I love Kristen Callihan's voice. Her heroines are smart, down to earth, and funny. Her heroes can verge on the side of almost-perfect--and once they fall for the heroine, they are totally gone for her. This generally works for me because I love a caring alpha (and these guys aren't super alpha) and can barely abide an alphahole. Anyway, Managed was a similar story. Sophie, a photographer, is accidentally seated in first class next to Gabriel, the manager of a huge rock band. He wants to be alone. She isn't budging. They bicker and banter and grow closer over the long flight from New York to London.
The conflict is mostly internal and mostly on Gabriel's part. He doesn't let people in. This makes him the last to realize that he's fallen for Sophie. For a Callihan hero, that means he keeps her close to him, but doesn't have sex with her. Sigh. In some ways this is an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers. I loved the little moments between them like when she straightened his tie and brought him tea in a cup (that looked like a disposable one but wasn't). Gabriel was probably the best part of the book for me: English, stern, disciplined, but underneath all heart and protectiveness, and yes, scared of many things. Control freaks, which is how he is described, can be quite anxious.
While it was a long wait for them to finally have sex, their scenes were hot and showed that their walls were down. I wasn't really into the rock band aspect and while the band members and founders and an assistant played a role, it wasn't all concert-focused.
What I loved: the humor, the tenderness, a hero you fall for
What didn't work so well: too many references from the 80s and 90s that I don't think twenty-something characters would make, some pacing issues
It was a nice, escapist read which was exactly what I was looking for. I received this book from a fellow BL reviewer Rachel's Books (back in November 2016) and that didn't affect my review at all. :) Thanks again, Rachel!