Falling for the CEO
After digesting a lot of paranormal reads, Audra North’s Falling for the CEO was a refreshing (and much needed) change! The first in the Stanton Family novella series does what it sets out to do, make me want book 2!
Each novella follows one of the four Stanton children, and although readers only get a mention of one of the siblings in the book 1, our first Stanton hero makes up for the lack of introductions.
So Falling for the CEO tells the story of Andrew Stanton and heroine Meredith Klaus, or the Santa CEO and Klutzy Klaus.
Basically Andrew is a really stand-up guy: anything a heterosexual, human woman would want. Despite coming from a well-to-do family, Andrew still works his butt off for climbing to the position he now holds as CEO. He’s also extremely generous, and during his years as CEO set up a Christmas Bonus Fund for his employees—his way of ensuring an extra something for his staff.
Oh yes! I forgot to mention this is a Christmas-themed story. Yay! I mean I’m like 6 months early, or six months late depending on if you start from this story’s publication back in Nov/Dec 2013…
Then there’s Meredith. Sweet, klutzy Meredith who I wanted to alternate between slapping because she can be so dense and tiresomely insecure and hugging because she so, SO wasn’t ready for the world prior to the start of this story. After a rough childhood, Meredith shares the same sort of passion for her work as Andrew does his. She’s a super brilliant math whiz, and as Andrew’s newest CFO has the biggest task set up for her this very merry Christmas. (I won’t ruin super big task, but hint! It’s the external goal/conflict of the story.) Still Meredith is in pretty bad ways personality-wise, she’s a real mess. Her confidence is just shot and it was one of the things that made me connect with her. I guarantee that a lot of readers will connect with her internal monologue whenever she’s confronted with a particularly harrowing situation, be it embarrassment and/or disappointment.
I should also mention that the story is described as Cinderella-inspired, so if there’s any ash girl-esque feel to this story that’s because yeah…fairy tale fun!
So there was one thing I didn’t like:
1) The insta-love. I know, I know. People have a lot of good/bad things to say about this topic, but for this particular story I think it wasn’t even about whether it was realistic or not, it just felt too hurried. And tbh, it really isn’t the author’s fault. I WAS, after all, reading a romance novella. The insta-love is really a given. Still I thought I’d warn anyone who was really against this: the romance moves very quickly.
Other than that this story is gold. I really enjoyed myself quelle surprise as when I usually think romance + Cinderella. I think “Oh gee. This is probably going to burn to ash really quickly”. I did pick it up for the holiday theme, and it worked out well for me in the end. The one well-described sex scene really twisted it up for me. I love me some hilarity + sexual tension and there is a lot of it in this novella up and to the bow chika wowwow.