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Wild Wedding #1

Black Tie Optional

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Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips - on the surface he’s pure perfection.

Too bad he's an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.

Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.

So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.

Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.

416 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 30, 2017

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About the author

Ann Marie Walker

15 books476 followers
Ann Marie Walker is the author of nine novels, ranging from romantic suspense to romantic comedy. She's a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and '80s rom-coms. Her superpower is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends, and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl. You can find her at AnnMarieWalker.com, where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis, or Chewbacca, the Morkie who is kind enough to let her sit on his couch. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 201 reviews
Profile Image for Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog.
337 reviews996 followers
June 1, 2017
3.5 stars

Review and Excerpt at Of Pens and Pages.

Coleman Grant III and Olivia Ramsey are on two opposite sides in society—the 1% vs. the rest of the world. The rich asshole and the hippie tree-hugger.

You would think they don’t get along, and you’re right. They don’t. With Olivia pestering Cole every morning to save the endangered northern long-eared bat and Cole ignoring her, love and affection are obviously the least likely result.

They don’t expect to see each other in Las Vegas, but when they do, the attraction they’ve always felt for each other is awakened by booze, booze, and more booze. By morning, they’re naked in bed, sated and hungover. They plan to keep it in Vegas, but when Cole faces a roadblock (a.k.a. his grandmother), he offers Olivia a proposition that will benefit them both. Cole will fulfill the marriage clause in his father’s will right on time for his 30th birthday, and Olivia will save the endangered northern long-eared bat.

Apparently, tying the knot in front of an Elvis Presley look-a-like isn’t enough. They have to convince Cole’s grandmother that their marriage is real or they could be in big trouble.

This was such a delight to read. Cole and Olivia are a hoot, and it was great to see that despite their physical attraction for each other, there’s not much love between them at first. In most of the fake relationship and hate to love books I’ve read, either one of the characters is already harboring feelings before the ruse. So to have a somewhat genuine dislike is so fun to read.

I loved Olivia! She’s such a fun, free-spirited woman who fights the good fight. There was a thing she did that made me cringe (airplane moment omg), but overall she’s a great girl. Smart, confident, and a go-getter.

Same goes for Cole. He’s such an alpha, powerful and in control, and he fights for what he wants, inside and outside the bed. A handsome force to be reckoned with. Makes your heart and panties melt.

I would have given a higher rating if the story focused more on their budding relationship and the initial conflict/antagonist, Cole’s grandmother. Somewhere along the way, there were more conflicts added that I believe the story could have gone without.

Other than that, I still enjoyed the story.

Black Tie Optional is a standalone novel told in alternating POVs. It’s a hot, fun, and fast-paced story with a modern marriage of convenience, opposites attract, hate to love romance.

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,017 reviews12k followers
July 21, 2017
What do you want, Olivia?” he’d asked.
“Everything,” she whispered.

Well, hello there, new series to obsess over. It's nice to read ya. Ha! See what I did there? OK, that was totally cheesy so just ignore me. But seriously though, Ann Marie Walker has a super fun new series in the works and this was a great way to start it! Black Tie Optional was cute, sexy, and fun. If there's one thing this author can do, it's write one heck of an intense alpha and may did she strike gold with the grumpy, cynical billionaire Coleman Grant III. #Yum

Now I love me a good marriage of convenience trope and man did this book bring it. The opposites attract force was strong with this one. Here you have a tree loving, animal saving, vegetarian activist meet brooding alpha billionaire and boy do the spars fly. I loved the banter between Cole and Olivia and Olivia definitely wasn't shy about telling him what she thinks of him. #Winning

Cole has a problem; he needs to get married in less than a week to get ownership of his father's company that he helped build into the success that it is now. His viper grandmother brings everything but the warm and fuzzies in her bid to make sure that he doesn't. What's a guy to do? Propose marriage to a woman that's been driving him nuts for month in her Save The Bats campaign. So what if they accidentally had one of the most sizzling one night stands while in Vegas. This is all business now. If only he can continue to keep his hands off her and his grandmother wasn't determined to prove their marriage for the shame that it is.
You drive me fucking crazy,” he growled before once again claiming her mouth in an unforgiving kiss. A battle he was destined to lose waged inside him. He’d sworn to himself that what happened in Vegas was nothing more than a drunken lapse in judgment. A one-time event never to be repeated. But even though a part of him already knew he’d regret it later, all he could think about was how much he wanted her.
“Really?” she rasped. “’Cause I don’t give you a second thought.”

I seriously enjoyed this book! A LOT! So you're probably wondering why the 3.5 rating. This is entirely a reader preference thing, so do take this with a grain of salt; but the heroine didn't quite work for me. Keep your tomatoes to yourself now! I fully admit it's a me thing. I'm just not a fan of the tree hugging save the world types. *cringes* Oh man, that sounds terrible doesn't it? But I can't help it. There were just certain aspects of her personality that slightly grated on me. Cole was simply delicious and made up for almost all of it. I also really loved Livvie's family. This would have been a solid 4 star read for me if not for the ending. I couldn't help feeling like it was very abrupt. I wanted more closure with the grandmother. More details. It felt somewhat rushed and I just wanted....more.

Aside from my few quibbles, this was still a fabulous read and I can't wait for the next in the series.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for Julie .
4,028 reviews58.9k followers
July 30, 2017
Black tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker is a 2017 St. Martin’s Press publication.

This fast-paced, quick-witted romantic comedy is an ‘enemies to lovers’ themed story, with a side of opposites attracts.

Oliva is a humanitarian, hippie-ish, organic, animal lover, who is hounding the obnoxious, but very wealthy, Coleman Grant, about saving an endangered species.

The pair mixes like bleach and ammonia, sending toxic fumes into the air every time they meet. But, neither one of them are blind and secretly acknowledge, to themselves, a grudging attraction to the other.

But, when Oliva heads to Vegas for a girl’s night out, she drunkenly ends up in Coleman’s bed. The next morning, nursing a painful hangover all she wants is to make a hasty, albeit humiliating exit, but Cole surprises her with a little proposition.

Cole’s father left an odd codicil in his will, and it is apparently etched in stone. His grandmother is hoping Cole won't be able to find a bride in the allotted time frame, so that she can control his money.

Desperate to save all that he has spent his adult life working to achieve, Cole strikes a bargain with Olivia.

If she marries him, he will do whatever she asked to help her endangered species. Once the will is settled, his company is safe and securely in his hands, they can go their separate ways…. If they don’t kill each other first.

I haven’t read a romantic comedy like this one in a very long time, and after reading some serious, heavy, and dark material, I was ready for something fun.

Opposites attract, enemies to lovers, and pretend marriages have been covered six ways to Sunday, and this story doesn’t necessarily introduce anything all that unique or original to those tropes, per se, but the lightning fast pacing, the sharp wit and dialogue, the laugh out loud funny predicaments, topped off by the sizzling hot chemistry between the main characters, kept the story from falling prey to the dangers of predictability.

I did appreciate the level of intimacy, which stayed inside my comfort zone, and the character growth that developed in the midst of this zany, madcap, scheme.

At the end of the day, sometimes the most important thing is how entertained I was, how much fun I had reading the book, and if, by the last paragraph, I have come away with a smile on my face or find myself in better spirits.

That’s a pretty tall order these days, for me, but this story managed to pull it off, giving me a slight reprieve from life’s stresses, and if you can pull that off, you deserve a round of applause and have my sincere thanks.

4 stars
Profile Image for Nicola.
1,393 reviews244 followers
August 22, 2017
3.5 stars.

Ann Marie Walker is another new-to-me author who's added herself to my pile of future reads and Black Tie Optional is pretty much what you'd get if What Happens in Vegas and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, had a lovechild.


This was definitely a book that hooked me more in the latter half: the humour was spot on, the heat levels nicely steamy, it had a good injection of light and sweet and didn't scrimp on the verbal sparring between Olivia—vegetarian and saver of animals—and Cole, billionaire arsehole and grouch in urgent need of a wife to prevent Granny Grant getting her mitts on everything he's worked for.

“No woman could ever live up to the fantasy of being unattainable, and who was more unattainable than a woman who hated your guts?”

It's no secret that I'm partial to a grump who shows his softer side as the black void in his chest transforms in to a beating heart and Cole was exactly that man. Olivia tests his resolve on every level, as he does hers, but they're great together, even though neither may realise it.

“...for the first time in what seems like forever, I’m actually happy.”

It wasn't flawless—I did think the aspect involving his gran fell flat and I would've liked the ending to pack a bigger punch—but for what it lacked on that score, Olivia's parents, best friend, Cassie and an angry pig made up for. All in all a sound start to the Wild Weddings series and I'll be in line for the next book at the end of the year.


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Profile Image for Claire.
2,308 reviews702 followers
September 11, 2017
4 - "You're a lot less charming when I'm sober." Stars!

Nothing gives me more pleasure than discovering an author whose work I get along with, but that I haven’t read before, and although well-known Ann Marie Walker is an author now to me.

Black Tie Optional is the first book in the Wild Wedding series, and Cole and Olivia’s story was just all round easy reading. Plenty of humor, lots of chemistry and verbal sparring, and two characters that you cannot help but like.

He might be hotter than Ryan Reynolds and Ian Somerhalder combined, but underneath that perfect exterior beats the heart of an ogre…

I think the dual POV really added to this story, both Cole and Olivia on the surface seemed quite cut and dried when it came to their characters, one free-spirited, flighty and always fighting for the under-dog, while the other staid, bound by expectation, and expects to be the top-dog in every situation he finds himself in. They say that opposites attract, and even when pushed into a marriage of (in)convenience they really do on this occasion.

"Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t be my first choice. Hell, you wouldn’t even be my last choice, but I’m out of time."

If I am honest, nothing in this story came as a major surprise, but it was so well written, and the characters so well developed, that it was just a pleasure to read. Definitely a book I can see being made into a successful Rom-Com in the future that’s for sure!

But even with the laugh out loud situations, and stellar verbal sparring this is a couple with their own vulnerabilities and the author added them to this story at really pertinent points. Secondary characters also made an invaluable contribution to the overall story as well and I would love to see some of them get their own books at some point in the future.

"I don’t care how this started. All that matters is where we end up."

Book Two; Icing on the Cake is due for release December 17, so not too long to wait for more wedding style shenanigans, Ann Marie Walker style, and if you take into account the amount of tropes out there that can be fitted into this style of book, the author has the opportunity to keep this series running for as long as she has the inspiration to keep adding books to it!

"Always busting my balls aren’t you?"

ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.
Profile Image for Anita.
2,103 reviews146 followers
May 26, 2017
Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

Coincidence is the foundation of many a romance plot and I accept that. It can be quite funny when the H/h end up bumping into each other during the course of their romance. However, there comes a point when it is not funny anymore and becomes just silly. Almost, but not quite there with "Black Tie Optional". This is a really fun, contrived and delightful romp about two totally opposite people, with seemingly nothing in common, who enter into a "Marriage of Convenience" and fall totally in love in a plot that could also be "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" except it didn't start in Vegas or stay there.

Olivia Ramsey is a kind-hearted, crusading environmentalist who has been stalking Coleman Grant III to help her save the endangered Northern long-eared bat whose habitat is on one of Cole's projects. To make things very uncomfortable, she finds Cole totally hot even as she hates everything he stands for. After months of getting nowhere with Cole in her effort to save her bat, Olivia is glad to get away for a bachelorette weekend to Las Vegas with her best friend, Cassie.

Coleman Grant III is a multi-millionaire CEO of Grant Industries. He has worked very hard will not let anyone get in his way. After months of wrangling with both his grandmother and a ding-bat environmentalist, who he is starting to have some very hot fantasies about, he is more that ready for a long weekend in "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" with his best guy-pal Conor and, hopefully, lots of willing women.
Profile Image for Dali.
1,804 reviews457 followers
May 30, 2017
Lighthearted, sexy and fun.

He wants to keep his family’s empire. She wants to save the endangered species that’s being threatened by his empire’s latest development. The only way for Coleman Grant III and Olivia Ramsey to get what they both want is to compromise and… get married in Las Vegas? Because that’s what two sane people who despise each other on site because they’re completely opposite and have nothing in common do right? RIGHT?

Well, perhaps there is ONE thing they have in common, and that’s the outrageous attraction to one another that’s been building for the last three months during Olivia’s daily coffee run Coleman stalking. And sometime between their mutually beneficial business transaction in Vegas, a.k.a. their marriage by Elvis, dancing at banquets and moving in together to keep up appearances lines got blurred and feelings got involved. Can they have the empire, save the endangered bats and find happiness?

I loved how fun and carefree this book was. It’s engaging, with a good pace that had me smiling and laughing and before I knew it I had read it in a single sitting.

Coleman comes off as a great big dough-canoe, with a great big stick up the wazoo a no regards for anything or anyone except for what benefits or interests him. And except from his strikingly good looks which continually distract Olivia, there’s nothing that seems to be appealing about him. But when they’re forced to interact, Olivia gets to know the man behind the ridiculously good looks and panty melting bedroom moves and as it turns out, the inside does match the outside.

What can I say about a woman who sticks to her guns especially when it comes to save the planet? I. LOVED. OLIVIA! She’s quirky, fun and dedicated and I’m so glad she could appeal to Coleman and find her happy with him. Besides their obvious attraction, the back and forth between Coleman and Olivia was teasing and highly entertaining.

The story has a pretty cheerful, sexy and fun feel to it with a decidedly sweet happy ending. Black Tie Option is a standalone contemporary romance by Ann Marie Walker. Told from both points of view.
Amazon -> http://amzn.to/2ryD2pX

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley and Tasty Book Tours. The excerpts taken are from that copy. *

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Profile Image for Mindy Lou's Book Review.
2,666 reviews625 followers
May 28, 2017
3.5 Stars!

A cute enemies to lovers, marriage of convenience to true love, opposites attract story. Olivia has been hounding billionaire Coleman Grant III every morning to get him to move one of his deals because it's endangering the northern long-eared bat. He barely gives her the time of day until they both end up in Vegas, drunk and giving into their mutual attraction. Mortified the next morning, Olivia tries to leave only to have Cole give her a proposition. Marry him and he'll save the bats. Cole's father stipulated in his will that Cole must marry by the age of 30 or lose his inheritance. Cole has 3 days.

A light and fun read with likeable characters and believable chemistry between the MC's. ARC provided by NetGalley.
Profile Image for Sissy's Romance Book Review .
7,852 reviews16 followers
May 30, 2017
Book Review For: Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker 'Black Tie Optiona'l by Ann Marie Walker is book One in the new series called "Wild Wedding". This is the story of Coleman Grant III and Olivia Ramsey. Cole is the true picture of a Rich Business man with no care for the little things or the environment. Which is whole opposite of Olivia's world. Olivia cares about every little thing and saving endangered animals if they are ugly or cute. An right now she is working on getting Cole to help save some endangered Bats that are on one of his many properties. But every morning when she comes running to talk to him before he goes into the coffee shop he just makes a joke of what she is talking about. Cole finds Olivia attractive but doesn't really understand why she is so much involved with these issue. So he basically brushes her off each morning. But both have a destiny in Vegas for a bachelor / bachelorette party. Which puts them together and they act on their sexual attraction. The next morning before Olivia can do the 'walk of shame' out the door Cole throws her with an arrangement offer to suit them both. Cole has to marry in just days or he will loose his company. This was a really great enjoyable read. I so liked how they kept bickering and how they both slowly start to change. "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."https://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A2H... http://sissymaereads.blogspot.com/ https://romancebookreviewforyou.wordp... https://www.tumblr.com/blog/romancebo...
Profile Image for Arena♡.
402 reviews583 followers
December 6, 2020

i would have probably rated it better if it weren't for the fact that the ending was abrupt and there were too many unanswered questions like what about the grandma? it was mentioned too many times that she was a person to be scared off but she did nothing. the situation wasn't resolved and as soon as their relationship issues resolved, the book got over. like wtf happened to the plot??
Profile Image for Jacqueline.
1,627 reviews148 followers
June 12, 2020
3.5 I enjoyed this better the more I read, it turned into a decent slow burn, but the start was poor; it was kind of ott, trying too hard to be funny.

Complete story, available on ku.
Profile Image for Ellen ✦ Book Bellas ✦.
1,547 reviews330 followers
July 29, 2017
Fun, surprisingly witty and verrrry sexy!!

I LOVE the enemies-to-lovers romance trope and Ann-Marie Walker executes perfectly. This story has heart and heat and soul!

Coleman and Olivia seem an unlikely pair: she's an activist who hates everything Coleman stands for: wealth, privilege and corporate America. Their smart and witty banter and the uber-steamy sex scenes elevate this contemporary romance above many in the genre and make this story a definite must-read. The Chicago setting is fabulous!

Looking for a smart and sexy beach or poolside read?Then grab 'Black Tie Optional' and enjoy a few delicious hours of escape.

"What do you want, Olivia?" he'd asked.
"Everything," she whispered.

(ARC provided in return for an honest review.)
Profile Image for Caz.
2,679 reviews1,014 followers
July 26, 2017
I've given this a B- at AAR, so that's 3.5 stars rounded up.

It’s no secret that the Marriage of Convenience is my favourite trope when it comes to historical romance. But it’s a plotline that is less easy to pull off in a contemporary, so I was keen to read Black Tie Optional – the first in Ann Marie Walker’s Wild Wedding series – to see whether it could be made to work in a non-historical setting. The answer is yes, for the most part, but it seemed to me that some of the things I so love about the trope – the couple getting to know each other and eventually falling in love – were rushed and/or glossed over, and I came away from the book wondering where the actual romance was. That’s not to say this isn’t an enjoyable read, because it is; the central couple has chemistry so hot it could strip paint, their verbal exchanges are often quite funny and the wedding scene is hilarious – but when they’re not having sex, they’re thinking about how much they want to have sex and remembering how great it was the last time they had sex… and I can’t help wishing there had been less of that and more time spent on the development of an actual relationship.

The story is your classic enemies-to-lovers one, as environmental activist Olivia Ramsey butts heads (and other body parts) with tall, dark, handsome sex-god Coleman Grant III, the gorgeous arsehole whose multi-billion dollar company is about to develop land inhabited by the northern long-eared bat, an animal recently recognised as a threatened species. For eighty-three days, she’s confronted him on his morning coffee run, and for eighty-three days, he’s blown her off. It’s infuriating, she moans to her best friend Cassie – who teases Olivia about the fact that all she ever seems to talk about is Cole and suggests she’s got a thing for him. Olivia is adamant that she hates his oh, so handsome guts – because, yeah, denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

For some reason, this eighty-third day is different. Cole notices how fabulous Olivia’s arse looks in her scruffy jeans and his head is suddenly filled with lots of salacious images while his small head perks up hopefully. It’s ridiculous – he doesn’t even like the woman – but then liking has little to do with wanting to get down to the horizontal mambo with someone.

However, he can’t afford to spend too much time lusting after a crazed environmentalist; he has a bigger problem to wrestle with, namely the clause in his late parents’ will that stipulates if he’s not married by the time he’s thirty, Grant Industries – which he has worked hard to transform from the successful investment firm his parents left him into a global leader in the emerging technologies market – and all its assets will automatically be transferred into the hands of his formidable grandmother. With his birthday just days away, he can sense her circling for the kill, but hopes that the lawyers will find a way to circumvent the stipulation. They don’t, however – news Cole receives after a spectacular night of unbridled passion in a Las Vegas hotel room… with none other than the woman of his dreams? nightmares?, Olivia Ramsey, who is in Vegas attending the same pre-wedding party as he is.

Anyway. Cole is backed into the proverbial corner and has just four days in which to find a wife. Olivia is trying to sneak out of his suite and embark upon her walk of shame, but he stops her in her tracks when he asks her to marry him, explaining his reasons for asking and offering to back her conservation project in return. They’ll get married, divorce after three months, the bats get a home and voilà! Win-win for both of them.

That’s the set up for the marriage of convenience, and it works fine. What doesn’t work so well is the fact that the pair of them then proceed to pretty much ignore the need to make their hasty marriage look convincing. In spite of Cole’s warnings that his grandmother is an incredibly shrewd, ruthless woman, Olivia expects the fact they’re actually married will be enough to stop her being able to gain control of Grant Industries. Even their closest friends, who are in on the secret, are amazed that Cole and Olivia haven’t sat down to invent a backstory and decide how they’re going to act once they get back to Chicago.

The section of the story in which Olivia takes Cole home to meet her parents allows her to see a more relaxed version of him and discover he’s even more irresistible when he’s not so buttoned up, while Cole comes to understand more about Olivia’s passion for her work, and to see a less prickly, more affectionate side of her. Her parents are terrific; her mother a committed environmentalist (so Cole can see where Olivia gets it from), her father a vet, and it’s obvious they adore each other. Cole finally starts to think that perhaps what they have is something he wants for himself. He has never really known what it is to be part of a family; born into money, he didn’t see much of his parents when he was younger, and was brought up by nannies and servants. The author touches briefly on how much Cole is hurt that they put that clause in their will, but doesn’t dwell on it overmuch.

The premise is right up my alley and Cole and Olivia have smoking chemistry, but the romance is under-developed and we go from intense lust to love with almost no steps in between. The pair spends most of their time together thinking about sex – how great it was last time, how it can never happen again and… oh, bugger, we’re in bed again but this is absolutely, positively the last time. Until the next one. And the one after that. They never talk about how they are going to handle Cole’s grandmother, his high-profile lifestyle, public appearances, or about how – or even IF – they are going to tell Olivia’s parents the truth.

The central characters are amiable enough, although neither of them is particularly memorable and some of their actions – most notably Olivia’s insistence on getting plastered on the plane and then at the party – are immature and made me actively dislike them. Cole’s obvious affection for his half-sister is a point in his favour, although this – like the grandmother side plot – is another thread that is introduced and then suddenly dropped.

Black Tie Optional is a quick, sexy read that isn’t without charm or humour, but which ultimately lacks that certain something that would have made it an out-and-out winner. There aren’t enough of those ‘moments’ that show us two people falling for each other; the moment they discover a shared interest or opinion, the moment they see the other person with fresh eyes, or those funny little episodes that show them growing closer together. The characterisation is pretty superficial and we never really get to know exactly why Cole and Olivia fall in love as opposed to lust. I did enjoy it, but not enough to be able to get past its various weaknesses or give it a wholehearted recommendation.
Profile Image for Amy ~ Love At 1st Read.
514 reviews28 followers
April 13, 2017
I love romances and I love the feeling when a good book makes me laugh out loud. Sure, authors can be funny, but creating a story that’s both funny and sexy is a talent not many people have. New-to-me-author, Ann Marie Walker, has that kind of talent. Black Tie Optional has a generous measure of humor and passion. So prepare your ribs to be tickled and your heart to be melted in this first book of Walker’s Wild Wedding Series.

Olivia Ramsey had spent her adult life and most of her teens speaking on behalf of those who couldn’t. Working for non-profits, she championed causes that meant most to her. Her latest target though was proving tougher than most. He might be a gorgeous, sexy CEO but he was an arrogant ass. A self-righteous megalomaniac with a total disregard for the environment. Not able to get an appointment with him, she’d taken to cornering Coleman Grant III on his morning coffee stop. Every morning. For the last 3 months. Olivia never gave up and Coleman Grant was not going to blemish her record. Her life had become a routine of wake, stalk, research, sleep, repeat. She was looking forward to her weekend trip to Vegas with her BFF and a break from dealing with the asshole.
In the last 6 years, Cole Grant had turned Grant Industries into something greater than his parents could have ever imagined. But he was ready for a break from business and dealing with his viper of a grandmother. His attorneys were working around the clock to put an end to her rein of tyranny, but Cole could lose it all if he couldn’t find a loophole in the codicil to his parents’ will. And to make matters worse, this was day 83 of dealing with the “hippie humanitarian”. “With her stack of spreadsheets filled with mind-numbing data and photos of snotty-nosed bats, she’d pushed her way into his life one aggravating day at a time.” She was not his type and definitely not worth the aggravation. So why could he not quit visualizing erotic images of her? This upcoming weekend in Vegas was just what he needed to get those images out of his head.
The Vegas trip had barely begun when trouble fell right into Cole’s lap. Literally. In the form of Olivia Ramsey. Evidently, they were in Vegas for the same bachelor/bachelorette party and, as luck would have it, they were running into each other at every turn. Needless to say, this was Vegas, and after much drinking, they woke up in bed together with a fuzzy recollection of frantic hands, greedy lips, and earth shattering sex. About the same time they both agreed the whole night was a mistake that would never be repeated, Cole got a call that the lawyers couldn’t get him out of the requirements of his parents’ will. If he’s not married by his 30th birthday- in 3 days- he loses Grant Industries. So Olivia and Cole find themselves in front of Elvis at the Hunk O Hunk O Burning Love Wedding Chapel tying the proverbial knot. They’d made a deal. If she married him for 3 months tops, he’d back her conservation project. They’d either made the worst mistake of their lives or taken advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime.

This has to be one of the funniest, most well-written books I’ve read in a long time. From start to finish, it was a delightful read. Smart and witty, this story is consistently funny and genuinely affecting. The plot is exceptionally clever and imaginative. The wedding scene and visit to the country had me giggling and snorting. Olivia and Cole are 2 unique characters you can’t help but love and need to see them united. Despite the fact that Olivia was smart-mouthed and annoying, Cole wanted her. For Olivia, Cole went against the grain of everything she stood for, but one touch from him and all her self-control and logic went out the window. The passion between them was undeniable. I loved watching their relationship evolve from adversaries to tolerating each other to falling in love. The secondary characters were every bit as enchanting. Conor, Cassie, and Rebecca were great additions to the story and I hope future books have more of them. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved this story and Ms. Walker’s writing style. This is a series for which I will be anxiously awaiting each new book. I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.
Profile Image for Jae Mod.
1,716 reviews231 followers
May 5, 2017
** ARC provided by the author for an honest review **

Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker was a funny, high sexual intensity, and had 2 characters that were similar but so different. It was a marriage of convenience that got them together in Vegas because of needs they both had. She wanted to save endangered species and he needed to be married so he doesn't lose his families estate and wealth. What started out to be just a marriage of convenience turns into a sexually charged relationship that brought 2 completely different people together and united them.

They start out as enemies, then friends, the friends with benefits to lovers. It was so much fun reading how they progressed with each other.

This was a funny, lough out loud book. Enjoy it!
Profile Image for Christine.
Author 3 books34 followers
May 27, 2017
Reading Black Tie Optional I felt a bit like the characters Cole and Olivia. I had been in a reading drought (I was super busy), but it was time to dive deep into a book and really connect with it. Black Tie Optional was the book that I got to connect with.

The fun thing about Black Tie Optional is that I think we can all identify with aspects of both Cole and Olivia. From their passions, to their cars, and maybe their embarrassing moments too. Well maybe not the embarrassing moments.... At least not that I'll admit to.

Ann Marie transports the reader to Chicago with two lovable characters, humor, angst, and the power of love. This well written, and well paced story is a great summer read, whether you're on the beach, a plane, or a lunch hour at work.
Profile Image for Elle G. Reads.
1,552 reviews736 followers
May 11, 2017
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance (fake relationship)

This is a fun little romp and I enjoyed it immensely! I haven't read a book quite like it in ages so I had a lot of fun and quite frankly a lot of smiles while reading it! It's funny, romantic, and an overall blast! Now I know why so many readers rave about Ann Marie Walkers work- she clearly knows how to write a fantastic novel and engage her readers. With that, this book packs the punches and will leave readers feeling extremely satisfied. It's also quite the mix of sub-genres (i.e. it's an opposites attract, enemies to lovers, and fake relationship type novel). So you really get a little bit of everything with it. If you are a reader who hasn't had the chance to read the authors work yet then I think starting with this one is a good idea. It gives you a taste of the authors writing style and sucks you in from page 1. I am now highly anticipating the second book in the series and will certainly be jumping to read it once published.

A bit more about the book
Okay, so as I mentioned above, this book has quite the mix going on. It's an enemies to lovers novel rolled into a fake relationship, and opposites attract type of book. The hero is a billionaire of Grant Corporations and in order to keep said company he needs to marry by his 30th birthday (otherwise everything goes to his overbearing grandmother). In walks the sassy and environmentally friendly heroine. She needs a parcel of land to be saved and needs the arrogant hero to not build on it. All of this brings these two together and a whirlwind romance (even if it is fake) ensues.

There is quite a bit of sex between the two (ya know, frenemies can still boink), but other than that they have nothing in common besides their mutual attraction. I will however mention that the book isn't an erotic fiction- it's not all sex but just enough to see their burning passion in the sheets- so you don't have to worry about every other page being about their sexual endevours. This made me happy as a reader because I am so over erotica.

The only thing with this book that I felt was missing was the fact that there was nothing truly resolved with the hero's grandmother. The author made it a huge point in the story about the grandmother wanting the company in her name and stopping at nothing to make their fake relationship known, but we don't see this resolved at all. I think if we had it would have been the perfect 5 star read for me.

Anyway, if your looking for a fun book to get lost in I would suggest giving this one a go. I truly enjoyed every minute of it and had life not been in the way I would have read it from start to finish in one sitting.

Rating: 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Bette Hansen.
5,055 reviews37 followers
May 22, 2017
Loved this book! This is a new to me author but she definitely gained a new fan with this one. This story is a great blend of opposites attract, marriage of convenience, and enemies to lovers. The banter between Cole and Olivia is hilarious and I just loved these two together. Cole is in desperate need of a wife to stave off his grandmother's attempts to strip him of his inheritance so he makes a deal with Olivia. She agrees to marry him and he sets up a foundation to save the pesky rodents she's always yammering on about. What seems like a simple solution to both issues quickly turns into more than either one of them bargained for.

I highly recommend this book to everyone!
Profile Image for Toni FGMAMTC.
1,723 reviews19 followers
June 11, 2017

4.5 stars

I was immediately pulled into this story. The idea of a marriage arrangement isn't new, but all the supporting details make Olivia and Cole's relationship stand out. They are almost as different as two people can be, practically archenemies, but the sexual attraction is inescapable. Sparring off ends with epic bedroom hookups which leads to a frenemies with benefits situation and a fake marriage business arrangement. Nothing will stay in the correct lines with these two. Despite having totally opposite focuses in life, they can't deny the good in each other. The storyline is superb and the cast is fantastic. Black Tie Optional is smoking hot, funny, sweet and romantic. I truly enjoyed reading it, and I definitely recommend it.

***Copy given in exchange for an honest review***

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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Profile Image for Alison.
3,133 reviews121 followers
May 31, 2017
Three and a half stars.

This is a simple tale of opposites attract.

Coleman Grant III is a powerful gazillionaire, corporate raider running his family's multi-million dollar business. He's first class air travel, chauffeurs, bodyguards and a Gold Coast penthouse.

Olivia Ramsey is a humanitarian who is trying to persuade Coleman Grant to save the endangered northern long-eared bat. She's combat boots and jeans, tiny condo and save the planet.

They find themselves guests at a joint hen and grooms weekend in Vegas where they drink way too much and end up having a night of spectacular sex together. But they don't get married by mistake, oh no! Coleman's father put an unfortunate marriage clause into his will, if Coleman isn't married by the age of 30 he doesn't inherit the family business, instead it goes to his grandmother and then to a charitable trust. Coleman offers Olivia a deal, a three month marriage and he will move heaven and earth to save the bats.

But of course Coleman's grandmother is loath to let go of more money and power and she challenges the validity of the marriage, soon a paper marriage needs to be more than in name only. But when Coleman tries to Pretty Woman Olivia he finds she is less interested in shopping and diamonds than other women of his acquaintance.

I liked this but I think maybe it played the opposites attract too safe. Coleman's wealthy lifestyle should have made more of an impact on Olivia's values and led to more arguments.

This was a fun, low-angst romantic comedy - always love it when the hero calls the heroine Ms Ramsey.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Bumped for release.
Profile Image for Susi.
133 reviews15 followers
May 31, 2017
Ann Marie Walker, congratulations on this brilliant standalone!  I truly enjoyed reading all about Cole and Olivia, two characters who are so different, yet equally interesting in their own ways.  I was hooked on your book from the very beginning and made my own predictions as to what I thought would happen.  I could easily relate to both and that made the characters even more lovable.  Your story turned out to be one filled with humor, sexy moments, a spectacular setting and a cast of characters that are rom/com movie material.

A trip to Vegas turned into a marriage of convenience, sounds like fun?  Sure, I've read other books with this same premise but, this one is a light hearted, fun read, the kind you want to finish in one sitting and discuss with your best friend.  Cole and Olivia must make this unexpected marriage appear real, that is if Cole's grandma has anything to do with it.  There is this legal clause, well...  and some bats. I don't want to spoil it for you.  I promise this story is going to make you laugh.  The chemistry and banter between these two characters is awesome.   I'm glad that Ann Marie decided to go with the romantic comedy genre.  She is a natural and produced a fantastic story.

Black Tie Optional is a perfect Summer Beach read.

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to add this book to your Summer TBR list today.

I gave this book 5 stars and I'm sure you will too.

Profile Image for Evie.
384 reviews199 followers
July 1, 2017
If you read anything this weekend, read Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker. Cole and Olivia will have you laughing from page 1, I kid you not.

Cole is a rich boy who apparently hasn't ever seen first hand how the other half lives. He's into making money and his daily encounters with Olivia (an environmentalist) won't deviate him from his goals. Of course, that's until he marries her.

I couldn't put this book down. I'm not sure what I was expecting but certainly, it wasn't anything like what this book delivered. It's hilarious!

If anyone asked me to pinpoint my favorite part of the story, I wouldn't be able to do it. Olivia with her "save the world's endangered species" spiel is funny, but when she introduces Cole to Bertha (her 1979 car) and tells him how to start it up, I couldn't stop laughing. Especially when she tells him to pump it 3 times, then say come on, baby. Also, let me not forget their rushed wedding in Las Vegas with Elvis and Olivia shows up in jeans and flip-flops. Her smart mouth is a total clash with Cole's upper-class mannerisms. And their banter and sexual tension are off the charts.

Seriously. This is one of those books that are super fun to read, light-hearted, and that you won't want to miss. I'd never read this author but I will sure be reading the rest of this series. 
Profile Image for Hina.
420 reviews91 followers
May 21, 2017
 photo Header_zps5x5jhqic.jpg

A most funny and entertaining story!

Olivia Ramsey: is a kind-hearted environmentalist who has been relentlessly approaching Coleman Grant III to help her save the endangered Northern long-eared bat. And she is not going to give up no matter what. Olivia finds Cole gorgeous, but spoiled and self-centered and after 3 months of chasing after Cole, Olivia is glad to get away for a bachelorette weekend to Las Vegas with her best friend, Cassie.

Coleman Grant III: is a multi-millionaire CEO of Grant Industries. He works hard and unapologetically plays hard. He’s amused of finding Olivia in front of his daily coffee stop, but when he starts fanaticizing about the aggravating women, Cole thinks it’s time for a vacation.


Cole and Olivia find themselves thrown together in Vegas, since they are part of the same wedding party. One drink leads to another and they end up in bed.

The morning after, Cole finds out that he has lost his bid to overturn his parent’s will which stipulates that if he is not married by his 30th birthday, the ownership of Grant Industries, the company he has worked so hard to make a global success will revert to his grandmother, which he will not allow. Cole’s grandmother is not the cute and cuddly kind, but a barracuda in designer clothes.

Only days left to his birthday, he proposes a marriage of convenience to Olivia for 3 months and in return he will help her with her conservation project.
Their temporary marriage became a little more complicated when Cole’s grandmother is challenging how real the wedding is. Now they are moving in together, visiting her parents and falling in love.

Final Thoughts:

The story is funny and engaging. I love Olivia and Cole, they had great chemistry together. There are some funny moments, and the flashback to their night in Vegas is hot!

My only quibble with the book would be that there wasn’t more situation between Grant’s grandmother and the newlyweds to prove their marriage is real. The grandmother kind of just faded away, when she is supposed to make life hard for the couple, but after one situation, she never really does much of anything else. That was disappointing. Also, their marriage of convenience wasn’t much of a secret from anyone and they shared it freely. I found that odd, when they are trying to make sure their marriage looks real, but they pretty much told everyone why they were doing this.

This is a must read for anyone who likes romance with a dash of humor. I am so excited that I discovered a great new author in Ms. Walker and I look forward to reading the next book on Cassie.

***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.***

Black Tie Optional Review
Profile Image for Francoise.
756 reviews32 followers
May 28, 2017
4 Stars

This battle of opposites was an entertaining read! Coleman, Cole, Grant is everything Olivia Ramsey despises. As a convinced environmental activist, she is a staunch opponent to ruthless businessmen approach to environmental matters. Cole is an influential and arrogant business tycoon and also happens to be her main target. She has made a habit of harassing him during his morning coffee run, to convince him of the validity of her cause in defense of endangered species. I loved her tenacity and determination to pester him! She is convinced that Cole will eventually give in to her demands.

Cole has a lot on his plate. He has to marry before his thirtieth birthday or the control over the Grant estate will revert to his scheming grandmother. A marriage of convenience would save him from ruin and could be a profitable business transaction, with billions at stake. He is convinced that Olivia would be the best person to fool his grandmother. In exchange, he is willing to back her conservation project. His grandmother is not a sweet old lady, though, but a shrewd and manipulative snake.

Olivia and Cole are the best allies and they respect each other’s opinion, even if they don’t always agree. I loved their banter, the warm and cozy interactions. They have forged an emotional connection and lines are blurred. The marriage for show might become a reality. Olivia is compassionate and her passion for life is contagious, but she always remains true to her convictions.

This book combines two favorite tropes of mine: enemies to lovers and the marriage of convenience. This was a great recipe for a fun and sexy read. Granted, the plot is nothing new, but the characters are easy to love and engaging.

An advanced copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher, via NetGalley.
Profile Image for ri.
34 reviews21 followers
September 6, 2017
It was amazing how author took one of the most cliche trope in the history of romance and delivered a book written with sublimity and just the perfect mix of reality and fiction.

Olivia and Cole are multi dimensional characters who intricately entwine between your head and heart before you even come to realise it. I loved reading about them and their at times aggravating, at times funny and a whole lot more times heartwarming encounters. I really liked how their feelings for each other grew as the book progressed.

Secondary characters in the book were also spot on; relationship between Cole and Rebecca (his half sister) was really beautiful, Olivia and her family were amazing (especially their farm full of animals) , Connor and Cassie were the perfect bffs and the evil grandma was malicious enough to kill a snake.

Give this book a chance if you're looking for a light humorous read with a free spirited heroine with a fiery temper and an alpha male hero who might leave your panties in a twist (and not just due to aggravation).
Profile Image for Mal ✨ | Tales Of A Bookbug.
469 reviews45 followers
June 2, 2017
A fun, new, sexy read from a new-to-me author. It had two of my favorite tropes mixed in - fake relationship and opposites-attract.  

The starting itself had me laughing and swooning.I loved being in Olivia and Cole's heads.I loved their thought processes and how they tried to (unsuccessfully) convince themselves about certain things. 

Cole needs a wife before his 30th birthday to inherit the company else his grandmother mighy steal it away. Olivia wants to save the endangered species that is under threat due to one of his ventures. She's been trying to get him to stop it, but to no avail. 

I admired Olivia's dedication and commitment to her cause. Neither like each other, but the attraction between them is really intense. She thinks he is stiff and an overbearing asshole. He finds her annoying and hippie-ish. There should be nothing that brings them together,but the intense chemistry and forced circumstances throw them in together. After an unforgettable night in Vegas, Cole presents Olivia with an unprecedented proposition that would benefit both of them. 

I loved the way the author brought Olivia and Cole together! They might be opposites in everything but somewhere they just clicked.And the steam between them was like wooh.. *fans self* There was drama but it worked with this book and was balanced well by the humor, romance and steam.

I just would like to more about what happens later, especially with the grandmother? 

But all in all it was a wonderful read that left me satisfied and grinning in the end.If you're looking for something fun and hot, this book is the one for you! :D
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