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Winning the Boss’s Heart
by Hayson Manning
Mason Christian has twelve weeks to flip something old into something new, and then he’s getting the hell out of Footsteps Bay – a tiny New Zealand coastal town. Not even his temporary secretary and personal assistant–the feisty, luscious Billie McLeod–will deter him. But there’s no denying she makes him feel alive. More alive than he’s felt in three years…
If you get the job, I’ll be calling you Forty-Two, as none of my assistants stay. I work long hours and expect the same.”
“Forty-Two?” she blurted out. She did some quick math. He didn’t look to be older than thirty. She’d put him at twenty-eight tops unless he was dipping his face into cell rejuvenation fluid each night. “You’ve had forty-one assistants?” A quiver of doubt covered her skin like a blanket of cobwebs. Of course, if he called them all by number, like they were nothing more than prison convicts, was it any doubt he’d gone through them so quickly?
She should get up and leave and never look back. And she might if not for the huge paycheck he was offering.
He watched her with those unblinking blue eyes. Didn’t look like the man smiled a whole lot. She resisted the urge to shift in her chair. She doubted his middle name was jocularity or could even form the word “fun” in an anagram. In fact, she’d bet her ThighMaster and Zingo knife that he’d never heard a funny joke. He shrugged. “As I said, none of my assistants stay long, so I number them. It’s easier to remember.”
“Yeah, because remembering the name Sue, Jane or Henrietta would be a hardship.”
He blinked as if he’d just noticed her for the first time and did a full scan of her. A heartbreaking smile that would get him admitted to secret societies, exclusive men’s clubs, and women’s underwear transformed his face.
Thanks so much for having me on your fab-o blog. I’m thrilled to be here.
Your question to me was have I ever flipped a house? Lordy no. I’m way too sentimental, unlike Mason in Winning the Boss’s Heart, who doesn’t have a sentimental bone in his ripped body. Your question got me thinking about the differences between men and women when it comes to moving house. I’ve moved house a lot. I’ve kept my kids report cards, a mother’s day gift of a hunk of soap fashioned into a flower (I think). I’ve framed their finger paintings and kept their first hats. On our last shift (number 7412, honestly it feels like that,) a conversation between Hub’s and I went like this:
Hub’s sighed and said in a slightly exasperated voice “Are we shifting all of this stuff again?” Me: “Yes.” I stared at him dumbfounded, again. “Why wouldn’t we?”
Hubs: “Because, once you’ve read it, you move on.” He stared down at the soap flower. “Why don’t you just put that in the shower stall?”
I’d no more use the flower-soap than I’d get rid of their first school report, my first love letter (not from Hub’s I may add), a crumpled flower that was clutched in a tiny hand for hours because he wanted me to have something pretty. I’ve kept the newspapers published on the day they were born and every Mother’s day card.
Is this just a Venus and Mars situation or is it just me being terribly sentimental?
Are you sentimental? Do you keep ‘stuff’ like me or are you like Hub’s and Mason who’d live in chrome and stainless steel without a saved ‘fat-bat-hat?’ Is there something funny or sentimental that you’ve saved?
I have to admit, if you didn’t already know, I love my category romances. I love the tropes associated with them, the locations, settings and the quirky secondary characters that pop up in them. They are comfort reads to me and I can’t get enough of them.
Winning the Boss’s Heart is the best, hands down, category book that I have read this year. It has everything that I look for in a category, actually a book period. Tortured hero, spunking heroine, boss/employee trope, just enough angst and just a touch of spicy in the bedroom. Oh and there’s a dog named Stanley, too. Plus, through in a house that reminds our heroine of Withering Heights and how she sees our hero as Heathcliff…again, just a brilliantly written book. I have to mention the dialogue between the characters. Snarky by our heroine…angsty by our hero and I’m still picturing Samuel L. as Shaft. Trust me, read the book and you will understand. 🙂
Billie is the classic heroine. Sexy, smart and doesn’t take any crap from our hero. Yes, she is strong in her ideals, emotions and what she wants out of life. She has a plan for her life and how she is going to achieve that plan. Little did she realize that working for our hero, would not only change his life but hers as well.
Mason is your typical tortured hero but he has many layers to him. As Billie starts to peel them away, we get a real fix on what he has been through in the last three years and why he refuses to “feel” anymore. What really drew me to him was how Ms. Manning managed to NOT make him a jerk. Sure, I wanted him to be the classic jerk but I could feel his pain from the beginning of the book and he never let me forget about it. Plus, he was just yummy from the get go.
The sparks between Billie and Mason were evident from their first meeting. It is interesting how Ms. Manning managed to get them together, pull them apart, get them together and finally pulling them apart to the point that I didn’t think that they would make it. She managed to bring Mason to light side of living and out of the dark side. Mason had to make the decision for himself, not Billie. He had already seen what Billie could bring to his life and it was beautiful. He needed to figure out if the dark side was really worth it or did he deserve someone like Billie after all the pain in his heart for the past three years.
Again, I read a lot of category romances and again, this is one of the best ones I’ve read this year, if not one of the best books period. I know that yall are tired of me talking about category romances and all of their glory. But, you really should, I mean NEED to read Winning the Boss’s Heart. It will bring a smile to your face. And who doesn’t want that after they read a book?
Hayson grew up in a family made up of scientists and engineers and she was told lovingly but firmly that her ‘day dreaming’ phase would end and soon she’d be entranced by the inner workings of the periodic table. But she loved the lands she created. Oh, the creatures that stopped by. The swashbuckling pirates, sassy unicorns and before she knew it she’d be off on a flying carpet with Frank a friendly chain smoking shark.
It soon became apparent she wasn’t going to be awarded the Nobel Prize for services to science.
She has been a personal assistant, a demon word processor. She’s worked in supermarket deli where she can slice a pound of ham in record time. She’s sorted freight and she’s dreamed of writing gutsy independent heroines who won’t give up on their dreams and who’ll go toe-to-toe with their man. Her dream has now come true thanks to Entangled Publishing.
She lives with her infuriating but adored shoe-dropping husband, two teenage boys plus a tubby opinionated cat. There’s often a resident foster dog who needs love, dog biscuits and hanging with the kids on the couch before finding their forever after home.