Billionaires, Collisions and Fast Food

>> Sunday, September 13, 2009

TITLE: The Billionaire Boss's Secretary Bride
AUTHOR: Helen Brooks

Gina Leighton has worked as a secretary at Breedon and Son for years, and she's been in love with the boss's son, Harry, for almost as long. When her boss retires and Harry takes his place, Gina knows she won't be able to stand working closely with him for very long. So she finds herself a job in London and quits.

Harry's gutted Gina's leaving, and decides to do his best to convince her to stay. He's never really looked at Gina as a woman and a potential mate, but when he drags from her that she's leaving because of a romantic disappointment, he starts noticing all he's missed before.

I really liked this. It's a very sweet romance, with a pretty all right asshole-to-doormat ration, to take Jane's classification. I say only "all right", because while Harry's very much not an asshole, Gina's not particularly assertive. Still, seeing Harry's determined struggle to help Gina forget the idiot who hurt her (i.e. himself), was an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.


TITLE: Collision Course
AUTHOR: KA Mitchell

Aaron, a paramedic and Joey, a social worker, meet at the scene of a car accident, helping out an injured mother and taking care of her young child. There's an immediate, combustible attraction that they don't try very hard to resist, but Aaron's past has made him leery of social workers, and he keeps pushing Joey away.

This was not bad on the whole, but I had a huge problem with Aaron's attitude. I understand he had it really hard in the past and has good reason to resent the actions of the social workers involved, but he's a grown-up now. After a while, he has come to know Joey and knows he's a good person, who cares and does his best to help the people assigned to him. So why does Aaron still treat this lovely man like shit for way too long? Asshole.

Aaron does get called on his unacceptable behaviour by Joey, though, and he straightens his act, which is why on the whole, I did like the book. However, for a long time, I kept wanting to warn Joey to stay away from this toxic guy.

Oh, and by the way, I thought there was way too much sex, as seems to always be the case with M/M. I like love scenes well enough, but when they add nothing to the story, as here, they bore me.


TITLE: Fast Food Nation
AUTHOR: Eric Schlosser

The back blurb of my edition has quote reading something like "You'll never look at a hamburger the same way again". After reading this in-depth look at all the strands involved in the fast food industry, I wouldn't say I've become any less predisposed to eat at McDonald's, as all was pretty much as expected in terms of what I'm getting in my cheeseburger. However, the book was shocking and eye-opening in other ways.

I'm an economist, and I work in the area of workplace health and safety, and sure enough, it was the elements relevant to this that I was most interested in. Most shocking was Schlosser's description of what goes on in meatpacking plants, the effects on workers of meatpacking executives' pocket Republicans defanging OSHA and the FDA, and allowing private enterprise to pursue their profit with pretty much no controls from the government. Those chapters were just surreal to me. Dammit, there are perfect valid economic rationales for intervention here, even if you're a radical free marketer!

I was also very interested in the chapters describing the previous steps in the fast food chain process, especially the effects of concentration in suppliers to fast-food chains. The problems with monopsonies receive less press than those with monopolies, but that doesn't mean the effects are any less bad.



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