Book: At the CEO’s Pleasure by Yahrah St. John
Age/Genre: Office Romance
Preferred Reading Environment: This one is perfect for the bath.
Reading Accoutrements: Light the candles, drop a fizz or some bubbles in the bath, pour a glass of wine, maybe grab a nice light snack…the works 😉
Content Notes: Parental Abandonment and/or Neglect, Cancer
Happy Administrative Professionals Day! I know what you’re thinking: “It’s weird to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day by writing about a book that essentially breaks the cardinal rule of being an administrative professional – no workplace relationships!” But I find that office romance novels make it very clear how integral administrative professionals really are for the success of a business.
For example, At the CEO’s Pleasure begins with a CEO begging his former executive assistant to return to his office because he knows how much he needs her. After discovering her fiance cheating with her sister, Maya Richardson went to her boss and friend, Ayden Stewart, to process what happened and the two ended up sleeping together. Their one night stand ended badly when Ayden panicked and treated her like another conquest and Maya quit. Five years later, Ayden’s new executive assistant quits and Ayden decides he wants Maya back at any cost. Maya, who just discovered that her mother has cancer, accepts the job for the money – so she can help pay for the cancer treatments her mother needs. Working together without exploring their sexual attraction is difficult, but working together while they are sleeping together may prove to be impossible.
I really appreciated the fact that this book doesn’t downplay the amount of work administrative professionals put in to the success of a company. Maya impresses clients with her knowledge of the business and keeps important internal matters under control when the CEO is too busy to handle it himself. She spends early mornings ensuring the CEO’s itinerary is seamless and late nights creating presentations.
Maya and Ayden both bury themselves in work to avoid the drama in their personal lives. Maya’s family is incredibly dysfunctional: her mother clearly favors Maya’s sister, Raven, in everything from looks to brains to temperament, so Maya avoids her mother. Before Raven cheated with Maya’s fiance, Tom, the two were very close despite their mother pitting them against each other. After she discovered the two were cheating on her, Maya stopped talking to her family entirely until her sister invited Maya to the baptism of her niece (yes, Raven and Tom got married and had a kid). Maya’s entire temperament throughout the book is, “Well, they did me wrong but I had my five-year fit and now it’s on me to get over it,” which I found irritating. It’s not on Maya to “get over” anything, but she feels that she needs to in order to find love again.
Meanwhile, Ayden and his mother were abandoned by his cheating jerk of a father, who married another woman and denied Ayden his inheritance. Out of bitterness and a fear of being abandoned by another person he cares about, Ayden cuts all of his romantic entanglements short so that he won’t become emotionally involved. His denial of his emotions is the primary reason Maya leaves him after their night together.
The two tend become so embroiled in their own personal issues that they mess up their relationships by being self-centered and blaming it on their past wounds. See? Irritating.
Anyway, the plot is pretty typical of these types of books: they fight their attraction to each other until they don’t anymore…and then they fight their emotions for one another until…they…don’t…anymore…The sudden switch-flipping with little-to-no reasoning can give you whiplash if you aren’t prepared for it. In the meantime, there are some pretty good sex scenes and it certainly satisfies that internal need I have for soap-opera-like-drama without any personal ramifications. This is the type of book I like to read in the bath, because it’s steamy and gives just the right amount of drama before wrapping everything in a neat little bow – all before the water gets cold.
What’s your favorite genre to read in the bath?