Despite the slightly FSoG-esque plot -- you know, the über rich man looking for a contractual, but no (love) strings attached mistress for his pleasure, who eventually falls in love and reforms his hard-hearted ways, I was intrigued. I had sworn off this trope but my resolution was weakened by a bit of a book slump. The title/blurb sounded like something that'd be a quick, light romantic read. That's not what I got AT. ALL. In some ways that was a good thing; in others not so good.
Shay, our heroine, is looking for a way out of a bad marriage. She's been a stay-at-home wife for a while and has no money to leave her husband and go out on her own, so she answers an ad to be a personal assistant for Reardon Boone.
“Seeking professional, witty assistant for long-term position. Full benefits package.
Full binding confidentiality agreement required.”
Very soon, Shay realizes just how personal this position will be...
"I want a mistress.”
“You want what?”
“I thought this was an employment opportunity.”
“It’s a salaried position, Miss Greer."
“It appears we have something in common, Miss Greer. I want a lover with no strings attached, and you need…” His heated stare detoured over every curve of my body, pausing at my lips before settling on my startled eyes. “A sugar daddy.”
Well, well, well...Of course, she needs some time to think about Reardon's proposal. Despite her misgivings about such things as being a paid mistress and being married to boot, Shay needs the money this position offers to fix her life, so what's a girl to do? Get to the secret mistress-ing, that's what!
Soon thereafter, we meet Shay's husband, Palmer. I actually had to put my e-reader down and go look up the blurb again because I definitely didn't remember this being a menage novel. It's not...whew! OK, back to our regularly scheduled programming...
I was expecting some hot smexing and some falling in love between Reardon and Shay. I got that...along with a lot more emotion and depth than I planned on. Since the novel is told from Shay's POV, we find out throughout what Shay's demons are and why she desperately wants out of her marriage, but Reardon has demons of his own which are revealed a bit slower. Nothing trivial for these two, lemme tell ya!
I don't like cheating in my romance; yet I will say, for the most part, I was able to let Shay's wrong-doing go considering the status of her marriage when she starts things at the onset of her arrangement with Reardon. There were much bigger hurdles within Shay and Reardon's story to tackle before we could get to their HEA than Shay's marriage. Besides the myriad of emotions this book took me through, there are humorous secondary characters to lighten things up now and then. There were some eye-rolling moments along the way...
- how Shay reacts when Palmer finally finds out about Shay's affair with Reardon (not from her)
- Shay's constant and incorrect use of "y'all" (it's plural, not singular!! ARGH)
This was a book I couldn't put down until I finished it. For two people who needed redemption the ending was perfect.