In Bed With the Boss, by Susan Napier

>> Monday, March 14, 2005

Susan Napier is pretty much the only Harlequin Presents author I read regularly. Her books use the HP staples, sure, and her titles are often horrendous, but still, she manages her stories feel fresh. My latest read by her was In Bed With the Boss.

Kalera and Duncan Royal have the perfect working relationship. Polite, professional-except for an accidental, intensely passionate one-night stand that should have never have happened! Both have tried to put it behind them-or so Kalera thought. But Duncan is haunted by their one reckless night together, and he's furious when Kalera announces her engagement to another man. Whatever it takes, Duncan intends to entice Kalera back into his bed, and his life-permanently!
I want to make it very clear that my grade of C+ is not really for In Bed With the Boss, but for a slim book in Spanish called Campaña de Seducción, which I couldn't resist picking up when I took my grandma to change her "novelas rosas" at the UBS the other day. Campaña de Seducción (a title that actually fits the story better) is supposed to be a translation of In Bed With the Boss, but I strongly suspect it's more of an adaptation of it... or rather, a butchering.

First there's the fact that while Harlequin Presents usually come in at about 190 pages, this one is only three quarters that length; that's enough to make one suspicious. And, by now, I kind of know Napier's writing, and there are a couple of things I refuse to believe she wouldn't have developed a little bit more, like Kalera's past, living in a commune with her parents, for instance. It's made clear that she hated it, but even after Duncan meets her parents, she never talks about it with him. I'm not 100% sure, of course, and if you've read the book and there isn't any exploration of this subject, you're welcome to correct it, but I'm willing to bet something was cut there.

Oh, and also, there's practically no action here from Duncan's point of view. Given that there has been some hero POV in all three books by Napier that I've read, it would have been suspicious if there had been *nothing* from Duncan. It's even more suspicious in this case because there's actually one paragraph from his POV lost in the middle of one scene. One, and then nothing else in the rest of the book, as if the translator forgot to remove that one, as he or she did the others. And this are just a couple of examples, there were too many instances of too-abrupt transitions and lack of development.

Anyway, it pisses me off, because I liked the bare bones of the story, Duncan is a great character, with his flamboyant ways and mercurial temper, and I enjoyed reading about his way of doing business. And I just loved the ruthless way in which he fought to get Kalera, it reminded me a bit of Another Time, my favourite Napier. Kalera was also nice, even if she was a little obtuse about her fiancé, Stephen. I appreciated that she had had a wonderful first marriage, and that Napier didn't trash her first husband to make her hero look better. In fact, both Duncan and Kalera still love Harry by the end of the book.

This is definitely one book I'll be getting in English too, if only to find out what exactly was cut!


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