Monday, 8 August 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #132
Secret Admirer - Susan Napier
Mills and Boon Romance
Mills and Boon, 1992
From the back cover:
"'What will you give me if I let you off the hook this time?'
Scott Gregory was ready to pounce: he'd realised Grace was a mere novice at business, and emotionally vulnerable - a young widow struggling to save her late husband's company. But Grace was ready to fight: she would study business and, though Scott was the most red-bloodedly attractive man she'd ever met, his reputation as a womaniser went before him. After all, Grace had everything to lose, and she felt that Scott would offer her nothing of value in return... would he?"
I tracked down this book after the fab authors Natalie Anderson, Abby Green and Maisey Yates were discussing it on twitter. There's a very intriguing element in the story I was curious about!
The heroine Grace is struggling to cope after her husband's death with both her loneliness and the demands of the business he left her in charge of. This is made worse when she meets with a potential business rival, who turns out to be the man she met a little while back when stuck in a lift in a rather embarrassing situation. The hero Scott hasn't forgotten Grace since the incident in the lift and pursues both her and a business relationship. Grace is nervous and rather intimidated by Scott's ruthless pursuit of her, however he also helps her with her business studies and learning to run the business. As they get to know one another they get closer and closer, but Grace is worried about getting hurt and Scott has secrets behind his ruthlessness.
This is such an amazing book, so daring in it's originality and beautifully crafted by Susan Napier. The characters are really well developed, I liked them both instantly. There is a twist to this story that is a stroke of genius, and even though I already knew about it before reading, when it was revealed even I was shocked by the events! This twist is so unusual (in the romance genre) but wonderfully done by the author, you would never guess it and the reasons behind it are handled really well. I know I'm being cryptic but I don't want to spoil it!
At times the story is fun and light and other it's very emotional and deep, which really makes it a very powerful read. And, considering this book was published in 1992 I think it holds up really well to modern standards.