The Real Deal: C-
Amanda something & Simon Brant
Years after a disastrous marriage destroyed any semblance of self-esteem, all Amanda Zachary has left is her career. She scores a major coup in being assigned the task of negotiating a merger between her firm and a computer company, but one of the owners, Simon Brant, refuses. Over six feet of exotic looks, rock-hard abs, and sexy ponytail, Simon is a genius-recluse ensconced on an island near Seattle. Said genius has a few flaws, including stunted social skills and a tendency to become so engrossed in his work that he disappears for hours, even days. Overcome with a sudden idea, he abruptly ends his first meeting with Amanda and suggests that they reconvene at his house, which is how they end up living together. She keeps trying to convince Simon; he keeps disappearing; she is afraid she's falling in love, and the only way Simon can think of to keep her around is to delay making a decision.
After hearing raves about this novel, I shoved my lazy body into my car and went on my merry way to the library, where I checked it out ('hm, the cover is not too bad') and excitedly started to read the book when I'd come back home.
It was a got-out-of-bad-relationship-will-discover-the-strong-woman-in-me novel with a little bit of I'm-insecure-about-my-body mixed in. While I'm gung-ho about women finding themselves, releasing their sexuality, finding their soul mate and falling in love.... it did not work in this less-than-pleasurable story.
So, Amanda got out of her bad marriage. She is climbing up in her company. She needs to somehow get the reclusive-but-brilliant Simon Brant to agree with her company's merger. She heads on over to his home for an interview.
I don't really remember what happened, but I'm getting the feeling that Simon sees her for a millisecond and then abandons her when a great idea pops up into his mind. She then is forced to sleep over at his home (how unprofessional of both Amanda and Simon!) because she misses the only outgoing ferry (or something like that).
Then she talks with his butler, is 'coerced' into practicing martial arts with Simon and works out with him(insert in the high sexual chemistry, tension, sweaty bodies, whatever whatever whatever). Once again, I can't see this happening in real life; super improbable and very unprofessional.
Unprofessionality set aside, Amanda really needs that merger so she stays with him, seeing him when she can and trying to convince him.
Then some things happen and then they're in bed, having the sex of their lives. Her insecurities come out. She's self-conscious (from her previous douchebaggy ex-husband) but Simon gets rid of all of those insecurities, which is really nice. (After all, if a guy can let you be confident of who you are, what more can he do for you to show that he cares?)
I do believe that that was the one good part of this novel. Simon easing Amanda's fears.
Then the latter half of the book is them rolling around in bed. They have sex like half a bajillion times. She experiences the greatest pleasure of her life, he is intrigued by her, they are........fa...ll..ing...... in ........love...?
I think by the end, they're in love, as expected of a hero and heroine.
But oh man, I didn't see it coming, and the rather explicit sex scenes (and there were a ton of lusty glances, touches, sighs, moans, yadda yadda yadda) was off-putting. As it is with me and all other novels, if I am not emotionally invested in the characters (and believe me, I didn't give a rat's ass about Amanda or Simon... maybe just a little for Simon, but not really) the sex is quite unenjoyable.
So. I didn't like this.
I was disappointed.
So I don't recommend this.
...but I feel that I might be in the minority about this novel.