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Publisher's Summary

Women often say a good man is hard to find. And a hard man is even better. 

That's why I'm quite a catch - good, hard, loaded, and wait for it...I'm ready to settle down too. But the woman I want to pitch my tent with lives clear across the country. Neither of us wants to get lost in those woods. All I have to do is resist her for the week she's in town. 

I try. I swear I try. But yeah, that doesn't work out. And after one fantastic night with my good friend Mia, I'm ready to give her years of nights under the stars. What's a few thousand miles when love's involved? But there's a hitch in my plans - she just hired my adventure tour company. If there's one thing I'm committed to, it's running a squeaky clean business. Number one on my list of iron-clad rules? 

Don't screw your customers. 

But what's a guy to do when she's so hard to resist? How tough can it be to keep our hands off each other for a quick group tour down the hills and over the trails? I'm about to find out, and I have a feeling I'm going to need a new badge of honor because things are about to get very hard in the woods. 

©2017 Lauren Blakely (P)2017 Lauren Blakely

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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One of the Best!

I loved this book! Zeus stole the show from the very beginning. Sebastian York did an excellent performance in this book with the male POV. It was fun having some couples from other books mentioned in this story as a side note and not focus. How Lauren Blakely outdoes herself on each book is amazing. She weaves humor into all of the books and they leave me feeling happy listening to them. Conversations with the cat were especially funny. This review is my opinion of the book and not a synopsis. This story is totally original and a standalone listen with a happy ending. I received this book and wanted to write a review, but feel that I am not eloquent enough to do this book justice. This book is one of my top favorites.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Good story

This was a good story but almost too short. Would have liked it to start back right after the two first met each other. Would have liked to heard about the dates in California. But other than that enjoyed every minute.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Patrick and Mia have a special place in my heart!

Hard Wood is a sexy standalone by the talented Lauren Blakely. It is written in such a way that you can't help but fall in love with the memorable characters Lauren has created. It tells a fantastic story about a man who actually is wanting to be in a committed relationship, but just hasn't met the woman he is destined for, as of yet. Well, that is if he could get his best friend's sister out of his mind. She is not geographically desirable, so it keeps things in the "friend zone" for now anyways. When fate intervenes and Patrick and Mia are forced to be in the woods together for a week, his commitment to staying "hands off" is put to the test.

This story is filled with quick wit, perfect puns, love, laughter and combustible chemistry. I love the world Lauren has created in New York city. She has an amazing talent to tell an entire story from the male's perspective. She is so talented she even gets into the inner-workings of a cat's mind as well. She intricately weaves multiple story lines across her stand alone stories in this series. I certainly hope there will be more where this comes from in the future.

PS - Sebastian York does a phenomenal job of narrating this story. His talents only enhance the work of Lauren Blakely. When the two of them pair together, I know I am in for a treat!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The cat stole the show!

5 Crazy Ass Must Read Stars!!!!!

Lauren Blakely has done it again! And this time we get Patrick and Mia's story! Yay!
I just love how this psuedo series keeps us in touch with all the previous characters we've met and features characters that piqued our interest in the previous books. Maybe it's because I'm a book whore but I think it has more to do with the way Lauren Blakely writes these male POV stories. They just draw you in and have you laughing and fanning yourself the whole time.
Patrick and his cat won me right from the start and I'm not a cat person (the horror) so that's saying something. And poor Mia too because I definitely think she took the backseat to Zeus.
I'm eager to see how Lauren will top this book.
SebYo, did an amazing job with the narration as always. He just has this way that draws you in and immerses you in them story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

This may be the end of Lauren Blakely's wonderful male POV series, but by no means is it anything less than purrfect!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Saving the best til last

I’ve been on a romantic comedy kick just lately, especially with this series and I was so overjoyed that another book was being released. It’s a story of love. Simple as that. You will meet these characters and you’ll instantly like them, shortly after you will be in love with them and the world they live in. As soon as I hit play on this book I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stop listening until I had devoured every last second, and that’s exactly what happened. I loved the wilderness aspect of this story, That’s what these books do, they immerse you in them so fully that you feel like you are there, experiencing things with them. I loved that the epilogues tied everything up with a pretty bow and left me with a happy feeling of being complete.

Lauren Blakely writes the best characters. I loved Patrick. He’s my favourite. He was such a sweetheart, I liked him when he was introduced in Joy Ride and was super excited to see him get a book. His friendship and banter with Max was fun and showed a different side to him, as opposed to the sexy sweetheart he is with Mia. His relationship with Zeus, his cat, was just the most adorable thing ever. I loved that he knew how he felt about Mia and wasn’t scared of it, he wasn’t scared to admit it – just about whether she was at the same place as he was, I thought that was really refreshing.

Mia is awesome. I think I identified with Mia the most, out of all of the female characters in this series. She’s short, yes this is a thing, do you know how many female characters are considered short but really, they’re not? (Sorry, I digress) She has two brothers that she adores. She’s independent, knows her own mind and gets things done. What’s not to like? Her interactions with Patrick were sweet and you could sense the chemistry from the get-go. I’ve always been drawn to strong female characters and I think she embodies that.

Zeus, come on, he had to get a mention. He was freaking adorable. I feel like he needs his own twitter account so he can keep us informed of his progress.

It was nice to have a little mention of the characters from the other books in the series and how their happily ever afters are progressing. With that being said, this book is a complete standalone, you don’t need to read/ listen to the others for the little mentions to make sense. Personally, I think you should, because they’re awesome but it’s definitely not required.

The relationship between Patrick and Mia is such a sweet one. I loved that they started as friends with chemistry and that grew to something more and something neither of them could fight, nor wanted to. The fact that they were both on the same page about the relationship and how they felt but they didn’t tell the other - both drove me insane and kept me listening and wanting to know where the story was going to go. Thankfully, they didn’t keep me waiting too long, their attraction and love were just too strong to draw it out. The banter between the two of them was spot on and so full of sexual tension and innuendos that it made the sex scenes just perfect for this couple, not overdone or unnecessary, they felt very organic to Patrick and Mia and a part of their story.

When I was getting ready to listen to Hard Wood I thought about the review and wondered how I was going to manage to say something that I haven’t already said about Sebastian York and figured it would be a struggle. Then I listened to it, oh man! It’s typical Sebastian York goodness, with an extra flair I wasn’t expecting. At the beginning and end of the book, there are some cool nature sound effects that I thought was a great addition to the overall feel of the book. Sebastian really has been the best choice for this series, but with that being said, I feel he really embodies Patrick, his performance is commanding yet sweet. He nails the sexiness like, well, come on, if you’ve heard any book narrated by Sebastian, you know the man can make a sex scene sexier and he delivers in that aspect here too, but it’s the emotional scenes where he really excels. Did I mention this book has chapters from the cat, yes you read that right, Sebastian York narrated a cat and even meows, I don’t remember the last time I laughed that much or that loud. It was pure comedic genius on both Lauren Blakely’s part and on the delivery from Sebastian. Just when I think he can’t surprise me anymore, this just came out of left field and I loved it.

Side-note: The book also contains a sample chapter from Most Valuable Playboy, narrated by Zachary Webber. If you’ve been on the fence about MVP this is the perfect opportunity to hear ZW’s awesomeness and get a taste for the story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • FRANKLIN, WI, United States
  • 10-17-17

Exactly what I expected

Lauren Blakely has delivered a book exactly as expected. Any cat owner will love Zeus and his point of view watching the humans. And my favorite male narrator. A most enjoyable listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Purrrfect!

Lauren Blakely has a winner on her hands!! We had a taste of Patrick and Mia in Joy Ride and am so glad we get to hear their story. Mia, Chase and Max's sister finally gets her chance at love with Patrick, but there are a couple of obstacles this couple need to overcome before they can find their happiness. The two like to dance around each other, and their flirty banter is so much fun. The chemistry is undeniable, and you can feel the love, but something is holding them back. Is it something they will be able to overcome? With her comedic style, Blakely includes the supporting character of Zeus, the cat. When given his own chapters and point of view, you will find this confidant has you laughing out loud. I would definitely follow this cat on Instagram! We do get to see the couples from the previous books, Josie & Chase, and Henley and Max and get to have a cameo by Evie, Patrick's matchmaking sister. All in good fun, this book is pure entertainment at it's best!

Sebastian York, with his warm and sexy baritone voice is so perfect for the role of this story. He has such a relaxed ease when he narrates, that it seems effortless and makes the narration really enjoyable.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great finale to a wonderful series!

I'm so sad to see this non-serial series end, but what an ending! Lauren has teased us with little tastes of Patrick and Mia, and I knew when their story finally made it to my Kindle, I'd be happy. But, their story also means the end to some great friends I feel quite close to. Like more than a few of the couples in this series, Patrick and Mia were good friends. They both had the hots for each other for a while, but didn't quite know how--or if--they should cross that line into "more." Both were busy w/their dream jobs, Patrick based in New York, and Mia in San Francisco. No spoilers, but if you know Lauren--and we do--you know what happens next. And lots of it!

I don't know how she does it--nor do I care--but Lauren has a gift for giving all these HEA's their very own, unique, wonderful story. And when the couples from previous books show up, there's a separation somehow, but it feels like you're in the middle of all their conversations. That takes some great talent. I know I'm not the only one that feels like we know all these folks personally, but it's so easy to get surrounded in the tale, and you feel you're in the thick of things, and a fly on the wall of some dirty, naughty sh*t. Farewell to an awesome series! Is it too soon for an audiobook marathon of the series?

As usual, Sebastian York hits it out of the park w/this one. You get all the feels and the heat w/Sebastian and he NEVER disappoints. Thanks Lauren and Sebastian!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Go Hard for Patrick

Lauren Blakely continues to knock her books out of the park. Her sexy, humourous style of writing the male POV is a hit with me as a reader and listener.

Patrick, whom we met in Joy Ride, gets his turn at love with Max and Chase's sister Mia. Only problem is, does he take a chance at sharing his feelings and she lives on the other side of the world!

What I enjoyed about this audiobook was the flow, pacing and timing that Sebastian York continues to do flawlessly, especially with Blakely's characters. It was like he was made to perform them. As Patrick, he provides charisma, manliness, humor and seduction. It was perfect. Oh and let's not forget Zeus. SebYo is Purrrrfect.

Grab your copy today and enjoy this book over S'mores! :)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • V Nerd
  • 11-05-17

Lauren Blakely does it again!

Another fabulous short smexy story from the always fantastic Lauren Blakely.

Told from 1 POV Sebastian York #SebYes takes the audio lead, and his wonderfully gravely voice gives you the usual tingles all over that he is famous for.

A cat called Zeus takes the medal for me in this book, who knew that a cat could go hiking? I almost want to buy one and drag it my local mountain for a walk!

If you are looking for a friends to lovers, short little Rom-Com, then look no further my friend..........You're welcome!

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  • LilleyLoohLah
  • 11-02-17

Drama free romance

Light easy predictable sweet read following Patrick and Mia, the story, told from Patrick’s POV (with a few hilarious chapters from Zeus the cat) is a completely lighthearted angst free love story, with a few super sexy moments. Patrick is best friends with Mia’s brother Max, and he has had a secret crush on her for years. He has never acted in his crush, not because he thinks Max would object, but because they live on opposite sides of the country. When Mia returns for their friend’s wedding it appears that his crush is not all one sided. Drama free romance that includes all the main characters from previous books in the series, I must say it was great to find out what they were all up to. That said, this story can be read completely as a standalone. As usual Sebastian York nailed the narration making all the sexy scenes appear even more intense.

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  • Heavenly Good Books
  • 11-02-17

I loved it but..

I love Lauren’s books and Sebastian York’s narrations. Where I loved the story and how drama free it was, I wanted female voice too. Normally I’m not bothered about male narration of woman but here I just needed that extra. But I still loved his narration. And his narration of Zeus? Perfect. Made me chuckle every time.

If you are looking for a fun, sexy and drama free story. This one is perfect. It made me realise I needed a drama free romance.

Thank you.

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  • Kindling Micky
  • 10-19-17

Easy listening with plenty to amuse you


This was a low angst, cute tale of newish friends becoming more. There was Blakely’s usual flair for humour shining through but this was a book I was less keen on. The story didn’t overly excite me and I admit to being affected not by insta-connection but by insta-commitment; it was too much to be tangible for me. However, this is easy listening and you can’t help but chuckle as you listen.

Patrick was an all round nice guy and I liked that he was insecure and felt on the back foot. Mia didn’t wow me as a character and I felt an aloofness from her. There’s a secondary star and that was the feline. This cat had a POV a few times in the book and don’t let it put you off, it was hilarious.

The narration was single POV from the male perspective and I do enjoy SebYo on occasion so it worked.

Whilst I wasn’t as keen on Hard Wood as some of the other male POV audios, I know I’ll probably like the next Lauren Blakely offering because I normally do.

A copy of this audiobook was provided by the author in return for a honest review.

Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.

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  • Helen Williams (All Booked Out)
  • 10-16-17

Pass me my boots!

I was giggling from the get-go to Sebastian York's perfectly timed delivery of Lauren's latest rom-com funny moments.

Patrick is all man, and a furry feline sidekick in Zeus. To say that Zeus is my cherry and icing on the cake is an understatement. Lauren gives good cat! That is all I am saying. I was in stitches.

Having known Mia from other books, I am delighted she has her own story and ended up on the trail of Patrick. He is fit, handsome and a genuinely great guy (swoon). Although not a fan of hiking and the woods myself, I can see the attraction of getting up close and personal in a tent with this man to keep me safe and HOT! Pass me my boots, I am booking a trip.

With some old favourites from the past popping in, it is romance, friends and just what I want to relax and enjoy some fun, flirting and forking of marshmallows over a camp fire.

Get ready to go all soft inside for the hard wood.

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  • Ryley Louden
  • 10-27-17

Yes yes yes!!

All I have to say is Sebastian York!!! He is everything! Lauren home run as usual I literally love every single thing you have done:) thank you for being amazing!!! Keep it up girlfriend!!

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  • Cas
  • 10-17-17

Wow

This was a awesome read. The fun and romance you expect from this author. Loved the chapters from the thoughts of Zeus. A great narration from Sebastian as he does it well.