All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Talking Dirty With The Boss – Jackie Ashenden

on December 27, 2013

Talking DirtyTalking Dirty With The Boss (Talking Dirty #3)
Jackie Ashenden
Entangled Publishing LLC
2013, eBook
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Marisa Clair has always longed to be an artist, just like her father. However her mother persuaded her that she had to use her looks while she still had them, pushing Marisa into modelling and beauty pageants. Marisa was able to make a name for herself but it all fell apart when she found out that her boyfriend was actually married and had not only allowed Marisa to pay for everything so that his wife wouldn’t find out but had also run up a lot of debt.

Now Marisa is in a job that she doesn’t really want, working as a PA to someone at a tech  magazine. The magazine has just been bailed out by Luke McNamara who is now the new CEO and he’s also in the same wedding party as Marisa. He asks her to dance but the two of them, although aware of an odd sort of chemistry between them both, don’t exactly hit it off. Marisa can’t understand Luke’s counting out the steps and finds him extraordinarily uptight and Luke thinks that Marisa brings a sort of chaos.

After a saucy email sent to the wrong address, Marisa suddenly feels the urge to torment the uptight CEO a little and it leads to a very sexy encounter in a supply room. After that they maintain that they will both keep their distance: whatever it is, they’ve acted on it and gotten it right out of their system. They should be fine now…right?

But actions have consequences and their interactions are far from over. But Luke has to trust Marisa with something very big and Marisa has to learn that she’s worthy of being cherished before they can set about making this relationship work for real and for the long term.

This is the third in Jackie Ashenden’s Talking Dirty series but it’s the first one that I’ve read. That doesn’t really matter much – the other two couples from the first two books briefly appear in this one but it’s not necessary to have read them. Luke is tall, dark, handsome and rich – and also very OCD. He lives his life according to a very strict schedule and he has routines that he must undertake in order to complete certain tasks. He keeps this strictly to himself, as his family have often made him feel inferior for his habits and obsessions and he feels that if it were to get out among the business world, he would be ruined. The stock would plummet and people’s faith in him to get the job done would as well the moment they discovered that he is a “crazy person”.

Marisa is more reckless and lives life in the moment. She’s working in a job she doesn’t love in order to pay off her debts, dreaming of being an artist and undertaking a fine arts degree. Although I tend to come down on the side of “uptight” Luke in that she probably shouldn’t be using her work email to contact IT staff about her panties in order to get her computer fixed faster, Marisa sees Luke’s reprimand as a challenge and she wants to ruffle his feathers a little, sneak beneath that smooth exterior. So she carries on the saucy emails until the two of them end up with their clothes off in a supply cupboard.

Their little moment of indiscretion has many consequences, not the least being that although they think that should be it and they can now go about their separate business. It’s clear that they both want and need more but both of them are also hiding so much of themselves as well. I actually really liked the way that Ashenden portrayed Luke, feeling even though he was rich and powerful and successful, that he had to hide his OCD and his patterns and routines of behaviour. Marisa does notice some things and although she’s puzzled about them, she also just accepts them as being part of Luke. She knows he’s a bit uptight (at least out of bed!) and that he has these things that he needs to do and she’s mostly okay with that and she makes an attempt when she’s in his house to leave things as she finds them, so as not to ruffle him further.

I think the two characters worked quite well together, although I did find Marisa hard to warm to at first. She seemed so deliberately antagonistic to Luke who really hadn’t done much except attempt to enforce the rules of his own corporation, which he was well entitled to do. However the more they interacted the more I think he brought out the best in her and vice versa. As it developed into an actual relationship rather than just sexual chemistry I really thought the way they eventually opened up to each other and revealed more of themselves was very sweet. There was also a misunderstanding when Luke felt he had to reveal too much and the way in which that was fixed was perfectly written.

I’m really looking forward to reading the two previous books in this series – I know one of the male characters has ADHD which you don’t see much (or…um, ever) in romance novels so I’m interested to see how the author approaches and deals with that. This one wasn’t quite as spicy as I’d expected from the blurb and the look of it but it had a depth to it that I didn’t really expect either.


Book #331 of 2013


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