Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In Bed with Her Boss - Brenda Jackson

Reviews? By an Author on her own blog? You can see why here. And further here. I'm contemplating setting up a separate blog, but I'm having title issues. Anyone care to make a suggestion? Because my initial offering with the acronym of McWAAR isn't cutting it.

In Bed with Her Boss
Brenda Jackson
Kimani Romance 2007
Series: The Lockharts--Three Weddings and a Reunion

D'marcus Armstrong was demanding, autocratic and cranky as a boss. But as the star of her feverish nighttime fantasies, the man was simply divine. Still, Opal Lockhart had no chance with Detroit's self-made millionaire. What would a high roller like him want with a buttoned-up, naive secretary like her?

Enter the Lockhart sisters—for some attitude adjustment and a wardrobe makeover. With some décolletage and come-hither heels, they have the sex kitten in Opal downright purring.

Now she's giving D'marcus notice—he'd better watch out!

I thought I’d start my reviews off with a local author from here in Jacksonville, Brenda Jackson -- she’s got quite a nice solid shelf of books in my local library which is great to see for a local author.

In Bed with Her Boss is the entrée book of the four book, four author Kimani Romance series about the Lockhart sisters, and tells the story of Opal, the self confessed quiet girl and peace maker of the four Lockharts.

The object of Opal’s affections is D’marcus Armstrong, her boss, and general all around category romance rich guy -- he’s got the looks, the money, the tortured past, the whole kit and caboodle of the Rich Boss / TSTL Secretary (or in this case Administrative Assistant) standard. But D’marcus is the Arrogant Bossman - light version, compared to say his 80’s/early 90’s counterparts, and Opal definitely isn’t in the TSTL category, she knows what she’s getting into right from the word go. So no SOB 80/90’s Boss/Secretary deal, but that staple fairly much is the story arc.

Now, to say right from the beginning, I liked the story. It was a simple read (this afternoon, simple was good), sexy, and the protags were realistic -- seriously nice cover too, btw. But -- I’m figuring you knew there was a but coming -- it was a story that maybe was a little too pat. I’m all for losing that hand wringing wet mop secretary of the overly conceited boss of older romances, but Opal and D’Marcus were all just a little too nice; a bit flat and too on formula to make the story more than just a pleasant afternoon snack.

One thing I found while reading, and even now having finished, is that I’m having a hard job placing the story in Detroit -- but I must qualify that by saying I’ve not been to Detroit to know better. I don’t know if it was because I know Ms. Jackson is from the South, but I really got more of a relaxed Southern family vibe from it. The Church scenes, the references to family and food etc, came off a little more like what I’ve read in various ‘Southern Lit’ (I get a kick out of the fact that the amorphous ‘South’ has it’s own quasi genre). I’ve always envisaged Detroit to be a bit more hard-edged and dirty being that it’s the motor city. Maybe it’s a byproduct of the ‘nice’ feeling I have from the whole story, but I just didn’t get ‘big bad city’.

While not much of a Church going person myself, I liked the way Ms Jackson included the sisters’ faith into the story without being preachy (one problem I have had with a couple of AA protag stories in the past), but also kept them real in so much as that the sisters were modern in their outlooks and actions i.e. nightclubbing, sex etc. Their faith is part of who they are in a comfortable background manner, not overtly in your face and stealing you away from the love story -- something I’ve admired in Catherine Anderson’s backlist.

There is one nitpick I do have though, there’s a thread throughout the story with D’marcus and one the players from the team he co-owns that I hesitate to call suspense, because it’s just a big, thin hanging thread I want to tug on and get rid of. I kept waiting for the big public showdown when Dashaun gets his revenge -- exposing D’marcus and Opal’s affair perhaps -- but it never arrived. I’m actually left wondering if Dashaun is going to show up again later, maybe with the party hearty youngest sister Amber? But that might be the author in me looking for sequel bait. I picked this book up at random off the library shelf, so other than the front page telling me there are three other books, I’m not sure what’s coming, and if once I lay my hands on the other three books, it does turn out to be bait for a longer running thread, I’ll make sure to correct this review.

I believe this is my first Brenda Jackson book (but don’t quote me, I’ve read thousands, and have a seriously holey memory for author names), and even though this was a lightweight, afternoon snack type read (and hey, we all need an afternoon sugar rush now and then!), I’ll definitely look out for more from Ms Jackson. She also set the ‘world’ up in such a manner that I’m quite keen to look up the stories for Opal’s sisters Ruby, Pearl and Amber -- I see on her website that Ms Jackson has a family saga style series, I think I’ll hunt them out and see how Ms Jackson reads amongst a continuity that is all her own.

(ps - don't look to find the books on Even though this was released in 07 I can't seem to find any listing for it on their site)
(pps - wait, I lie! I decided to try one more time and amongst the eBook listings I found it!)


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sharion said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.