ORDER A COPY: Not Planning On You: A Danvers Novel (#2)
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publishing Date: February 5, 2013
Paperback: 304 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Suzy Denton seems to have it all together. She loves her job as an event’s planner for Danvers International, and she loves her high school sweetheart and fiance Jeff. Fast forward a month and it’s all gone to hell in a hand-basket. She finds out Jeff’s dentist has been doing more than drilling his teeth, and Danvers is in the process of merging with Mericom creating the largest communications company in the US and also bringing Gray Merimon, the CEO of Mericom into her life.
Gray pursues her from almost their first meeting. Even though he looks like sex on a stick, Suzy is afraid of being hurt again, and she thinks Gray is just another stuffed shirt looking for a relationship. When he calls her bluff, Suzy agrees to one night of sex, hoping that he will be terrible in bed and she can finally get him out of her system.
When circumstances throw them together for more than one night, can Gray convince Suzy that two complete opposites can be a perfect fit?
Suzy Denton is the quirky and delightful event coordinator for Danvers International. Known as Suzy-Q to her fellow employees, you never know just how she’ll dress or what excitement she’ll be up to next.
But always sunny and upbeat Suzy was devastated last year when she found out that her fiancé and former high school sweetheart, Jeff, was cheating on her, and even worse he was relieved when she found out so he could finally leave her. She has sworn off men, especially Grayson Merimon, who has been trying to get her to go out with him since Mericom started its merger with Danvers International last year. He is rich and gorgeous so there must be something wrong with him, right? He’s used to dating all those snooty, high society women, so he’s probably a just a boring, stuffed shirt under all that thick wavy hair and sparkling eyes. If only she could find something wrong with him, then she could finally convince herself to stop fantasizing about him.
When Suzy finally decides that that if she sleeps with Gray, maybe she’ll find that flaw she’s been looking for, but their date doesn’t end up like either of them hoped for when Suzy takes a tumble down the stairs and brakes her ankle.
Although Grayson didn’t get the chance to sleep with Suzy after a year of his own fantasies, taking care of Suzy while she recovers gives Gray the time and the intimacy he needs in order to convince Suzy how much he needs her in his life…forever.
Just as Gray and Suzy begin to move forward with their relationship, someone from Gray’s past comes around to put a damper on their growing romance. Will past decisions come back to haunt Gray and ruin everything between them, or will they work together to build a future?
Sydney Landon writes such delightful characters and some wicked scenes you can easily excuse the clumsy plotting of this book.
We saw the first meeting of Gray and Suzy in Weekends Required and noticed the spark, especially on Grayson’s part. When we start Not Planning on You, a year as passed and we learn that over this time, while working on the merger with Danvers, Gray has been trying to flirt and charm his way into Suzy’s life. Gray is enchanted with Suzy’s vibrancy and he knows he wants to spend his life with her. Now that he has moved to Myrtle Beach to begin running Danvers, it is all a matter of convincing Suzy to give him a chance. When Suzy is hurt, Gray jumps in to take care of her, finally giving him that chance to convince her they should be together.
All of this is absolutely delightful, and the time they spend together sizzles with sexual tension and their growing affection.
The clumsy part comes (and its right in the beginning so its not really a spoiler) when we learn that Gray has a former date (not girlfriend) who is stalking him. He doesn’t want to tell Suzy because he is afraid she’ll be upset since her fiancé cheated on her, etc. He didn’t do anything wrong, but because he dated the stalker while he was trying to convince Suzy to go out with him, he doesn’t want to tell her. It was just way too obvious a set up that our couple’s time playing house will be destroyed when Suzy finds out about the hidden woman who she will obviously mistake for a lover before Gray can confess his problem to her.
(Little bit more of a spoiler here, so you can jump to the bottom. Your choice.) It also didn’t make sense to me why they couldn’t work out their problems and Suzy turns it into a reason why they can’t be together. It seemed unnecessary to break things off completely. It seemed so contrived that it was like the author had an outline of the proper way to write a plot…#4. Separate your couple to add drama. As I read, I was trying to figure out how our couple would work around the psycho stalker problem, but the solution came so quickly, out of the blue and with so little fanfare, it was like waiting for 4th of July fireworks and getting someone popping a paper bag. Again, back to the plot outline of…#5. Quickly get them back together so you can end the story.
(Spoiler free!) Watching Gray and Suzy spend their time together was so enjoyable, that I could forgive the clumsy attempt to add drama to the story. I believe the author could have just left us with Gray taking care of Suzy, her being laid up (which added the sexual tension) and a story of how their bond and love grows and it would have been a sweet love story.
The next story involves Gray’s brother Nick (the sexy, womanizer) and Suzy’s sister Beth (who after years of being overweight has lost her weight, but still suffers from low self-esteem). Beth and Nick were helping to take care Suzy whenever Gray was not around. At first they don’t get along, then they start to work together without the friction. It is hard to know if something was happening between them, behind the scenes, so their story will coincide with this story or if the next story starts from the end of this book. I can’t wait to find out.
Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
The best scene was when Suzy is finally feeling well enough to seduce Grayson (I love his blown away reaction), but I had to end it early since it is much to hot for our little blog quotes.
Suzy prowled around with restless energy. It was just after ten and she’d showered, layered her body with scented lotion, and dressed in her Victoria’s Secret lingerie. She still had hours left until Gray was going to be home and was far too wired up to watch television. She walked into the kitchen and headed straight for the one thing that always settled her nerves. There sitting on a shelf of honor in the freezer was her pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey Ice Cream. She never made the mistake of taking it to the table or anywhere away from the freezer. If she did, she’d eat the entire thing. If she stood near the cold confines of the freezer, she could only stand so much before she had to put it up and shut the door. She grabbed a spoon from the nearly drawer and closed her eyes in bliss at the first explosive taste on her tongue.
Gray walked in the front door wondering if he should call out his arrival or try to surprise Suzy without scaring her to death. The house was quiet and there was no sign of her. As he was walking towards the bedroom he noticed the kitchen light was on so he quickly detoured there and stepped in the doorway to a sight that dam near made his heart stop. Suzy was standing in front of the refrigerator with the freezer door open and a pint of ice cream in one hand and a spoon in the other. A black thong showcased the cheeks of her ass and a matching black top in the same lace barely skimmed the top of the panties. Even the cast on her ankle looked sexy. Her crutches were leaning on the counter next to the refrigerator as she stood propped against one of the doors for balance. From his angle, he could see her eyes close as she stuck the spoon in her mouth and moaned in pleasure before slowly pulling it out to repeat the process.
Gray was afraid he was going to literally explode in his pants if he stood there for much longer. He dropped his briefcase on the floor, watching as she startled gaze flew to his. The air practically sizzled around them as he strode purposefully toward her. He took the ice cream from her hand and shoved it back in the freezer with a spoon still inside. He wanted her here and now, on the kitchen floor or the counter, he didn’t really care which as long as he was inside of her. The sight of the crutches reminded him that he’d have to be careful, but there was no way he was being denied.
Neither of them spoke as he reached for her, pulling her close and taking possession of her mouth. His hands slid down and cupped the cheeks of her bottom squeezing her against his rigid length. He’d no idea if he had enough control to make their first time last. He’d wanted her for so long that he felt incapable of gentleness. He reached down to hook his arms under her knees and carried her to the bedroom before he took her against the refrigerator.
ORDER A COPY: Weekends Required: A Danvers Novel (#1)
Publisher: Penguin Publishing (formerly self-pub)
Re-release Date: July 21, 2012
EBook: 189 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Claire Walters has worked for Jason Danvers as his assistant at Danvers International for three years, and he has never thought of her as a woman until the day she jumps out of a cake at his friend’s bachelor party.
Claire is forced to work a second job at a party planning company to support her ailing mother. She is horrified when Jason not only finds out, but has a front-row seat to the action. With Danvers in the process of merging with another company, Claire is forced to travel with Jason as well as work weekends. Suddenly all the fantasies she has entertained for years about her boss seem to be coming true. Her outspoken best friend Suzy thinks that just getting laid will solve everything. The problem is, Claire sees much more in Jason than just sex.
Jason is determined to know how the beautiful, sexy woman in the cake could also be his Plain Jane assistant who tries her best to blend into the background from 8-5 every day. Now not only does Jason see her as a woman, he fully intends to give her the fairy-tale ending that she deserves!
Claire Walters loves her job for Danvers International, and she can’t imagine a better boss than Jason Danvers. She has been there for three years now and has made great friends.
Unfortunately for Claire, her mother’s rising medical bills and the costs of the upkeep of her mother’s house has forced Claire to get a weekend job. She couldn’t ask for an easier job than her friend Julie’s catering company. All she has to do is jump out of a cake, kiss the groom to be and then help serve the rest of the party. Easy money and it doesn’t conflict with her job at Danvers.
That is until she is asked to work one weekend with Jason at his friend’s house to meet a deadline. When Jason and his friend leave for a party, Claire is free to run and fulfill her obligation to Julie. It’s going well until she jump out of the cake and recognizes Jason and see that his friend is the bachelor of tonight’s party. Jason can’t help but notice that the pretty girl jumping out of the cake looks too much like his assistant, Claire.
Now that Jason finally sees that there is more to his assistant than her quiet demeanor and her bland dress, he won’t stop until he gets to know her a lot better.
This was a great story and a great beginning to a new series, including some interesting characters.
My only problems storywise would not only be Claire’s awesome Clark Kent/Superman disguise–all she had to do was pull her hair in pony tail and were appropriate office wear, and Jason can’t see what an attractive woman has been working for him for the last three years.
Also when Jason finds out about her situation and offers assistance, Claire is offended that he’s trying to buy his way into her bed and it takes her friend Suzy to inform Claire that Jason is often generous with is employees who are experiencing financial trouble. These people work closely together for the last three years all alone in a separate office, but she seems to be the only one in the company who had no idea how generous her boss is to his employees who are in trouble, and Jason who is aware of the many problems that any of his employees are having is not aware of the family problems of his own assistant? That seemed a little far fetched.
Other than a few issues making me go “Really??”, it was an enjoyable story and a quick read.
Received an ARC from abovethetreeline.com, courtesy of the publisher.
Claire leaned against the restroom stall shaking. How could this have possibly happened and why didn’t she make a connection that this could be Harold’s party? Julie had said the name was Winthrop, and she’d never given it another thought. She hoped against hope that she was wrong and Jason hadn’t recognized her. She began undressing and vowed to stay in the kitchen the rest of the evening, no matter what.
Dear God, she would lose her job with Jason over this. He would never understand why it was necessary to work this job, as well as for Danvers. Panic started to set in and she was shaking so hard her finger were fumbling trying to unsnap the garters. At just that moment, she heard the door open.
“Julie, give me a few minutes. I’m having hard time with these darn snaps.” Not thinking anything of the silence, she continued on. “God Julie you will never believe what just happened, my boss and his friends were at this party. I thought you said the bachelors name was Winthrop? I need to stay in the kitchen for the rest of the evening and steer clear of Jason.” As those words were uttered, she was suddenly aware that Julie hadn’t made a single reply. She looked up and was looking in to the blue eyes that had haunted her all day.
Time seemed to freeze as she slowly became aware that she was standing in the ladies’ restroom practically naked with her boss leisurely lowering his gaze to the corset that barely contained her breast. She could feel her nipples standing up and saluting. His gaze lowered to the skimpy matching panties and, heaven help her, she could feel her body continue to betray her as heat pooled between her thighs. She squeezed her legs together to try to control the fire that seemed to be spreading through her body like an inferno. She finally gathered her wits enough to sputter. “What’re you doing in here? This is the ladies’ restroom.”
“I thought I would visit with the stripper for the evening, how much for a private lap dance for my friends and myself?”
“Wha…What?” She stammered. “What do you mean?”
“Well, you’re the stripper who jumped out of the cake, correct?”
“No. No, I’m not a stripper. I just jump out of the cake with clothes on. I don’t strip!”
“Clothes, ugh? I’m not sure that qualified as clothing.” Jason replied with sarcasm dripping from his voice.
It finally dawned on her that she was still standing in a restroom with her boss, almost naked. She averted her eyes from his and tried to cover herself with her hands. “Could you please leave? I need to dress and this is the ladies’ restroom.” She made the mistake of looking up into Jason’s eyes and could feel herself melt. Heat blazed there and with a muttered oath, Jason gripped her arms and dragged her against his hard body.
She went rigid at the sudden contact and tried to pull back as she felt Jason’s palms start gliding lightly up her arms leaving a trail of fire as they settled on either side of her face, His thumb gently rubbing her bottom lip. By this point, she had given up any thought of getting free and was mesmerized by the smoldering look in his eyes. As if almost against his will he leaned forward and gently laid his lips against hers.