Remy Merced is a steadfast worker and second son to the Merced Grocery empire. Everyone knows that brick-and-mortar stores are shuttering, however Remy’s professional mission to revolutionize home grocery delivery may just save many of their stores from going under. The trouble is, it’s a tough business to break into even when you have excellent brand recognition. Remy works long hours with little care for his own personal life. So, his mother, Anastasia, hires Remy a new personal assistant, Harper Treadwell, the nephew of an old friend from back home in Arkansas. Harper is a business wunderkind, but Remy doesn’t want his help. Mostly, Remy pawns Harper off on others in his office because Harper makes him uncomfortable. It’s not that Harper is young, vibrant, and out. No, it’s that seeing young, vibrant, out Harper up close and personal on the regular makes Remy wonder over and over how he could manage to not kiss the heck out of Harper. Which is problematic as Harper has a boyfriend—and Remy a girlfriend; he’s dated Felicity for nearly a year. Not that he spends much alone time with her.
Complicating matters is the fact that Harper’s boyfriend, Sylvan, is a silver fox financial market analyst who seems likely to spread some unflattering advice about Merced’s solvency. And, Sylvan is mighty interested in the projects Harper’s doing for Merced Industries. Likewise, Felicity, a stockbroker, has taken an unprecedented interest in both Remy and his business decisions. Would Harper or Felicity consider sharing information on Remy’s projects with Sylvan? It’s kind of suspicious timing, after all.
Remy finally takes Harper’s assistance, and they work fantastically well together—and their personal feelings for one another begin to grow. Remy doesn’t want to compromise Harper’s job, yet he’s so drawn to his helpmate. Sylvan’s prying is wearing on Harper, and Harper’s re-thinking his impulsive move to Southern California to follow a man he’d barely known. It was hard to find a good partner back in his small Arkansas town, but now he’s considering refuge there.
The plot lines about work and competition helped to balance out this slow-burning attraction. Remy and Harper find they are great together, at work and perhaps outside of it, but realize it’s not okay to mix attraction and business. Harper makes the break final, thinking he’s pining for a straight man or one that might never come out. Felicity is the antithesis of Remy’s southern mama–all about image, diet, and appearance, and this has been wearing on Remy for some time. Harper’s move forces Remy to re-evaluate his life choices, and make new plans for the betterment of himself and Merced Industries.
I liked the thoughtful way Remy approached his interactions. He’s a methodical man, and he’s not eager to make changes without fully considering the ramifications. He runs test after test on the grocery delivery algorithms, and he ponders his options regarding Harper. A true regard grows between them before they get physical—and this is only after each has made a clean break and are available to pursue their attraction. Also, Harper’s move leads him outside of Remy’s chain-of-command, so there’s no professional impropriety.
As with all the stories in this series, it’s a sweet and sensual journey to love. I definitely enjoyed it, and liked Remy’s growth into his true self. When the sexytimes come they are playful and tender, which is my fave kind. And, as always, the good guys come up with the right formula to save the day for themselves. There’s a happy ending all around, and maybe even a cure for the workaholic situation Remy trapped himself into at the start. Also, some good old Southern manners and enough sweet tea to give readers a figurative toothache.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.