All Work and No Play, by Julie Cohen

>> Monday, September 21, 2009

TITLE: All Work and No Play (published as Mistress in Private (In Bed With the Boss) in the US).
AUTHOR: Julie Cohen

COPYRIGHT: 2007
PAGES: 216
PUBLISHER: Mills & Boon Modern

SETTING: Contemporary England
TYPE: Category romance
SERIES: No

REASON FOR READING: I'd just finished Cohen's One Night Stand and loved it.

Jane is hopeless at seduction. So when she meets a gorgeous male model she asks her online friend, geeky computer nerd Jonny, for advice on how to turn on a man.

Too bad she doesn't know that the gorgeous male model is actually Jonny…
This is somewhat of an ugly duckling story, but with the twist that it's the hero who's the duckling, an idea I really liked.

Jonny Cole has had a crush on Jane Hiller since they were kids. Back then, he wasn't the most attractive of men, and a quite nerdy. He and Jane haven't seen each other for a while, but they keep in touch online. Over the years, Jonny has blossomed and become attractive enough that he can work as a male model, but Jane doesn't know this.

As the book starts, Jane is just out of a relationship that's gone really bad, and dealing with the fact that her ex works in her same company. When the male model she hires for an advertising campaign seems to be attracted to her, Jane is very tempted. She returns the attraction, plus, it would be very good for her ego for her ex and everyone else in the office to see her with such an absolutely gorgeous man as model Jay Richards.

However, Jane's self-esteem has taken a bit of a battering in her breakup, so she needs some advice and encouragement. And who better to advice her on how to attract a man than another man, like her old friend Jonny?

I hope I don't need to spell out that Jonny and Jay are the same person? This creates the conflicts you'd expect, around the fact that Jonny/Jay is lying to Jane in both of his incarnations, and the time to confess is never quite right. This can be problematic, but I did buy how all the misunderstandings arose. Jonny came out well in the situation, as he didn't set out to trick Jane. His reactions made sense given the situation, and so the misunderstanding was, well, understandable.

And the angst this generated! Ohh, that was good! :-) I loved how Jonny was so into Jane, and how even though he'd gone all gorgeous, inside he was the same person he'd always been.

Unfortunately, I thought the story lost steam in the second half, and even though the book was short, it did seem to drag a bit. Still, it was a fun few hours that I spent with it.

MY GRADE: A B-.

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