Erin McCarthy shows off the range of her talent with this funny, steamy and poignant read. Mandy Keeling knew it was time to grow up and start living off of her parents' money. Lo and behold, nature was also trying to tell her something in the form of a pregnancy. She realized that she had to find a job that would allow her to support her baby since she wasn't getting any help from the baby's father. With the help of her friend Caroline, she lands a job interview with Damian Sharpton, an ogre of a boss whose already gone through four assistants in the last year. Amidst a bit of drama involving a rather embarrassing encounter, Mandy lands the job without letting him know she's pregnant. She manages to be a fabulous assistant while at the same time avoiding Damien like the plague.
This intrigues Damien, who can't believe in the two months since he's hired her he's seen her only a few times. Yet she manages to know him in a way he never expected, anticipating his needs and acting on them. When he tries to exert his authority to regain control, it only ends up making him seem like an immature child, which ruefully amuses him. So much so that he impulsively decides to bring her along on a trip to the Carribbean with the reasoning that it's business. Mandy is reluctant to go, but he makes it mandatory so she can't refuse.
Despite never seeing his secretary, he is attracted to her, albeit reluctantly so. He begins to question his sanity at bringing her along, but learns to relax and even show his sense of humor. As Mandy and Damien get to know each other, their already strong mutual attraction deepens, making it difficult to keep away from each other. When an intimate moment presents itself, so does the opportunity to confess to Damien about her pregnancy. When they finally kiss, it is as explosive as they imagined it would be, and things only get hotter from there. Mandy's pregnant body fascinates Damien, who reads up on the topic and becomes the world's expert on pregnant women, with amusing results. As their relationship grows, it becomes obviously how truly right they are for each other, and that they are already a family.
Wow! This book is fabulous. Mandy and Damien are refreshingly honest and their physical intimacy is sexy and intense, the result of strong feelings for each other. Mandy may seem to be young and irresponsible, but nothing means more to her than the well-being of her child, which she will do everything in her power to protect, and Damien is not the hard-nosed enployer he's made out to be. Behind all those demands lays the heart of a vulnerable man who was hurt very badly but still has the capacity to love deeply. He is a true tortured hero who longs for happiness. The icing on the cake is Erin's unique brand of humor, which is truly laugh-out-loud funny. I adored this story, and love how McCarthy's writing keeps getting better and better.