You know when they say if you look hard enough you find what you’re looking for? I found it. Loved this book.
Title – ridiculous. Everything else – great.
This is a friends-to-lovers book, which isn’t always my favorite read. I love the first meeting scenes in romances, the shock of recognitions, which isn’t always there in friends-to-lovers books. This one though, rockets into one of my favorite reads of the year.
Sienna is a grown-up heroine. She thinks for herself, and her independence is important to her. In fact, it’s the main conflict of the story. She won’t take what Lex offers her. But there’s far more than a plot contrivance in this, and it’s part of Sienna’s backstory. Yes, she’s adult enough to know that her background shouldn’t dictate her life, but the emotions she’s left with are undeniable. She is left with an obsession. If she can find the missing paintings that are all that is left of her parents’ fortune, she’ll be able to keep the house she loves and live reasonably. Thus the job with Lex. The desire to find the paintings obsesses her, and it’s this she has to learn to cope with, rather than the actual discovery.
Lex is your happy-go-lucky millionaire, but he works hard, close to the work-obsessed so many wealthy men are in real life. It’s so good to see the work actually mean something, and while Lex loves what he does and works hard at it, he does have other interests.
The banter is marvelous, natural sounding for people who have known each other nearly all their lives but are now reaching for something deeper. It went a long way toward my enjoyment of this book. This bit is only one example:
“Any more stock reports to read?” he asked her.
“You mean apart from the dozens you’ve already read?” she said, without lifting her gaze from the book she was reading. “No.”
“Any more newspapers?”
“You’ve read all those too.”
“Just checking.” He waited a beat. “What’s that you’re reading?”
“An airport novel.” Sienna’s long-suffering tone served only to amuse him. Clearly the nut-driving worked both ways. “I’m up to the part where our hero—due to a combination of strength, determination, brilliance, luck, and fortuitous plotting—single-handedly nabs the villains and then walks away from the traitorous yet agonizingly beautiful woman who betrayed him.”
“Sounds reasonable,” he said. “Keep me posted.” He drummed his fingers on the armrest, flicked through the entertainment channels. Sighed.
Sienna looked up at him from her book, those golden brown eyes with their tiny flecks of green revealing acute exasperation and a refreshing lack of guile. “Admit it,” she said. “You have the attention span of a gnat.”
“I do not.”
“And you want my book.”
“No, I don’t. Unless of course you’re finished with it.”
“Because it certainly sounds like the end to me.”
“There’s an epilogue.”
“You actually read epilogues?”
“Wouldn’t want to miss anything,” she said sweetly. “Attention to detail is what you pay me for, remember? It was in the job description.”
“Wasn’t catering to my every whim in the job description too?” he asked. “I thought it was.”
“Maybe in your draft. Your former PA removed all references to slavery before she sent it out.”
They were meant to be together, weren’t they? The book is full of that kind of banter, and that went a long way towards my enjoyment of it.
By the time the action turns more serious, you’re ready to follow them into their discoveries and root for their romance to work out into their happy ever after. And this is one HEA I can completely believe in. Lex and Sienna are going to be equal partners in a fulfilling relationship.
I have to mention the understated secondary romance between an older couple, which is just as carefully observed as the main one. It added to the main romance, and made me wish the book was just a bit longer, so we could learn more about them.
An unreserved A from me, and I’m looking forward enormously to Ms Hunter’s next book.
As far as Sienna Raleigh is concerned, Alexander Wentworth the Third – childhood nemesis and bane of her existence – is the man who has it all and regularly acquires more. More wealth, more women, more charm, and far more power than is good for any man.
Becoming Lex’s PA for a month is like being gifted a crash course in business savvy from the reigning master, and within that context Sienna willingly follows his lead. As for bedding him… no, no, and NO – no matter how tempted she is to find out what all the fuss is about. When Sienna does finally fall in love it will be with a good plain steady man, not a charming billionaire playboy with the attention span of a gnat.
Working closely with Lex and living in his house brings challenges aplenty and more than just kisses. Pretty soon, Lex is demanding everything Sienna has to give. And he isn’t a man to take no for an answer.
Read an excerpt here (scroll down).