This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Released on October 28, 2014
Length: 8 hours 2 minutes
I was given the opportunity to browse through some Audible.com books that were up for review and the title on this one caught my eye. Interesting ‘sex’ and ‘sensibility’ in one woman, promising… So I grabbed it up to try a new to me author and a book that starts a spin-off series about the Wilde Sisters after she had written the trio of books about the Wilde Brothers. I had the audio version of the story of course so that added another dimension to my experience with the book which was mostly good.
The story is about the youngest of the wealthy Wildes of Texas and her intrepid, yet naive desires to find who she is as an individual and not just a Wilde. Emily moves away from her family to NYC and sets out to earn her own way even though she has not managed to stick with anything yet. She starts out looking for work at jobs that would be admirable and socially acceptable to her family, but soon learns that if she’s not relying on her family name or the family money, then those jobs aren’t open to her. When she changes her name to Emily Madison and tries to make it on her own, she ends up sharing a very cheap fourth floor walk-up apartment with a starving actress and earning her rent playing the piano at a bar. One night and one drunk too many, she loses it with a customer and subsequently loses her job. That’s when everything changes. When she has hit rock bottom, she encounters the arrogant, assured Italian who can turn all her circumstances around so she enacts a bit of subterfuge and takes him up on his astounding and needed offer. A few lies by omission couldn’t hurt, right?
Marco Santini is a self-made man and has learned the hard way to let nothing get personal and to form no attachments when it comes to women. His ex-wife taught him that love is not for him and he should stick to the women who are honest and only want him for sex or the things he can get them. But having all the money in the world and a gorgeous date to the mindless events and parties leaves him feeling cold. His day has gone from bad to worse as he learns his PA has quit right before a big European business trip, his car is stolen and his mistress has ruined his evening with her demands and whining. Then his chauffeur notices a woman alone on a less than safe street in the dark drenched by the rain and without a coat. His rescue leads him to do something spontaneous and shocking. Marco offers Emily the position of PA and the promise- as hard as it is to keep- that it will be strictly business between them. It becomes more than that of course and he is amazed to find an honest open woman. How long will he be able to keep to his strictly business rule?
The story had a fun premise in that it’s a situation just waiting for the inevitable. I found the story predictable, but I was interested enough to see the details get filled in. Emily lies to everyone around her in her efforts to get a chance at a life that allows her to be herself and make it on her own- yes, I’m well aware that sort of thinking is flawed and naive from the get go. It’s Emily who has to learn all this the hard way. She spends most of the story mentally wringing her hands because she has broken through Marco’s cold walls and he gives her the gift of the true man behind the hard exterior that all the rest of the world sees. Marco thinks she is honest and she won’t even tell him her real name. Marco has been burned badly from his first childhood memories right on through to the ex-wife who pretended to love him to get his money which is what has Emily holding her tongue taking the cowards way out every time she lets an opportunity for the truth slip by. The other aspect is that Emily has been dishonest with her family too. She feels smothered and can’t get them to see that she is a grown up now. As a reader, I actually found her insistence that she was grown up laughable as the examples of her flawed thinking, bad choices and petty attitude piled up.
See, while on the one hand, I enjoyed Emily’s adventures as Marco’s PA and her ability to bring Marco to life and love, I was annoyed to heck at her immaturity. I waited the whole book for her to come clean, to understand that her choices brought on all the trouble and that she had changed. I only got one of the three and it wasn’t even her doing that the truth came out. Oh sure, she had good intentions of telling Marco, but she put it off every time. She was outed part way and even then she had to get the truth drug out of her. I wasn’t impressed so it was hard for me to be into the romance as a result. I didn’t feel that Emily and Marco were a good match. He was more mature, seasoned and worldly. She was pouty, naive and still out to prove herself. They were hot together and had some good scenes, I’ll grant you. I can only hope that she’ll mature now under Marco’s influence.
The narration was good. Devra had to do female, male, Italian, French, German and Texan voices and accents which she did passably well. Her pace was good and she did both the monologue and dialogue bits so that it sounded natural. She did a wide range of emotions well and didn’t distract me from the story so much has enhanced my interest.
So, I both enjoyed this story and wanted more from the heroine. There was a good basic plot, sexual tension, tender and passionate scenes. Humor. Family at the holidays. A hero that melted my heart. The audio was one of the strongest elements. I would recommend it for Contemporary Romance lovers who like spicy romance and can have patience with a flawed heroine whose mistakes give the story its tension.
My thanks to Audible.com for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.