The Last Santini Virgin

Loving You

Marine Under the Mistletoe

Sleeping With the Boss
by Maureen Child
(Silh. Desire #1534, $4.25, R) ISBN 0-373-76534-7
I am sure Confucius would say “Hot sex does not a good romance make – it only adds gray hair to the reader.” Sleeping With the Boss caused me a few gray hairs.

Gray hair #1 – A seemingly intelligent woman who owns a floral shop decides to use her vacation to play secretary for a male friend. It is during this “vacation” that they succumb to lust, with a predictable result. It seems to me that if the woman is smart enough to run a business, she should be able to say “no” and mean it.

Gray hair #2 – Not only does our heroine sleep with the boss, she becomes pregnant. What causes the hair to turn is that she sleeps with him a few times in a few days and the next day discovers she is pregnant. Literally, on the third or fourth time, the condom breaks and the next morning she does a pregnancy test and it’s positive.

Gray hair #3 – as if this isn’t enough, add the familiar tale of two people who are not looking for love and therefore don’t want it or a relationship.

Rick Hawkins is a financial advisor who started his own company when his previous love left him. He is distrustful of women now and just wants to work, work, work. He is in a bind though, because his secretary is on maternity leave and has left him high and dry. (After all, he only had nine months to plan for a temp to replace her). He mentions this to his grandmother, who mentions it to her best friend. Said best friend happens to have a granddaughter whose vacation plans were just scuttled, and she is in need of other plans.

The granddaughter is Eileen Ryan. Eileen and Rick have a history. Rick was a few years older and dated Eileen’s sister Bridie in high school. Eileen had a crush and Rick teased her mercilessly, as only older boys can do.

Now, following a failed relationship herself, Eileen has opened and been operating a successful floral shop. Her best friend decided to get married and go on vacation with her new husband, rather than with Eileen. So Eileen has two weeks on her hands and Grandmother manipulates her into taking the job as Rick’s secretary, giving Rick time to get temporary help.

There is instant attraction. They fight the lust for a few days, and when they give in, the sex is hot and heavy. The man has stamina; I will say that for him. A few days and many “interactions” later, Rick discovers that the condom broke. When he questions Eileen, she realizes the timing is perfect and they rush out to get a test. The little pink plus sign sends them both into a panic.

Eileen had planned never to marry and have children, only to realize this is a dream come true. But she feels she doesn’t need a husband. Rick, having grown up without a dad, is not about to let any child of his grow up outside the sanctity of marriage. (Of course, he didn’t think of this before the consummation occurred.)

The rest of the book is a case of “will she agree”, followed by “will he loosen up and let her love him”. That’s about it. Rick spends the time trying to be cool without giving up his emotions and Eileen spends it trying to convince herself she only wants a marriage based on real love. Neither is really likable, nor did I care what happened to them.

I found Sleeping With The Boss to be far fetched on one hand and shallow on the other. Unless you really are looking for a hair color change, pass it by.

--Shirley Lyons

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