and also contemporary erotic romances. Lorelei’s books have been nominated for and won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s choice Award, as well as the CAPA Award. Lorelei lives in western South Dakota with her family…and a whole closet full of cow girl boots.

From Lorelei: “Why do I have a particular fondness for all things western? Well, I’m a fourth generation South Dakotan, living in the Black Hills, which is chock-full of interesting characters, including cowboys, Indians, ranchers, and bikers. The geographical diversity of the surrounding area showcases mountains, plains, and badlands. Living in and writing about rural settings gives me a unique perspective, especially since I’m not writing historical westerns. Through my fictional world, I can show the ideals and the cowboy way of life are still very much alive.”

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