24 September 2015

For Better or Worse (A Candlelight Ecstasy Romance, No. 249)

Synopsis from Goodreads: No one had ever inspired such a volatile response with a single kiss as this man she distrusted on sight. John MacMasters, her new boss, was far too handsome for his own good. Or hers. Jaime Clarke should have known better than to accept a position as accounting manager for his California construction firm. They were worlds apart. She'd been highly educated and carefully groomed to take her place in life. He was a rugged self made man. How could their passion ever ripen into mutual love? He broke down all her barriers with the ease of a born seducer, then seemed to turn away. Furious, she vowed to haunt him at every turn until he owned up to the feelings she knew seethed within...

Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1984

How acquired: Bought.

First line: “Don't you think you just might be a little overqualified for this position, Ms. Clarke?” the man's deep, raspy voice asked as he looked over her resumé.

My thoughts: Linda Randall Wisdom, aka Linda Wisdom, is one of those authors who I read a book or two of, and loved them so much that I began obsessively collecting her back list. A count today revealed I have 32 of her books in my TBR pile! I haven't actually read one of her books in about four years. But FOR BETTER OR WORSE most definitely reminded me of why I became such a fan in the first place.

The book opens with Jaime Clarke being interviewed by John “Mac” MacMasters for an accounting manager position with his construction company. Jaime is overdressed, lives in a nice home in a nice area of town, drives a Porsche, and is used to dining in fancy restaurants and buying expensive clothes. But she's not a spoiled rich girl - she's friendly, quick witted, and down to earth. Mac's company has done well and he's making a comfortable living, but he wasn't raised that way and he's worked hard to get where he is. He dresses in jeans and boots, drives an old pickup truck, and spends as much, if not more, time out at job sites with his employees than he does in the office. When Jaime leaves after her interview, Mac's secretary tells him she is way out of his league, and he replies that he'll marry Jaime before the year is out. But deep down inside, he agrees with his secretary.

And that's the main point of conflict between our hero and heroine. As Mac and Jaime spend more and more time together, going to lunch, and then seeing each other outside the office, the attraction is undeniable. But Mac doesn't think he's good enough for Jaime, and she can't understand why he keeps running hot and cold. At first, I vaguely worried that Mac's insecurity might start to get to me, and in the hands of a lesser author he could've come off as a jerk/whiny wimp with his pushing Jaime away for her own good crap. But instead I felt for him, my heart broke for him, and I wanted to reassure him that he's good enough for any woman lucky enough to get him.

Wonderful writing with vivid and well-rounded characters. I loved this book. 

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