Hired: The Sheikh's Secretary Mistress by Lucy Monroe
Series: Royal Brides #8
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: August 1st 2008
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Sheikh Amir bin Faruq al Zorha lives in New York, but the desert is where his heart lies. Now it's time for him to marry….
Grace Brown, Amir's plain but indispensable assistant, isn't exactly queen material. No matter how tempted Amir is to take her innocence, she's off-limits. Until he returns to his homeland, where the barbarian prince replaces the businessman—and resolves that Grace will be his!
I love Harlequin Presents novels and Lucy Monroe is generally my favorite HP author, but unfortunately my inner feminist decided this was the story she was going to stand up and rebel against. The characters were as expected: a somewhat limp heroine and an extremely controlling, alpha male. The story engaging, if a bit predictable. The writing as beautiful as always (I do so love LM’s writing style), but honestly the longer I read, the more frustrated I became. The more I wanted to scream, “Girl, make a stand! Walk away from his highhanded ways and stand on your own two feet. You’re a woman, ACT LIKE IT!” Sadly, she never did stand up and act like a woman, and therefore the story didn’t work for me.
Grace has been Amir’s personal assistant for five years, and during all that time she’s loved him. Amir has recently become attracted to his assistant, but he knows she’s completely innocent and wouldn’t be able to do a light affair. Then Amir’s father demands that he marry and Grace’s heart breaks. Only the wedding never happens, because the princess he was supposed to marry eloped with someone else. Then Amir asks Grace to find a wife for him, which she refuses to do, then agrees because she knows she can choose better than anyone else, because she knows him better than anyone. Of course, she doesn’t include herself because she’s tall and skinny and men don’t like that – not men like Amir, anyway.
I think there were just too many stereotypical things here to work for me.
- She’s a secretary
- She’s totally innocent at 25 – hasn’t ever even been kissed
- She’s in love with her boss
- He’s attracted to her but refuses to act on the attraction
- She knows she isn’t good enough for him because she’s tall and skinny with a small chest
I think the worst thing, however, is that Grace totally lived for Amir. She had no life outside of him, no friends, no family close by, nothing. She lived and breathed Amir. That seemed more creepy than anything. For a 25 year old woman to have no one but her boss? The boss she happens to be in love with?
By the end of the story, I wasn’t invested enough in either of them to care one way or the other what happened.
3 out of 5