So this is a first: I’m pretty habitual with the types of books of I read, even within a genre. That’s why author Elle James’ romantic mystery/suspense, Engaged with the Boss, is my first Harlequin Intrigue.
The story follows Devin Kendall and his executive assistant, Jolie Carson while they team-up in an engagement of convenience to clear the Kendall family name of long-ago murders. I was hooked by the relationship of convenience trope. And I do like me a good mystery… Oh and it helped that it was also a workplace romance — another of my fav tropes!
So Jolie and Devin are tossed together by external circumstance, but Jolie’s always liked Devin. She’s harbored a crush on him since he hired her. Devin, on the other hand, is slow to catch up but he demonstrates how valuable Jolie is to his company and career, but to him as a human being.
What I liked about Jolie is that she went for it. She wasn’t a wet blanket about the whole thing: the talk of the fake engagement popped up and though it hurt her heart, she decided to go with it. As an “pre-published” author I could see her internal motivation and conflicts clearly.
Same goes for Devin. He wasn’t as interesting as Jolie; you sorta get what you see with him — but Devin is an important catalyst for all the sexual tension and fun times! Jolie is shy and she doesn’t instigate their steamy encounters. Really, I think it was a team effort. Devin begins the fun, and Jolie picks up the ball and helps it roll it along when her vamp-ish side comes out to play. 😉
The mystery is straight-forward — at least on my part, since I guessed who the troublemaker was — but there’s enough tension between the external conflict and the internal chemistry with Jolie and Devin. My only beef with this story was how stupid the villain was…honestly it felt cliched near the end when they caught the antagonist.
Let’s just say s/he put their foot in their own mouth and I was like, OMFGWHYY!?!?!
Heads up with that.
Short review, but pick up Elle James’ Engaged with the Boss if you’re looking for a good 50/50 on romance and mystery/suspense.