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Book CoverLynne Connolly’s review of  Unworldly Secretary, Untamed Greek by Kim Lawrence
Contemporary romance published by Mills and Boon Modern Romance 3 Sep 10

This story started badly for me when the heroine took off her glasses and didn’t seem to need them anymore. As a glasses-wearer, I hate that. I’m helpless without mine, and although I tried contacts for a while, they didn’t work for me. Neither does the thought of laser treatment (shudder), mostly because I’d still need glasses after the treatment. So heroines who take off their glasses and are immediately sexy and beautiful are pretty insulting for people who are compelled to wear glasses all the time.

Then there ‘s the head-hopping, so bad that at times I felt I was courtside at a match between Nadal and Federer (something I’d love to happen, if anyone has any tickets!) But I’d have had more fun with the tennis, for the same pain in my neck muscles.

The heroine, Beth, is the definition of a doormat. In love with her boss, Andreas, the smoother of the brothers. When Andreas enters into an unsuitable engagement with queen bitch Arianna, she agrees to fake a relationship with the hero, Andreas’s older, tougher brother, Theo.

Beth’s grandmother is in a nursing home, and all her savings have gone. Beth continues to live in the family home, a large Victorian house, rather than sell it and use the money for her grandmother’s fees – and she refuses to tell her grandmother about the problem, either. She has worn plain clothes and glasses for years, while secretly pining over Andreas, and she does all his work for him. Attracted yet? No, neither was I. After her makeover, she has every man drooling for her, but refuses to see it. Kind of willfully, although she doesn’t really have adequate motivation for what is a serious self-image problem.

Theo is your darkly handsome Greek and the redeeming character in this book. He understands Beth’s problems, sees the beauty under the “ugly” glasses (why do heroines choose the ugly ones instead of the gorgeous designs they can choose from these days?) and gives her a makeover that makes every able-bodied man drool over her. His height, at six-five, is a bit much for me, and when Beth is described as ‘petite,’ I can’t help thinking of the problems they’re going to have, and the neckache he’ll eventually develop. I like tall men, but one a full foot taller than me might make me think twice.

Andreas is casually attractive and forms only a foil for Theo, who is a bit like an ad (bigger, stronger, etc, etc). Arianna is a stereotypical queen bitch. She only wants Andreas for the wealth he can bring her, and because she wants Theo back, and she is full of botox and such, as if botox carries the evil in its little syringe. That’s something else I tire of somewhat. I’d love a heroine to have a little bit of work done, not too much, but maybe a tad? (I could write one!)

She sleeps with him, after hearing of the death of someone she loves. I must admit, my first thought on hearing of the death of a loved one isn’t hot, sweaty sex with someone I hardly know, but perhaps it’s different for other people. Afterwards, she calls herself a slut. Yes, sure. She was a virgin, she slept with someone she fancied – for sure that makes you a slut. Her doubt in herself goes right through to the end, so even in the denouement she’s doubting. “What, you mean me?”

What’s worse is the hero doesn’t give her a real reason to doubt him. He doesn’t cheat, doesn’t see other women, doesn’t cat around. So it’s all in her head.

Look, I have a bit of the inferiority thing going myself, and I’ve written characters with inferiority issues, but nowhere near this level. If Beth can think the worst of herself, she does, and there’s no reason given for her to have such a cripplingly bad opinion of herself. She needs a good slap, but, disappointingly, she doesn’t get one. I’m available, if required.

LynneCs iconGrade: D


Made over…to make love! Though she’s in love with Andreas, her gorgeous Greek boss, Beth Farley knows he views her as just another piece of office furniture. But Andreas’s brother, the darkly arrogant, wealthy Theo Kyriakis, has a plan. If Beth pretends to be his lover, Andreas will surely want what he can’t have…One makeover later, and Beth has gone from sensible secretary to sensational bombshell! Now she’ll knock her beloved boss for six! But Beth soon realises she wants someone else to initiate her into the world of sensual abandon far more…Theo!

Read an excerpt here.