In Hunk for the Holidays by Katie Lane, business rivals Cassie McPherson and James Sutton meet and sparks fly, but not for the reasons you would think. A case of mistaken identity brings the two together. Can their sizzling attraction make the romance worth the trouble when tomboy Cassie and loner James’ secrets are revealed? Read on to find out more about this fun, flirty contemporary romp.
Morgan: This book’s title is very on the nose. Cassie, the heroine, literally orders up a “hunk for the holidays” from Elite Escorts.
Dawn: And before anyone can ask — no, it is not that kind of an escort service. While Cassie has used Elite before, she doesn’t buy sex, just dates so she doesn’t have to go alone to family and business functions.
Morgan: With a huge family, including a bear of a father and four overprotective brothers, it's not such a bad idea that Cassie goes this route.
Dawn: However, this time is different. Cassie has always seemed to get the young, pipsqueaks from the agency, so imagine her surprise when a handsome, well-dressed man walks into her office just as she is leaving for the annual holiday party.
Morgan: The only problem is that this man is not an escort. Instead he is James Sutton, the owner of the construction firm that is underbidding her own family’s business.
Dawn: The McPhersons are incredibly territorial about the company that Cassie’s father, “Big Al," has built. They are not happy with the Sutton, who they have actually never met before.
Morgan: But for all of the bad feelings that the McPhersons have for James, he really is a great guy. Successful and driven, he is a fierce competitor, but he is honest and puts in a hard days work. He doesn’t really see Al McPherson as a threat as much as a great example of a self-made man.
Dawn: James really wants a closer look at the family and is pleased when Cassie drags him to her family’s party — no questions asked.
Morgan: Which means he is not exactly forthcoming about his identity.
Dawn: Ill advised or not, James is soon up to his eyeballs in McPhersons. The modern day Scots are a clan full of loud, opinionated people.
Morgan: But Cassie does try to warn him about these people. Or, at least, she gives him the same warnings that she has given her other escorts.
“Don’t drink with my Aunt Louise. She’ll drink you under the table and then interrogate the hell out of you. She looks very sweet, but she’s a barracuda.”
Dawn: And while Louise lives up to her hype, it is actually Cassie that puts James in a tailspin.
Morgan: I just love how different Cassie is from other women in romance novels. She is so straightforward, no guile and no games.
Dawn: Straightforward is one way to put it. I would also add bossy to this list. But rather than being a shrew, this part of Cassie’s personality is charming.
Morgan: James is certainly intrigued. He may be a commitment-phobe, but this is because the ladies he has always attracted have been vapid and selfish.
Dawn: And boring, if you ask me.
Morgan: Like her or not, the one thing Cassie is not is boring.
Dawn: I love her nickname “Cast Iron Cassie”. It puts in mind a real hard ass...
Morgan: ... which she is.
Dawn: Actually, I didn’t find this entirely accurate. Sure Cassie likes hot dogs with mustard, beer and jeans, but just like Aunt Louise’s soft exterior masks inner strength, Cassie’s tough facade is just that — a facade.
Morgan: She is actually quite sensitive.
Dawn: Which is why James realizes quickly that it is a very, very bad idea to let her go on believing that he is just an escort and not the “damn Sutton” determined to steal her family’s business.
Morgan: Props to James for trying to tell Cassie who he is!
Dawn: Well, he doesn’t exactly try too hard. Sure, that first night he abstains until he can explain the situation to Cassie, but in the morning, well, lets just say his willpower is not all that it should be.
Morgan: But this is a good thing because when Cassie thinks James is nothing more than a distraction for her, she can let her hair down and be herself. It frees her to not think so hard. Not be so in control. Which makes him very special to her.
No man had ever made Cassie McPherson feel all happy, quivery and girlie.
Dawn: She is in love!
Morgan: However, she still doesn’t really know who James is. So when you are reading this book, you are just waiting for this giant axe to fall.
Dawn: And boy does it ever!
Morgan: Which prompts a very interesting scene where Cassie ends up naked in James’ front yard with a burning Christmas tree...
Dawn: But we will just leave that part of the story for readers to discover for themselves.
Eager to find out more about Cassie and James? Ready to see how her family reacts to a Sutton in their midsts? Then check out Hunk for the Holidays by Katie Lane on shelves now. And get ready for next week’s Dish on the erotic tale The Angel by Tiffany Reisz.