Teaching the Boss by Mallory Crowe

You gotta love an office romance. There are just so many desks, stairwells and elevators where two lovers can find passion!

What’s it About?

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Business-school student April Morgan is ready to graduate–from school, from the secretary pool, and from never-gonna-happen fantasies involving Sam Hunt, her hunky billionaire boss. But when Sam’s girlfriend of the week pushes her too far, April finds herself quitting on the spot with only a mountain of student loan debt to keep her company. In steps Sam’s worst enemy, his father, with a job offer she can’t refuse.

Sam was born into privilege, but refused to live life with a silver spoon in his mouth. After a decade of hard work, he’s on the verge of taking his business public and proving to his tyrannical family that he can make it without their help. When he finds out that April is working for his father, he knows she’s been turned into a pawn in his father’s twisted games.

Despite Sam’s warnings, April is determined to prove she doesn’t need him to make in New York City. But when she finds documents that could lead to Sam losing everything he’s worked for, April realizes that she and Sam have to work together to save the empire they’ve both worked to build.

First Impression

This book certainly started strong, but sort of fizzled for me as it went along. I did love that the first kiss between Sam and April was in an elevator. The only way it could have gotten better was if they’d gotten stuck in said elevator, but we can’t always get what we want! What I didn’t particularly care for though with their first foray into tonsil hockey was that April was on the verge of quitting after hearing Sam discuss transferring her to appease his current jealous girlfriend, and when April was ripping him a new one he basically just kissed her because he knew it would shock her into silence. And then they both realized how much they liked it.

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Really? That’s the impetus for them taking things to the next level, he essentially wanted to shut her up? At least April had a rather longstanding crush on the guy. For Sam he acknowledges that he checked out her curves pretty soon after she started working for him, and that he came to rely on her professionally as his administrative assistant. Only when she decides to quit does he realize what he’s about to lose. Here’s the thing, I know their connection goes deeper than that. I knowwwww it. They just do a pretty poor job of verbalizing it to each other, to the point where it seems like she’s just happy to finally get him in bed and he doesn’t want to lose her as an employee. Not as romantic as I’d hoped.

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Welcome to Family Feud

The other primary feature of this novel was the feud between Sam and his father, Donald. In my opinion it went on for way…too…long. Sam has always had a troubled relationship with his father, who he insists is determined to make sure Sam fails in the business world, as well as in his personal life. This animosity is heightened even more when Donald buys the majority shares in Sam’s company just as he plans to take it public. Here’s the problem. It is unbelievably evident that Donald is actually a loving father who just doesn’t always go about communicating this to his son in the best way. Gee, another issue with verbalizing emotions. Sounds familiar, no? While Sam insists that Donald has underhanded intentions throughout the entirety of the novel, I personally thought it was obvious that Donald was just looking out for Sam.

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This made Sam’s resolve to hate his father seem rather immature and close-minded, especially towards the end of the novel when we see he’s willing to set his father up to spend time behind bars to pay for stealing his company out from under him. What bothered me even more though was that they both sort of used April as a pawn in their interactions with each other. Neither man seems capable of stepping up to lay all their cards out on the table. Instead they relay just a bit of information to April to disclose to the other, without ever revealing the whole story. This frustrates April to the ultimate breaking point where she eventually just confronts Donald to speak the truth. Unfortunately we have to wait around until the last couple chapters of the book for that to come about. For the rest of the novel I was tempted to start banging my head against a wall, or maybe force Sam and Donald to remain in a locked room with each other until they hug it out in a mess of filial tears.

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Series: Billionaires in the City, book 1. I’m not sure I’ll continue with this one. We are introduced to a rather intriguing character towards the end of the novel who will be the primary focus of our sequel, but it’s nothing I’ll rush out to pick up.

Final Impression: I’ve definitely read better, and I’ve also read worse. It wasn’t a terrible read by any means, but for a rather major part of it I was just kind of thinking to myself, “mkay…boop dee boop”. The story just didn’t grab me. There was one scene towards the end that was the most emotional moment in the entire novel for me, and almost brought me to tears. Funnily enough though it wasn’t because of the words or actions of either of our main characters, but rather a supplemental character. I guess it shows there’s potential for an added depth to the emotional connection of a future story, but it just wasn’t here for me in this one.

Smut Level: While I didn’t get the trapped in an elevator steamy make out scene that would have been fantabulous, we did get a rather delightful romp on Sam’s office desk.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Sprinters Press. 203 Pages.

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Trusting Jay by Simone Sowood

I’m not sure what it means when a novel starts off with a woman who is disappointed because she couldn’t get off with her vibrator. Perhaps it is a metaphor that this woman tries her best to take matters into her own hands?

What’s it About? 

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When money can’t buy you love, how far would you go to get what you most desire? Abbie White’s life fell apart when she discovered the truth about her boyfriend Matt. Their entire six year relationship was built on a lie; one that cost her dearly. She can never trust another man. Ever. Now she works to pay the bills that Matt left behind, consoles herself with friends and only opens her heart to old fashioned romance movies.

James McAllister is used to getting what he wants. As the billionaire owner of the company where Abbie works, he uses his striking good looks, uncompromising confidence and, if all else fails, money to secure his success. Now he’s set his sights on Abbie, and he won’t stop until he gets her. But he can’t let her know who he really is. Because if she knew, she’d run fast and far in the other direction. First he needs to win her over, then he’ll tell her. Somehow.

First Impressions

This is one of those books where I feel like the synopsis was a detriment to the overall story by giving too much away. It clearly states that Jay is the billionaire owner of Abbie’s place of employment, yet in the novel itself this fact is never revealed to Abbie or the audience until the very end. Let’s take a closer look at why this can be such an issue.

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The Truth of the Matter

Jay’s true wealth is sort of intended to be the big climactic reveal at the end of the novel. Throughout the book, Abbie senses that Jay is hiding something about his true character, but she doesn’t know what it is. Because it was spelled out for us so clearly in the synopsis, it’s kind of easy to judge Abbie for not noticing the seemingly numerous and obvious signs of Jay’s wealth.

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In addition, it was difficult to understand why Abbie continued to put up with Jay’s rather deceptive behavior, as he always refused to share details about his life. She initially just wanted a one night stand with him, but he kept putting off meeting up with her, and dragging things on longer than she wanted. Honestly, I was surprised she put up with his antics for as long as she did!

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Loving Jay, book one. Technically this book does have a HEA ending, but there were some plot points that went unresolved.

Should you read it? The fact that we already know the big reveal meant that it was almost a frustrating read as Abbie continually ignored what appeared to be some blatant signs of the mystery surrounding Jay. He even stumbles over making up a fake name, yet she just sort of brushes it off. Come on girl!

Smut Level: Humina Humina. When you have a giant-ass mirror above the bathroom sink, you just know there’s gonna be some lovin’ in front of it.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 204 Pages.