Henry by Andria Large

I love me an office romance. However, I think I can safely say this is the first one I’ve ever read where we aren’t privy to any office sex scenes. Shocking!! It’s definitely implied they do it at least once in his office, but we don’t get any of the juicy details. The scene “fades to black” as it were.

What’s it About?

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Henry Beck, the gorgeous CEO of an advertising company, was in need of a new personal assistant. He expected HR to hire someone older, more experienced, maybe even with gray hair. Who he got instead was the beautiful, young, single mother – Claire Russell. A woman who he is having a hard time keeping his eyes off of…Claire never expected her new boss to be the most gorgeous man she’s ever laid eyes on. She also never expected him to be sweet to her two year old son, Ethan. But Henry is her boss and there is no future with him. Or so Claire thinks…Will Henry and Claire be able to fight the obvious attraction between them? Will Henry’s overbearing mother come between them? Or will a freak accident change their perspectives on life and what’s most important.

First Impressions

As mentioned, this is an office romance, so right off the bat we know we’ll be dealing with some ethical dilemmas. Sex between boss and employee? Yikes! However, I will admit office romance novels are kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. That sense of the forbidden can really amp up the lust. Therefore, I couldn’t help but be surprised that it takes these two so long to do the horizontal deed!! About 60% of the way through the book as a matter of fact. Their desire for one another is extremely palpable, so you’ve gotta give it to them for waiting a few months and getting to know each other outside of the office before tearing their clothes off. Unfortunately, just because Henry waited so long before officially pursuing Claire, I can’t really call the man a professional, and here’s a few reasons why.

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Professionalism in the Workplace

Henry is the head honcho in the office, and Claire is his personal assistant. Within the first month of her working for him, he already has a pet name for her: darlin’. In addition to Henry, we see anther co-worker in the company, who just happens to be Henry’s best friend, refer to Claire as sweetheart. I’m sorry, have we lapsed back into the days of Mad Men? I get pissed when someone refers to me as “girl” in the office. I’d probably have a coronary if someone went as far as to call me “darlin'”. 

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From Near Death to Smooth Sailing

The flow of the plot was rather interesting in this novel. On the one hand it was good, on the other…not so much. As previously discussed, these two don’t officially start a physical relationship until 60% of the way through the book. The influencing factor which finally tipped the scales was that Henry experienced a terrifying near-death experience. In that moment, he was able to admit to himself that Claire and her son were the most important people in his life. He wasn’t going to wait anymore. Life’s too short for that. Claire also realized in that moment that the thought of living without Henry wold crush her. In that sense, I kind of appreciated how they came together.

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After that though? I kept waiting around for one final twist to the plot. Surely everything can’t come together at 60% without one final hiccup or problem to come along. Nope! Everything is basically smooth sailing from that point on, and it all ends with a Merry Christmas kind of happily ever after. Almost like a build-up of anticipation that leads to nowhere. Usually with these kinds of books there’s some kind of argument or drama surrounding another woman, like an ex-girlfriend. In this case it was Henry’s overbearing mother who didn’t approve of Claire, someone who had a child out of wedlock. Again though, Claire and his mom’s main disagreement came at that 60% mark. They eventually make up with no real fuss.

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Series: The Beck Brothers, book 1. I might read the next book featuring Henry’s brother Sebastian. No rush though.

Should you read it? Meh. It was just ok. The characters were likable for the most part, especially Claire’s adorable son Ethan, but the writing was rather sub-par. There were many grammar mistakes, including your standard your/you’re and there/their errors. However, this might be the first time I’ve ever seen “heals” used instead of “heels”.

Smut Level: These two get naughty in his garage. Seems like the ultimate private location. That being said, garages do have the tendency to echo, and in this case the noise drew the attention of Henry’s mother, who proceeds to walk in on them. Oh my!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. Self-published. 177 Pages.

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