This is the story of Lilley Smith estranged from her family, she is a filing clerk for Caetani industries, a worldwide clongomerate owned and run by Prince Alessandro Caetani, business man, and playboy. Lilley is having a bad day after catching her boyfriend in bed with her best friend. Lilley is a mousey little thing she pushes her metal filing trolley scurrying around the office corridors trying to be invisible wearing her baggy clothes. Hiding her voluptuous body, that she believes is plump. Lilley is working late she is a lot slower than the other filing clerks due to her dyslexia and likes to catch up on her work. When Lilley hears someone coming and not wanting to be caught working late and crying at the same time she hides in an office. But she has hidden in Prince Alessandros office and he finds her, demanding to know what she is doing there. Lilley finds herself telling him about her boyfriend and and her best friend. Alessandros who is on his way to a charity ball, insists that Lilley will attend as his partner, whisking her to a boutique and beauty salon. Just like Cinderella, once out of her baggy clothes and dressed in a sexy clingy dress Alessandro can hardly control his lust, he has had many women so many he cannot put a number of how many. But none have ever driven him mad with desire like this little mousey virgin. He wants to have one night with her, but there are conditions Lilley must be aware that it will only be one night then he will never see her again. Lilley who is so enamoured with Alessandros beauty, he is tall dark muscular with thighs like tree trunks (that's the authors description) finds she cannot resist and agrees. When she sees him naked her first ever sight of a naked man, we got the usual response "oh he's so big will he fit" oh please!Read more ›
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It is amazing what a little lie can do. We let other people lie to us when we know the truth. The most harm is done when we lie to ourselves.
This isn't me waxing philosophical, but the point of this story. Nobody really seems who they are and everyone is trying very hard to be someone else. Lilley Smith pretends to be a file clerk. She's not very good because she has dyslexia but believes that really she's stupid because her father told her that. She knows she could be more, but it is easier to let the lie stay in place and be what she isn't. Also, her last name isn't Smith. It's Hainsbury.
Alessandro Caetani is a prince, but he isn't because he doesn't want to be one. He's a bit cold and calculated. He hides behind sex because he would rather not have any messy emotional contact with the opposite sex. He uses his position to control those around him and any situation he is in. He also has a deep and abiding hatred for anyone named Hainsbury.
So how do our heroine and hero get around this sizable impasse? They don't tell the truth. Well, up to the moment Lilley finds herself pregnant and then they are rather careful with the truth. I shan't tell you how this all works out as that would spoil things a bit.
I am impressed with how Jennie Lucas handled the topic of dyslexia. It was considerate and thoughtful. She gave the subject the gravitas it deserves. How a person processes the written word or number is very important to our society and we make judgments based on that process. Ms. Lucas shows how we can get it all so very wrong.
The writing in this story is good and occasionally, very strong. The dyslexia sideline is slipped in amongst the usual smoldering glances and bickering banter. It was a good read but I probably won't read it a second time.
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