TBR Day. The Millionaire's Misbehaving Mistress / Kimberly Lang. 2009

This month's TBR Theme is contemporary romance and this HP is one I picked up during the author signing at last year's RT convention. Kimberly Lang's The Millionaire's Misbehaving Mistress is not your ordinary HP and the ridiculous sounding title even made sense after I read the book. Unlike most HPs which take place in Europe, this engaging story takes place in Dallas (how fitting as I was watching the Mavs win the NBA title). The blurb:

As Dallas’s most eligible bachelor and heir to his family’s fortune, billionaire Will Harrison knows how to handle the paparazzi—but his little sister Evie is a worry….
Miss Behavior, etiquette expert Gwen Sawyer, has only three weeks to work her magic on Evie before a society ball, and so moves into Will’s luxurious penthouse. However, she discovers too late that etiquette is the last thing on devilishly handsome Will’s mind….

Will is the head of his family's company and is trying to shepherd the business into new Asian markets. He's permanently attached to his Blackberry and works long hours. His much younger half-sister, Evie, has been orphaned and needs help entering Dallas society. Gwen is more than an etiquette expert. She actually has formal training in international relations and protocol. Her career had been derailed and she finds herself in Dallas helping young debutantes. Gwen also writes a column for a popular teen website under the name "Miss Behavior" (thus the source of the pun in the title). Gwen had been trying to get a foot in the door of Will's company in order to get her career back to working with adults and corporations. When Will hires Gwen to teach Evie everything she needs to know in order to have a successful debut at her first society ball, she accepts the job because 1) she needs the money, and 2) perhaps she could use the contact.

Will has Gwen move into their home so that she can spend as much time as possible with Evie. Gwen's presence in his home fuels a mutual attraction and it doesn't take them long to act on that. At first all is going well. Evie and Gwen hit it off. Will and Gwen grow closer and he realizes that she has the skills he needs to help make his Asian project succeed. But then Will overhears part of a conversation between Gwen and Evie that leads to a big misunderstanding. Will acts like an Alpha jerk. When Gwen is vindicated a grovel ensues and all ends happily.

I'm not fond of the "big mis" especially when a character just leaps to a conclusion without trying to talk it out. But that's a common trope in HPs, so it goes with the territory. And in many respects this isn't your ordinary HP which makes it worth reading for that alone. Besides, I liked the writing and I liked Gwen's character. She was no doormat. In the end, I do recommend it.

While browsing Lang's website I noticed that she has written Evie's story. It hasn't been released in the U.S. yet, so I'm making a note to watch for it later this year.


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