His Expectant Neighbor

The Rancher & the Heiress

 
Love, Your Secret Admirer
by Susan Meier
(Silh. Romance #1684, $3.99, G) ISBN 0-373-19684-9
*
Love, Your Secret Admirer has one of the silliest plots that I have read all year. It is the first installment of Marrying the Bossí Daughter, which is a silly idea for a series, too.

Emily Winters is the bossís daughter and she is one of eight vice-presidents of the corporation. Her father is making noises about wanting her to marry one of the other VPís to help her run the company when he retires. Already the recipient of his matchmaking attempts, Emily is desperate. She and Executive Assistant Carmella Lopez decide to do some matchmaking of their own. Their first victim is Matt Burke, VP of Accounting and his secretary/assistant Sarah Morris.

Sarah is a ranch girl transplanted to Boston. She is frumpy, only because she doesnít have the confidence in the big city that she had on the range. Emily and Carmella decide that if they give her a makeover and make Matt jealous, he will marry her and they will live happily ever after.

So, they send Sarah a dozen white roses one day and red roses the next, signing the card ďLove, Your Secret AdmirerĒ. Sarah, who is intelligent enough to be valuable on the job, but has little in the common sense department, figures out that the only man she knows is Matt, so he must be her secret admirer. Sarah has had a crush on Matt for over a year. Carmella helps to cement her thinking.

Matt is jealous, although he denies it to himself. He is strongly attracted to the beautifully made over Sarah. But he is a rules follower and Matt has several rules. 1. He must be a millionaire before age 40, and until he is, he feels he has nothing to offer any woman. 2. He cannot date a subordinate.

Matt, you see, grew up without lots of money. He and his CPA father were not exactly poor, but they were just middle class. Unfortunately, Mattís mom wanted to be rich, so she left them when Matt was twelve. Matt decides that will never happen to him.

Sarah and Matt have always had a friendship and partnership in their work. This attraction stuff might ruin that and Matt is determined that wonít happen. However, he keeps getting thrown into situations where he ends up kissing Sarah. The more that happens, the more he invokes rule number two, and the surlier he gets.

Sarah, meanwhile, just keeps plugging away at attracting him one minute and then hides in mortification after each encounter, only to be bolstered by Carmella. Then she is back at it again, tempting him, certain they can make a go of their relationship.

Sarah was shallow and other than her sudden beauty, I couldnít find anything to attract Matt. Matt was a stick in the mud and not at all engaging. He had to be prodded and manipulated throughout the story. When he finally agreed to go out with Sarah, he did it grudgingly and with less than an enthusiastic manner. He is not my idea of Prince Charming.

Many of the other VPís were introduced, ready for their story in this series. None caught my eye, although it seems that one of them will catch Emily. The hints of this outcome were not subtle.

From the beginning this story was inane and tedious. It is not often that I struggle to get through a book that is only 185 pages, but with this one I had to force myself to keep reading. I have become a big fan of the category series concept since I started reviewing. Many times, the plotlines of the series stretch oneís imagination, but the story is good enough to overcome the flaws. Love, Your Secret Admirer is not one of those stories.

--Shirley Lyons


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