The Business Arrangement by Natasha Oakley
Harlequin Romance # 3854 - July 2005
Nine to Five themed series
Amy Mitchell has known Hugh Balfour almost all her life. He's her brother's best friend, and had always treated her like a little sister, helping her at 14 when she broke her wrist, comforting her when her mother died. And she knew he was so off limits for her. Hugh is the perfect example of a man she should never fall in love with. He never commits to a relationship, changing girlfriends at the first hint of anything more serious than the casual flings he is so well known for. Amy's brother, Seb has volunteered Amy for the unthinkable; to take a temporary job to replace Hugh's PA while she's away for two weeks. And Amy refuses until she's told why a temp from an agency won't work. It's seems that Hugh's being stalked by a woman who won't take no for an answer. And as the woman is the vivacious wife of Hugh's boss, Amy's godfather, who has a heart condition, this has to be handled with the most utmost discretion. So Hugh advances Amy some cash for new clothes, transportation to London, and gives her a key to his house where she'll stay in his guest room. When he comes home the day Amy arrives, and sees the 'new' Amy, Hugh realizes that it may be a very very long two weeks and that his boss' wife may not be his only problem. How is he going to be able to keep his hands off his best friend's little sister?
There are poignant moments in this story, as Amy shows everyone that she's no longer the young girl so easy to take for granted. And some hilarious moments as we see Hugh struggle with his resolve to keep his hands off. Ms. Oakley gives us two wonderful characters that, now thrown together, take the time to really 'see' the other for the first time. It's their honesty with each other that bring home some truths that shake up both their beliefs on love and the HEA. This one's for the keeper shelf! Great read! :D