Fantastic plot and writing and a healthy dose of L.O.L. humor. Bet you a dime you'll love it.
Wow! I can't believe this was free because it was amazing! I got this free on Amazon and realized later that this the second book in the Harper & Lyttle series. However I had no problem following this story without the benefit of reading the first book Office Politics.
Sarah-Jane Quinn is the newest addition (or the “Prized Cow” as she likes to call it) to Harper & Lyttle, a software development company. She's been crushing on her coworker, Coleridge “Collie” Tate since she started working there, but aside from joking, betting a dime on everything, and the occasional outings, he doesn't seem interested in her “in that way”. At least not until the director of HR and recently single Gus Haldemann seems to show an interest in her. She soon finds herself caught between two men who couldn't be more different, but she's equally attracted to both. When her life takes a drastic turn, which man will be there for her – completely?
I was hooked from the first page. The story takes place mostly in the office, around the cramped cubicles, the water-cooler and the storage room in the basement which is the perfect place for office trysts, eavesdropping on conversations and letting of steam by destroying junk. All the characters stand out in their own unique way, and the clashing of so many personalities made you feel like you were a part of the group, eavesdropping on the juicy office gossip and drama.
Jane is emotionally stunted, doesn't really know what love is, and her low self-esteem and insecurities make her a little naïve and blind to the attentions thrown her way, and she suffers from asthma attacks when she's under duress. She's a people-pleaser and runs from confrontation. Her family treat her like garbage, though I didn't fully understand why. Jane may come across as a pushover, but I found her anything but.
Collie was a cute counterpart for Jane, matching her humor and wit tit for tat. But there was always something a little aloof and detached about him. I chalked it up to his bad experience with his daughter's mother.
Gus, on the other hand, was everything Collie wasn't – sexy, intense, powerful, devoted. He never pushed his way into Jane's relationship, but he subtly let her know that he was always there, and that she was always in the forefront of his mind.
When the mother of Collie's daughter shows up in his life wanting to get to know her daughter again, the stress and insecurities threaten to tear Jane and Collie apart. The final nail in the coffin seems to be when Collie has to go away for a few months to be with his daughter and his ex. Then Jane is brutally attacked in the office and barely manages to escape. Gus swoops in and makes her recover in his home where he can protect her. As soon as Collie finds out, things turn sour and Jane finally comes to a decision about who truly cherishes her.
The ending has a few twists I never saw coming, but it was so wonderfully romantic – I cried hard and I swooned.
I sigh mentally. How does Cupid stand his job? No wonder he shoots arrows at us; it's not to make us fall in love, but because we make him want to vomit.
”A couple of things. They'll speak a lot of German—both Mom and Dad are Mannheim transplants. We grew up with a mixture of English and German that made it damn difficult when we started school.” He flashes a grin. […] though beware of the words die Schlampe coming from Maggie, Dee's wife. And if she calls me der Schwanz, just pretend you didn't hear.
I laughed uproariously because I speak German :)
”Uncle Gus, will you say grace over my hot chocolate?”
Perplexed, Gus shrugs. “Sure, buddy. Didn't you already say it, though? You're halfway done.”
“But Dad said you're a really holy man and that's why you kept saying 'sweet Jesus' last night in your room. He said you were praying.”
Gus chokes on his coffee and snorts it out his nose.
This story has cemented its position in my top favorites list. Thank you, Ms Gerlach for this wonderful story and unforgettable characters.