Principle, not the actual act of apartment sitting my boss’s dog, has me wound so tight I’m about to burst at the seams.
That the lakefront apartment sits in the heart of
My name is Miranda Stiltgaard. I’m an adventurer by nature. Therefore, one would think the brain-frying madness of
During the week, I’m smart enough to take a train into the city, where I work as a marketing coordinator for Stuart Golf, a family-owned golf club manufacturer headquartered in
After six months on the job, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished here. Neither the stuffy British persona of Stuart’s president nor my immature, irresponsible boss, Bill Perry, has caused me to lose heart.
Then yesterday—all hell broke loose.
Bill breezed into the office with an agenda that made my head swim. He had just spent several days wining and dining Australian golfer, Corbett Paine, with a sleek new putter we hope to launch with his endorsement.
All this is good, except Bill only stayed in the office for a couple of hours. He and his girlfriend had plans to jet off to Vegas for a weekend of gambling and no sleep.
But not before he coerced me into watching his dog, dumped completion of Corbett’s legal worksheet in my lap, and gave me firm instructions: no phone calls unless death was involved.
When I reminded him the ad budget for the golf cart division was overdue, he rolled his eyes and said I worry too much.
Somewhere between Bill’s arrival and departure, I must have lost my mind. I believe it happened when our company president appeared in my cube looking for Bill and the overdue budget. Which I insanely assured him would be on his desk before day’s end. A promise I delivered to keep Bill out of hot water.
Thinking about it all caused an aggravating twitch at the corner of my right eye as I pulled into Bill’s underground parking garage. A quick check in the vanity mirror made me wish I hadn’t. My thick blond hair was damp. I wore no makeup. And the light on the visor made my skin paler—my eyes bluer.
The dumpy outfit I’d thrown on wasn’t much better. Flip-flops, ancient sweats with splotches of purple paint, and an oversized Big Dog T-shirt meant to amuse Bill’s small white
I accessorized the whole mess with a large Macy’s shopping bag hastily filled with a weekend’s worth of clothes.
“Class-eee,” I said, stepping from my car. The rhythmic slap of my flip-flops resounded loud in the eerie quiet of the garage. I prayed I wouldn’t run into anyone.
Now anxious to see my weekend companion and confide my bizarre life with its strange twists and turns, I picked up my pace. Malcolm will be my weekend therapist; Sigmund Freud in white whiskers with a nubbin of a tail that wiggles his whole body with enthusiasm.
I think I’ll even come clean about the strange dreams I’m having of late filled with steamy trysts with a 19th century lord in his manor.
As the elevator swooshed up eighteen floors, I finger combed my hair and sent my furry friend a message via mental telepathy. “I’m coming, Malcolm.”
I slipped my key into Bill’s lock and entered his posh, albeit masculine, apartment that greets you with a white marble foyer floor. Bill’s designer filled the place with stainless steel and glass tempered by leather and more shades of gray geometric shapes than I can count. Somehow it works and is brought to life with splashes of colorful modern art and a million-dollar view of
Malcolm rushed me with happy yaps then abandoned me for the living room with a view.
Something was off.
I heard the soft click of computer keys over the low voice of a news anchor on the TV. “Esmeralda?”
“Gone,” replied a male voice that stopped me in my tracks and produced a fissure of caution.
I grabbed an umbrella from a stand in the foyer. “Bill?”
The typing stopped. “Not here,” rasped the tired voice, definitely not Bill’s.
I left the safety of the foyer to make a sudden entrance and pointed my weapon with a jab. “Who are you and how did you get in here?”
My eyes beheld a gorgeous non-threatening male armed with a laptop, undaunted by my aggressive posturing. He had black hair and a strong jaw in need of a shave that made him look more sexy than dangerous. Last night’s dream of a lord in his manor did a nanosecond flash through my mind, while his cool eyes made an uncomfortable swept over my body.
“Raining out?” A corner of his mouth quirked up. Sun beamed down on him through a large bank of windows. He yawned and stretched. A slice of taut belly peeked between a gray shirt and jeans. He looked at my Macy’s shopping bag from under dark lashes and dismissed me by returning to his typing. “The housekeeper was already here.”
“What?” I lowered the umbrella and realized how bad I looked and became indignant at his sexist conclusion. “I’ll have you know I am not the housekeeper.” I heard my own sexist reply and edged the Macy’s bag behind a club chair with my foot. “I repeat. Who are you and how did you get in here?”
No time is wasted getting pulled into the action of this book. Miranda arrives at work only to discover that her boss, Bill, has been sacked, and herself reassigned to work for Keegan, Bill’s half-brother, while he is stateside. A large sum of money is missing, and Miranda must prove her innocence. Miranda is nothing if not honest and she is incensed at the accusations. A strong woman, self-assured and opinionated, she refuses to cut ties with Bill; determined to help clear his good name, as well as her own. Even in the midst of the upheaval and strife Miranda stays on top of her game, demonstrating her savvy business acumen. As rumors and innuendos fly through the
branch of Stuart Golf Enterprises, Miranda finds strange numbers scrawled suspiciously on notes, ledgers and miscellaneous papers. The odd scratchings seem to taunt her, challenging her to solve their mystery. Chicago
I liked Miranda most of the time; no shrinking violet is she. A few times, I thought her actions, though hilarious, were a bit over-the-top. Still, a more loyal friend would be hard to find. As she and Keegan begin to get to know each other, she discovers that he is not as staid and proper as he first comes across – he actually melts quite a bit. The sexual tension between Keegan and Miranda escalates nicely through the first half of the book.
I actually enjoyed the second half of the book more because most of the crazy misunderstandings had been sorted out by then but what remained was an indelible, delicious chemistry between the couple that was a joy to behold. Also, they became more open and honest in expressing their feelings and desires. There is plenty of humor throughout, authentic and credible, but the slapstick craziness eases off considerably during the latter half, too. This is a fun, light-hearted contemporary romance that centers around an attractive, self-possessed woman and the dashing, wealthy, considerate, rake who gets swept off his feet by her almost before he even knows it. As an added bonus, armchair globe-trotters will get a kick out of this delightfully told story.
Reviewed by Laurie-J
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
BARBARA WEITZ lives in a quiet suburb of
with her husband and a mischievous German shepherd, Heiko, thankful her three grown sons are off making mayhem elsewhere. Chicago
A career executive secretary most of her life, she’s also held a variety of mundane and unusual employment opportunities, during her sons growing years. This, coupled with a passion for animals, music and poetry, has helped shape the fictional characters she creates. To learn more about Barbara, visit her website.
Giveaways, Contests & Prizes!
In celebration of Barbara Weitz’s tour, she will be appearing at Pump Up Your Book’s 1st Annual
Holiday Extravaganza Facebook Party on December 16. More than 50 books, gifts and cash awards will be given away including a print copy and one e-copy of Teed Up for Love! Visit the official party page here!
NEXT STOPS ON TOUR
Thursday, December 8th
Guest Post at Reviews by Molly
Guest Post at Reviews by Molly
Thanks for Looking!