UNDER THE MISTLETOE
Always putting business before pleasure, Cassie McPherson works hard for
her family's construction business. That might explain why she doesn't
have a date for the company Christmas party. But it doesn't quite
explain why she's crazy enough to hire an escort for the event or -
crazier still - why she's dying to unwrap him like a present . . .
With whiskey-colored eyes and a killer smile, James is one gorgeous hunk
who really knows how to fill out a tuxedo. He charms everyone,
including Cassie. And when the night ends, the party doesn't stop. As
Cassie falls, literally, into his bed, James falls head over heels in
love. Now he has to figure out a way to tell her the truth: he's not an
escort. He's her family's fiercest business rival. But all he wants for
Christmas is her . . .
This was a really fun book. Cassie is a workaholic who doesn't have time to date. Because she's tired of her family constantly trying to fix her up she has resorted to hiring escorts to go with her to social functions. She is surprised by the man who shows up as her date for the Christmas party.. He's older than the ones she's had before and a lot better looking. He's perfectly charming at the party and afterwards when they continue with their own private party. James is totally hooked on her and wants to get to know her even better. Unfortunately, he's pretty sure the feeling won't be mutual when she discovers he's not the escort she thought he was but her family's detested business rival.
I really liked both Cassie and James. Cassie is pretty much running the company since her father's heart attack. She's not real happy that she's stuck in an office job because she the girl in the family, but she's doing it anyway. When she sees the man in the office lobby she assumes he's her escort for the evening and starts letting him know what she expects. I loved her assertiveness, but it sure came back to bite her when she wouldn't give him the chance to correct her assumption. There was a definite chemistry between the two that was obvious from the beginning. Cassie wasn't going to do anything about it, but then decided that since she had "paid" for it, why not? Over the next couple days they spend time together and she discovers a lot to like about him. But before she can really wrap her mind about what that means the cat is out of the bag. She is angry, hurt, humiliated and in love. Cassie definitely has some control issues that come out in her dealings with James. Those and her aggressiveness are a result of having to deal with her father and four older brothers. I enjoyed seeing the way that James brought out the more feminine and softer side of Cassie. The final chapters are a comedy of errors with them and lots of fun to read. I loved seeing Cassie finally stand up to her dad.
James is at M & M to meet with Cassie's father, who isn't there. He is surprised and amused to be mistaken for an escort by Cassie. With his immediate attraction to her he's more than willing to go along with it to spend some time with her. He has a great time with Cassie at the Christmas party and has high hopes for the rest of the night - until she has too much to drink. He's all ready to come clean just before she passes out. I loved the way they spent the rest of the weekend together. He is really a nice guy and obviously really into her. He's really trying to figure out how to tell her who he is when she finds out. From there he is dealing with her reactions to the news and has his own hurt to deal with when she has some things to say to him. I really enjoyed his immediate fascination with Cassie. He obviously was trying to do everything right while attempting to figure out how to save himself and the relationship he wants with her.
I loved all the humor in this story. Besides some of the interactions between Cassie and James, the family members were great. Cassie's brothers had some great "older protective brothers" lines but also some wonderful times of their own. I especially liked Rory's dealings with his own romance and Matt's obvious enjoyment of stirring things up when he found out James's identity. My absolute favorite character (other than Cassie and James) was Aunt Wheezie. She was really quite the schemer and an absolute hoot. I sure hope there will be stories for Matt snd Patrick. I'm sure Wheezie will have her fingers in their business too.
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