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A Secret Life (Hotel Marchand Series)

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A fine romance

    Though he was her boss, New York based Prism Literary Agency agent Anthony Verdun fires his assistant Clarista Phillips for sexually harassing him via interoffice mail by sending him red lace panties and an explicit invitation. His feeling of freedom ends when he finds Jules Burrell¿s name on the front page of the Lifestyle section of the New York Times. Apparently vindictive Clarista informed the newspaper that Jules is Joan Bateman. Anthony knows Joan will fire him and the agency because all she has asked of him over the years is to protect her identity.----------- Anthony travels to Indio, Louisiana to talk to Joan in person. However, the damage is out of control as her Boston Brahmin family is horrified by her writing pulp fiction mysteries even if they are bestsellers. As he deals with the media frenzy over the outing of Bateman, the fan uproar, someone wanting to harm Joan and him, alligator attacks, and the worst adversary of all her sister Heather, Anthony knows he loves Joan to the point that he is ready to take on her parents and even call Heather his sister-in-law, but he also believes he is not good enough for her. Joan has fallen in love with her agent, but does not realize how much she will miss him when he returns to New York.------------- Though the connection to the Hotel Marchand is minimal at best as the story line focuses on the relationship between the writer and her agent, A SECRET LIFE is a fun Bayou tale. Joan and Anthony are a nice pairing as their business deal turns personal with her outing though more about why the heroine ¿fears¿ her seemingly Draconian parents (at least in the minds of the formerly uptight siblings) would have rounded out the thriller. Still this is a fine thriller starring an author who gets her groove.---------- Harriet Klausner

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