I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Bossed by Sloane Howell
Published by Loveswept on March 28th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
He’s the boss. But she’s ready to take charge.
In this provocative and sexy* office romance, a cheeky new hire tempts a hotshot sports agent to mix business with pleasure.
Jenny: Job interviews are a bitch under the best of circumstances, but when your potential boss is the world’s biggest prick, that’s when you should simply walk away. It’s just that I need this job so badly—and I’m mesmerized by Ethan Mason’s piercing gaze. Men like him aren’t supposed to exist in real life. But under the tailored suits and GQ looks, Ethan simmers with barely restrained ambition. And no matter how hard I work to fight the attraction, I’m going to get burned.
Ethan: You don’t become a top agent without learning how to close a deal. I always get what—or who—I want, by staying cool and in command. Then Jenny Jackson walks into my office with her lush curves and “screw you” attitude and blows away my intentions of keeping things professional. All I can think about is exploring the perfect body hidden beneath those conservative clothes or shutting her saucy mouth with one hot kiss. Jenny’s worth breaking the rules over—if I can convince her to break the rules for me.
*By sexy, we mean sexy. Like, 18+ sexy.
I ended up with some really mixed feelings about this book. I just never really bought Ethan and Jenny together. They both tended to act in ways that were completely different than how they were described by Sloane Howell. For example, Ethan was described as a workaholic, business first, nothing else matters type of man who built his sports agency from the ground up with nothing but the sweat from his brow, but the first time he doesn’t get what he wants from Jenny, he lies and tells his staff he’s out of town and wallows at home eating crappy Chinese food and letting his pristine home turn into a trash pit. Those two characterizations seemed at odds to me. Also, driven business owner doesn’t have to mean asshole who loudly yells and berates his staff in the middle of the office, but it does here. I didn’t understand why anyone would work for him.
Jenny is characterized as being strong, stubborn, and not willing to ever back down. That’s fine, but humiliating your boss by yelling at him in front of all the other employees isn’t the same as strong and stubborn. No matter how hot she is, there’s no way a boss worth his salt would allow an employee to talk to him the way Jenny does, especially in front of the rest of the staff. He would completely lose any respect they had for him, and the entire agency would be chaos. She’s also overly defensive and quick to assume the worst in everyone. After the first time they spent the night together, over coffee the next morning, Ethan mentions that his mom left when he was a kid, and Jenny immediately accuses him of being a liar and trying to fuck with her. It’s a quick scene, it doesn’t turn into a whole fight or anything, but it was just a really strange conversation that showed me exactly how immature and quick to judgement Jenny was. Apparently her own mother left when she was a kid, so she immediately thought Ethan knew that and was trying to mess with her by saying his mother left. I don’t know. Her reaction didn’t make a lot of sense.
My biggest issue with both Ethan and Jenny, though, was that when something went wrong, anything at all, their immediate impulse was to take their anger and frustration out on the other. Immediately. They were really nasty to each other every time something went wrong. Emotions are messy and they don’t always make sense, but if your immediate impulse is to take all of your frustrations out on your partner, that’s a problem. And by the end of the book, I didn’t see any evidence that either one of them had changed. They both recognized it; they both realized that they did it, but they never changed. Ethan, in particular, never even groveled or apologized to Jenny. Every time he screwed up, his best friend Matt went to Jenny and convinced her to go to Ethan. Actually, now that I think about it, Matt went to Jenny and Ethan every time they were in a fight, no matter who had caused it or made the mistake. Take Matt out of this story, and Ethan and Jenny would have never made it as a couple because they would have never spoken after their first fight.
I haven’t read anything by Sloane Howell before, and I didn’t hate this book. I had a lot of problems with Ethan and Jenny, but the writing was solid and the sex scenes were hot. I would read something else by him without hesitation, this one just didn’t quite work for me.