First, I would like to dedicate this blog post to Desire Author Sandra Hyatt. It is with great sadness to report that she passed away this weekend. I read her books, the last one "Mistletoe Magic", was a novella that she wrote for Christmas. She will be missed.
How to Seduce a Billionaire
How to Seduce a Billionaire
Book Three in the Duke Brothers series!
The first step...mix business with pleasure
New hairdo? Makeup? A dress? Where did his efficient secretary go? Because the woman in front of Brandon Duke is not the Kelly Meredith who left on vacation two weeks ago. He is shocked—and curiously enchanted—by her transformation.
She says this makeover is all part of her plan...to become more seductive. And this billionaire is just the man to give his suddenly sultry assistant a few lessons in love. He'll go slow, savor every moment and then say goodbye—as long as he can remember just who is seducing whom!
I will admit that I haven't written a Desire book since Sandra's at Christmas. But I was asked to read a MS that an author entrusted me to read to see if it would fit the guidelines to be submitted to Desire. Oh dear...since I hadn't read a Desire in months, a trip to Walmart on Saturday turned into a research trip. I looked at this month's selections and chose a new to me Desire author, Kate Carlisle. I know, the blurb pretty told me...secretary and her boss. Pretty standard fair for the Desire line but I thought, new author so maybe she has a different take on the story idea. Well, to say that I was completely surprised and then totally blown away, would be an understatement.
Kelly and Brandon have worked together for four years now and when she takes off for a vacation for two weeks, Brandon misses her. Not just as his assistant but also has a person. He realizes that he genuinely likes her company and her friendship. Kelly went on vacation to relax and reinvent herself. She comes back to the office with a plan to learn the art of seduction, she just didn't plan on seducing her own boss. Kelly and Brandon were on equal footing from the beginning of the story and remained that way throughout.
Brandon was adopted by a woman, Sally Duke when he was eight years old. His two brothers were also adopted by her at the same time. Brandon's real parents left him at an orphanage after a hard early childhood but Sally took him in, loved him and his two brothers. The brothers made a pact that they would never fall in love and get married. They had all seen what marriage had done to their own parents, so the pact was made. But Brandon's brothers did the unthinkable; they fell in love and married. Brandon vowed that he would never do either of those things. Love does things to a man when he falls in love.
Kelly knew that starting an affair with Brandon was only short term until the resort opened and then they would go back to their relationship as boss/assistant. She had an ex-boyfriend coming to stay at the resort during the grand opening and explained to Brandon that was the reason for the make over and plans for seduction; so Kelly could kick the ex-boyfriend to the curb once and for all.
What I really liked about Kelly and Brandon was that the boundaries were set early in their working relationship. The both respected and genuinely liked each other. Kelly was growing tired of dealing with his "women" when he would break up with them. The phone calls from one of his "dates" is a great addition to the story and are laugh out loud funny. Once they started sleeping together, their dialogue and emotions were heartfelt and spot on. These two could not keep their hands off of each other. (Which in a Desire book, the sex is either very frequent or maybe just one time and not graphic at all) Again, Ms. Carlisle surprised me with the frequency and sensuality of the scenes. Nicely done. There was no emotionally roller coaster ride for either of them until it hit them like a brick wall. The humor between Brandon and Kelly was laugh out loud funny and appropriate. Again, nicely done.
Overall, How to Seduce a Billionaire was one of the best Desire books that I have read in a very long time and one of my ten best books of the year. I did not want Kelly and Brandon's story to end. I realize that I need to read the two brother's stories now and I will buy them as soon as possible. Not only did I read a fantastic books, I found a completely new author to me. Great job Ms. Carlisle and I highly recommend this book and Kate Carlisle.
In closing, my "research" is done and the MS has great potential as a Desire book, that I hope and pray I will see in my local Walmart soon.