Tuesday, 5 April 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #22
The Secretary's Scandalous Secret - Cathy Williams
Mills and Boon Modern
Harlequin Mills and Boon, 2011
From the back cover:
"She's at the top of her boss's agenda -
Agatha Havers feels totally out of her depth working for Luc Loughton. Hiding behind her shapeless cardigans, she is invisible to her boss....
Until Luc discovers the tantalising curves Agatha has been concealing...and suddenly awakening his wholesome secretary goes to the top of this agenda!
Agatha finds herself living a fairytale - until she's brought back to reality with a bump..."
Another Modern I know! But it is my favourite series so it's understandable!
This is the story of Agatha and Luc. They grew up in the same village, he is the son of the village's richest family and she is the daughter of the local vicar and his wife. Luc gave Agatha a job after being asked to by his mother, after she was helped by Agatha's parents when Luc's father died leaving the family with financial problems. Agatha is a traditional country girl, preferring to spend time outdoors, and struggles with the job and fast paced life in London. Luc resents the pressure he feels (from his mother) to watch out for Agatha, whom he finds frustrating. He soon finds out that Agatha is in fact very alluring and starts an affair with her. He doesn't want a serious relationship and when he realises she is falling for him breaks up with her. Only later Agatha tells him she is pregnant but refuses his marriage proposal after the way he treated her.
The 'commitment shy playboy gets the girl pregnant' plot line is a common theme found in the Modern line, which usually has great conflict and romance elements. This book unfortunately does not make the most of the plot line possibility. I found the characters frustrating, Luc was patronising practically all the time to Agatha, he was also horribly bossy to her as well as completely contradicting, e.g. he tells Agatha to dress more professionally and when she does he tells her she is dressing inappropriately, and he tries to stop her going on a date to keep her innocence yet is shocked when he realises he took her virginity. I just couldn't warm to him. Agatha's character just seemed a bit silly. Also the major conflict fell a little flat.
I'm not saying this is a bad book, it's not and is a quick and enjoyable read, but it just didn't, for me, have that Je ne sais quoi.