A reader who’ll try anything once, including bad books in search of good ones. Eclectic as her tastes are, she tends to gravitate to historical romances, realistic contemporaries, and some fantasy novels.
This is a quick and easy read. It’s even an enjoyable romance novella if you don’t stop to think about it. I’m serious, either give your brain a holiday for the day or you’re going to be disappointed with this one. Mild spoilers ahead.
It all starts with a misunderstanding and that’s how it continues as well. Michelle is just finishing her first week at her new job when a misbehaving printer—let’s just ignore the ridiculousness of that situation and suspend disbelief for the romance for now—gives her an excuse to flirt with a cute nerd she mistakes for a help desk. technician. He’s charmed and doesn’t correct her immediately. After all being a rich CEO of his own company has such an averse effect on a man’s social life. To his credit, as soon as there’s a sign they could become more than office acquaintances or friends, Noah aka. Sark decides to tell Michelle the truth about himself. Only he does it in the most spineless way imaginable.
He writes her a note but doesn’t leave anything personal on it from where she might recognise him. Then again, she reveals her lifetime membership of club too stupid to live when she thinks that the CEO of her company would write a personal apology letter to her but not to any of the other employees he’s about to make redundant. And that’s how the miscommunication that drives this story is sustained. He thinks he’s been honest with her and she thinks it’s okay to date someone above her just not her CEO.
As easy a read as this was, there were rougher moments there too. The euphemisms grated and the convenient coincidences that drove their story forward bordered ridiculous. No one ever referred to Sark as Noah in front of Michelle and they were quick to defend him when they found out about the lie of omission. There’s a difference between saying “he must’ve had a good reason” and “that doesn’t sound like him.” One is excusing bad behaviour and the other is postponing judgement until further evidence is provided. Still, everyone, even the couple who just met him were quick to help Sark to win her back.
Another thing that bothered me were the inconsistent characterisations with regard to money. Apparently since taking the company public and earning a huge sum, Sark has only bought a handful of expensive things for himself. Yet his first impulse is to buy her a new mountain bike for their first date. He doesn’t tell her that, of course, and it somehow makes it all better. If biking is such a big part of his life, Sark must know other enthusiasts who might’ve lent him a used mountain bike for the day. It mars her characterisation too. When Michelle decides to turn her life upside down once again, what does she do? Does she decide to economise and save every penny possible? No. She decides to take a trip home for the holiday—entirely understandable—and splurge on taxi drives. Very soon after—almost in the next scene—she’s taken a temp job to earn extra cash.
The worst part is that I couldn’t even enjoy her positive career development and ambition. Michelle showed herself capable and willing to work her way to the top, but it was overshadowed by her stupidity in her personal life. Worse yet, she ended up supporting his new career move and a start-up that was based on one new idea. I guess he could have had other ideas but the author made it sound like there was only that one and it was worth the risk of losing everything.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.