Confession: I was never into the billionaire craze, because they all seemed to be alphahole control freaks, and that is not my type of romance hero. Now, I’m not sure if the hero in this book is a billionaire, but he is a rich businessman, and I ordinarily would have passed this book right by.
However, I follow @TropeHeroine on Twitter, who posts gems such as: “You’re no one until there’s a wager about you in the book at White’s.” “I babble when flustered (which is pretty much all the time around you) even though I am otherwise a very successful litigator.” “I like a man who smells of soap and man.” “I often look in mirrors and make note of my own hair and eye color. I might forget what I look like otherwise.” On and on, insightfully.
This book was written by Trope Heroine’s alter-ego, Jenny Holiday, so I had to read it to see how she handled the “curvy barmaid catches the eye of rich businessman who doesn’t interact with anyone else in the restaurant” trope. In a word? Hot.
Cassie is the barmaid in question. She doesn’t have the ballerina body or bleaching and grooming habits to be a server, but her dad was friends with the restaurant’s owner so she has a job behind the bar. Jack is the meticulously dressed businessman who comes in several times a week, sits at the same table, and leaves a giant tip. Then, one night, he shows up only to find that his table is occupied.
Jack has to sit at the bar. He learns that Cassie knows her fine liquor, she keeps a non-fancy jug of distilled water behind the bar just for his drinks, and she helps wayward teenagers (aka the boss’s daughter) with math. It’s not long after that, he has his tongue in her mouth, and not much longer after that, he has her against an alley wall while he’s kneeling in dirty snow and…hot.
Jack is the most vulnerable CEO I’ve met in a book lately. He’s got dyscalculia, which is like dyslexia for numbers, and he’s recently discovered that his best number-crunching employee has been stealing from him. He needs to follow the evidence, but his brain won’t let him. And he needs to close a business deal without the betraying employee.
Cassie needs money, of course. When Jack offers her a lot of it to pose as his employee and help him close the deal, she takes it. She also points out that she’s not really his employee, so his “no sleeping with employees” rule doesn’t technically apply.
You know how Trope Alpha Male is always “I’m in charge in the boardroom and the bedroom”? Cassie and Jack make silly bets or they race up the stairs to see who gets to be in charge. It was wonderful to see Jack lose himself when he was with Cassie, just as it was wonderful to see Cassie find another side of herself when she was with Jack.
So, this book has the following tropes: Gay Best Friend, I’ve Never Had Good Sex Until You, Seeing You Interact With Children Makes Me Like You More, and of course, I’ve Never Slept With a Woman More Than Once Until You. And they were all awesome.
This was totally fun, I stayed up too late reading it, and yes I’m on board for the next in the series. For you, Trope Heroine, I will read more about rich men in office buildings.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Saving the CEO
by Jenny Holiday
Release Date: October 20, 2014