Norma Anders has always prided herself on her intelligence and determination. She climbed out of poverty, put herself through school and is now a chief financial advisor at Pierce Industries. She’s certainly a woman who won’t be topped. Not in business anyway.
But she’s pretty sure she’d like to be topped in the bedroom.
Unfortunately most men see independence and ambition in a woman and they run. Even her dominant boss, Hudson Pierce has turned down her advances, leaving her to fear that she will never find the lover she’s longing for.
Then the most unlikely candidate steps up. Boyd, her much-too-young and oh-so-hot assistant surprises her one night with bold suggestions and an authoritative demeanor he’s never shown her in the office.
It’s a bad idea…such a deliciously bad idea…but when Boyd takes the reins and leads her to sensual bliss she’s never known, the headstrong Norma can’t help but fall under his command.
Learning how to let go…
Norma has been in control of every aspect of her life for as long as she can remember. When her parents died, she took on the parental role to her two siblings, Gwen, and Ben. It’s been far from plain sailing but she has dedicated a huge chunk of her life to taking care of others. Very career-orientated, she has risen through the ranks to become Hudson Pierce’s trusted No. 2.
Feeling somewhat unfulfilled, she decides to indulge her lengthy crush on her boss, and she makes a pass at him, which he rejects. She is up on the roof, trying to deal with the burning humiliation when her assistant Boyd finds her and makes her an offer she can’t refuse.
Boyd and Norma’s professional relationship is superb and they both highly respect the other. Now, things are about to get personal and the roles are reversing. Norma has to allow Boyd to take the reins in their personal relationship while she abides by his rules and his commands. It is difficult for someone like Norma to fully let go and let someone else take charge. But she needs it, and she deserves it. After years of looking after others, it’s time for someone to look after her.
Boyd was a sweetheart even though he was a sexual deviant who loved pushing both their boundaries. I only wish we had been given more opportunity to fully understand him in his own right. He was quite mysterious and I would have enjoyed delving into his backstory in order to properly understand what drew him to Norma.
Their developing relationship was a mix of romance and sex and it was very well written. The struggle for control was an ongoing battle but one they overcame in the end.
I’ve worked in the corporate world for years and I have to admit to being quite skeptical at the start about their relationship. I found it difficult to fully accept that such a career-driven woman with control issues would so readily drop her panties for her assistant, but, hey, it’s fiction, so I just let those concerns wash over me and enjoy the story for what it is. A sort of sexual coming of age story that turned into a sweet, caring relationship that evolved into a blissful forever.
I really liked Norma, and having read the Fixed and Found trilogies, I was intrigued to know her story. She has always come across as a bit strict and too serious, so it was nice to get under the hood and find out what made her tick. I could relate to her work ethic, and her like of control in the workplace, and her strong desire to take care of others. It was nice to see her taking a backseat and letting Boyd set the pace in their relationship. I also enjoyed how she stood up to Hudson at the end and was prepared to sacrifice everything for her lover.
I think this would have worked better if it had been a full-length novel, as I felt it skimmed too much, and we never really got to see how their relationship developed. We were told rather than show and that was a little disappointing. The ending was very rushed, and I didn’t like the epilogue – I felt very disconnected from the future we were presented with. Again, if the story had been fleshed out better then this wouldn’t have been such a stretch.
Overall, though, this was a great short read, and a good addition to the series. While it isn’t essential to have read either the Fixed or Found series, I would recommend it as both are excellent series! I would recommend this to fans of Laurelin Paige or those who want a well-written quick read.
Actual rating: 3.5 Stars
Thanks to the publisher and Inkslinger PR for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I groaned and threw the covers off of me, heading for the shower. Usually I ran first, and I still planned to, but I needed something to cool the fire in my veins. Hopefully standing under an ice cold stream of water would do the trick.
I tried running next, opting for ten miles instead of my normal six, thinking maybe I could sweat out the lust like it was a cold. Or was that a fever? Whatever, I came back tired, achy and soaked in perspiration, and the buzz between my legs was stronger than ever.
I was distracted by it through the rest of the morning. Gwen and I caught up on America’s Got Talent before she planned to go to bed for the day—her job at a nightclub kept her on a strange schedule. Afterward, I couldn’t remember a single thing I’d watched, but I could recall with clarity every moment I’d spent with Boyd the night before. That wasn’t a subject I planned on discussing with Gwen, though. So most of my responses to her were nods and grunts. Then she’d gone to sleep, thankfully, except after that I was left alone with the agony of my desire.
The rest of the night was more of the same, and Sunday as well. By Monday morning, I’d run over twenty miles, cleaned my entire house, taken five showers, and not thought about Boyd Barrett about a thousand times. Maybe even two thousand times. And now I had to go to work and face him.
Help me God.
I decided to go in early. That way I could sneak into my office without having to pass him on the way in. It wasn’t until I was in the elevator on my way to my floor that I remembered I also didn’t want to see Hudson. Several years with a clean, respectable work record, and in one evening I’d shattered my reputation with not one, but two, colleagues. The two colleagues who were the most important to me, no less.
Jesus, maybe I did need to quit.
It wasn’t yet seven, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Hudson were already working. Often, he slept in the loft above his office, which made an early appearance more probable than one from Boyd. Anxiety rose in my chest, an odd feeling for me since I was usually composed and calm. As soon as the doors opened, I ducked my head and scurried down the hallway, letting out a sigh of relief when I made it past Hudson’s office without seeing him.
And then gasping sharply when I ran into him, instead, outside my own office.
“Norma, I was hoping you’d be here early. I wondered if I could have a few minutes of your time.”
About the Author:
USA Today and New York Times Bestselling Author Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman.