Monday, August 21, 2017

In Bed with Her Boss - Brenda Jackson (HKim #53 - Aug 2007)

From boardroom to bedroom...

D'marcus Armstrong was demanding, autocratic and cranky as a boss. But as the star of her feverish nighttime fantasies, the man was simply divine. Still, Opal Lockhart had no chance with Detroit's self-made millionaire. What would a high roller like him want with a buttoned-up, naive secretary like her?

Enter the Lockhart sisters--for some attitude adjustment and a wardrobe makeover. With some decolletage and come-hither heels, they have the sex kitten in Opal downright purring.

Now she's giving D'marcus notice--he'd better watch out!

Good book. Opal is the administrative assistant to D'marcus, an internship position she has held for several months. She likes the job, even though her boss can be a grumpy pain in the butt. She also finds him incredibly attractive even though she knows nothing can come of it. What she doesn't know is that D'marcus is just as attracted to her.

The book opens with D'marcus calling Opal into work on a Saturday afternoon while she is with her family and friends. Her sisters let her know what they think of the way he treats her. When their meeting is over, the caring part of Opal comes out as she offers to return with some food for him, as she knows he is likely to skip dinner. His reaction is harsh and rather over the top rude, but she still shows up later with said meal. I loved her reaction, as she doesn't meekly accept his rudeness.

What Opal doesn't know is that D'marcus is very attracted to her and not at all happy about it. First of all, she is his employee, which makes getting involved a bad idea. Second, after the death of his fiancée six years earlier, he has avoided getting close to another woman. He feels that he had his one shot at love. But Opal makes him feel things he hasn't felt since then, and he doesn't like it.  A couple of weeks of late workdays and his attraction is taking over not just his waking hours but his dreams also. He decides to take her on an upcoming business trip and hopes to talk her into an affair at the same time.

I enjoyed the development of their relationship. Both are intent on doing their jobs, but their attraction is constantly simmering in the background. It was fun to see the way that Opal tries to deny her attraction to him, but her family can see the truth. It was fun to see how they shanghaied her into a makeover, wanting to force D'marcus into seeing Opal as the desirable woman that she is. His reaction is everything that they could hope for, and I loved seeing him try to deal with it. When they reach California, Opal has finally realized that what she feels for him is more than just attraction; she is in love with him. D'marcus makes his move on her, letting her know that he wants an affair, but that anything more is not possible. I liked that he had the patience to give her time to consider, and ached for Opal as she realized her love was not returned. She decides to accept whatever he can give. The next few days are spent in a combination of business and pleasure, as Opal's feelings for D'marcus grow even stronger. At the same time, D'marcus finds that his time with Opal is far different than anything he's experienced before. He resists the idea that it can be anything more than lust. By the time they have both returned to Detroit, Opal is head over heels, and D'marcus is freaking out over what he feels. To protect himself, he pulls away. I liked Opal's strength of character here as, even though heartbroken, she carries on with her life. It was satisfying to see D'marcus struggle with accepting why he's so unhappy since he brought it on himself. Once he sees the light, he acts in his typically decisive manner. I loved his big moment at the end. It was sweet and romantic.

My only dissatisfaction with the story is that the issue with the basketball player was left unresolved. He made several appearances as D'marcus dealt with the trouble he was causing. The player made threats against D'marcus and it was all just left hanging. I would have liked to see a satisfactory conclusion to it.

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