Trouble in High Heelsby Leanne Banks
Heiress Lori Granger looks like a million bucks--and is famous for giving much of her fabulous fortune away. But her generosity has outstripped her checkbook, and not even her glamorous image and come-hither eyes can save her now. Certainly not with Jackson James in the picture...Hired by her dad's estate to control her spending, this CPA with linebacker shoulders and gray flannel suits invades her space, insults her dog, and refuses to loosen his grip on her trust fund. Worse, he seems immune to her charms--unless she's close enough to kiss. Not a man to cross the line with a client, even when the attraction is hotter than a pair of Lori's highest sling-backs, Jackson agrees to help her find a husband to fulfill a condition of her father's will. Yet sharing her dreams with him makes Lori wonder: Could this infuriating Mr. Straight be the one to make them all come true?
Romantic Reviews Today, www.romrrevtoday.com
"From the beginning to the end I could not make myself put the book down. I simply HAD to know what was going to ahppen next....Well written, witty, and oh-so addictive!*****"
"Every girl from 18 to 80 will love Some Girls Do! The best feel-good book you'll read this year!"
"4 1/2 stars and a Top Pick! Leanne Banks wields her magic pen once again. With humor and insight, this supreme storyteller cuts to the heart of her characters's fears and insecurities and makes us fall in love right along with them."
On WHEN SHE'S BAD: "
4 1/2 stars and a Top Pick! Leanne Banks wields her magic pen once again. With humor and insight, this supreme storyteller cuts to the heart of her characters's fears and insecurities and makes us fall in love right along with them."Romantic Times Bookclub"
Banks's prose sparkles with energy and heart...the story strikes a true vein of gold."Publishers Weekly
On SOME GIRLS DO:"
Every girl from 18 to 80 will love Some Girls Do! The best feel-good book you'll read this year!"Janet Evanovich, New York Times bestselling author"
Sassy, snappy, sexy, fun!"Susan Andersen, author of Getting Lucky"
Leanne Banks has provided readers with another rip-roaring romance that is witty and charming right from the first page. Sexy and sassy, TROUBLE IN HIGH HEELS should be put to the top opf your book-buying list."Patti Fischer, Romantic Reviews Today, www.romrrevtoday.com
On TROUBLE IN HIGH HEELS:"
From the beginning to the end I could not make myself put the book down. I simply HAD to know what was going to ahppen next....Well written, witty, and oh-so addictive!*****"Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews, huntressreviews.com
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Read an Excerpt
Trouble in High Heels
"Congratulations, Jackson. Because of your hard work and dedication, we've decided to offer you a junior partnership with the firm."
Jackson stared at his boss in surprise. Exhilaration pumped through him. Twelve years ago, he'd been a high school dropout doing manual labor at a ranch in southwestern Texas. He'd moved to Dallas and done everything from waiting tables, to working as a part-time rodeo clown, to being a janitor in the evenings to earn his way through college and get his CPA.
Despite his father's insistence that Jackson would never amount to anything, he had. This moment proved his father wrong. Jackson was a success.
It took a moment for him to find his breath. "Thank you, Mr. Hollingsworth. I don't know what to say."
Mr. Hollingsworth, a fifty-eight-year-old balding man with a shrewd, creative, but always law-abiding mind, nodded. He removed a rumpled handkerchief from his pocket and mopped his shiny head. "You've earned it. Your salary will increase by twenty-five percent, you'll receive an annual bonus, and you can hire an assistant. You'll also be offered Mr. Till's office. He's retiring," he explained.
Jackson immediately calculated the difference in his salary, and three investment possibilities came to mind. He'd shared an assistant with the other CPAs until now, and Mr. Till, who appeared to be approximately three hundred years old, had a corner office.
This was the stuff of fantasies for a dirt-poor kid from southwestern Texas. This was like winning the lottery. This was the pot of gold atthe end of the rainbow.
He watched Mr. Hollingsworth's head turn shiny with perspiration and felt an itchy sensation. That same itchy sensation had kept him alive in dark alleys and rowdy bars. That same itchy sensation had kept him away from troublesome females. That same itchy sensation had kept him from being gored by a bull.
It was the same itchy sensation that warned him: if it looked too good to be true, then it probably was.
Mr. Hollingsworth smiled at him nervously.
Jackson's stomach sank. Oh, shit. Whenever Hollingsworth smiled, there was trouble. Big trouble. He remembered the audit he had managed for one of their larger clients, who had neglected to disclose all their financial activities for a tax return. It had taken months of work to keep the guy out of prison.
Mr. Hollingsworth cleared his throat. "You know we think a lot of you. You've earned the respect of all the partners and all the clients you've worked with."
Cut to the chase, Jackson wanted to say. He would have to assess the risk. Life was all about risk. If he could do whatever dirty work the firm wanted him to do, then he could claim his prize.
"Of course, with additional reward comes additional responsibility. We, the partners and I, have carefully evaluated our client list, and we believe you are the man to handle the Granger account."
"The Granger account," he echoed in disbelieve. The Granger account was one of the firm's top five accounts. Compared to the Granger account, everything Jackson had done had been chicken shit. He knew a few things about the account, but not much, because old Mr. Till had kept Harlan Granger's financial matters close to the vest.
"As you know, Harlan Granger died six months ago, and most of his estate is being held in trust for his daughter, Lori Jean," Hollingsworth said.
Jackson hadn't ever met Lori Jean personally. He'd just seen photographs of her in the paper at charity functions or at her home while she posed with a prissy white dog that was probably fed filet mignon every night. Blonde, with a melt-in-your-mouth body, the woman was a looker, but she didn't appear to have much upstairs.
Hollingsworth cleared his throat. "Since Mr. Till has retired, you'll be in charge of managing the estate." He cleared his throat again and fingered his tie as if it were choking him. "Some changes in the conditions concerning the dispersal of the trust have recently come to light." The senior partner of the firm rubbed his nose and shrugged. "All in the files. You should go ahead and get started on them so you can meet with Miss Granger as soon as possible."
The itchy sensation climbed up the back of Jackson's neck again. Something about this just wasn't right. "What about my other clients?"
"Don't worry. They'll be temporarily reassigned. I'm sure you know the Granger account is one of our largest accounts."
So, why were they giving it to him instead of one of the more senior partners? Jackson shoved his hands into his pockets and decided to test Hollingsworth's desperation. He'd learned a long time ago that people would spend a lot of money to protect whatever they held dear. Jackson knew Hollingsworth held the Granger account very near and dear.
"It sounds as if this could be more demanding of my time and energy than what I've been doing here at the firm," Jackson said.
"It sounds as if this could be more demanding of my time and energy than what I've been doing here at the firm," Jackson said.
Hollingsworth slowly nodded. "You could say that."
"Do you think it might be more appropriate to give me a raise of thirty percent?"
Hollingsworth paused, then mopped his head and cleared his throat. "I think it could be arranged."
Jackson didn't know whether to shout in victory or brace himself for the depths of hell. If Hollingsworth was willing to fork over the bucks, things must be in a helluva mess.
Three days later, Jackson stood on the grand porch of the mansion where Harlan Granger had spent most of his days since he'd hit the big time as an oil baron. He was one of the few who'd managed to survive and thrive during the rough times, and he'd done it by diversifying. By the time he passed away, Harlan owned a bit of everything.
Taking in the elegant architecture of the whiter-than-white building, large columns, polished brass fixtures, and well-kept porch, Jackson couldn't help remembering the shabby house where he'd lived as a child. The tin roof had leaked, the floors were warped, and it was a wonder the faulty wiring hadn't caused a fire. The hot water system was busted more often than it was working, so cold showers were the norm. He fought a twinge of feeling out of place. For a sliver of a moment, he was thirteen again, without a degree in accounting, wearing hand-me-down torn jeans from the local Goodwill store instead of the Brooks Brothers suit he'd bought on sale.
He didn't belong here.
Jackson thought of Lori Jean Granger. She probably didn't know what a cold shower was, and he was certain her home had always been warm when it was cold outside and cool when the summertime heat hit.
She also, however, hadn't learned to manage her pocketbook, and by the looks of her accounts, he was going to have to teach her. It had taken some persistence, but he'd finally cracked Hollingsworth. Now he knew why no one else wanted this account. And he was still shaking his head over it. He'd imagined every possibility but the one Hollingsworth finally coughed up. As he'd begun to suspect, the woman scared them. Not, however, because she was a raging bitch, but because she was this sweet, helpless woman that men just couldn't say no to - like she had some mystical power over them or something. Jackson rolled his eyes. A Lorelei of accountants, with the ability to sink their careers into the bottom of the ocean. By the looks of her accounts, Till had rarely said no. Jack snorted. Well, Till had been a fool. Jackson wasn't . . . and he would have no problem saying NO to Lori Jean Granger.
He shifted his heavy briefcase to his left hand and pressed the doorbell. Within a moment, a woman in a uniform answered the door. "You're the accountant?" she asked.
He nodded and extended his hand, a memory of his mother flashing through his mind. She had been a maid, and she'd told him everyone, including the garbage man, deserved courtesy. The lesson had stuck. "I'm Jackson James, thank you. And you're?"
She blinked in surprise. "I'm Mabel, thank you very much." She accepted his hand and shot him a considerate glance that gave him the odd sense that she could see everywhere he'd been since he was born. "You're new, aren't you?"
"New to Miss Granger," he said.
"I thought so. Please come into the parlor. Miss Granger will be right down."
Hearing the echo of his shoes on the gleaming marble entryway, he shot a quick glance at the chandelier hanging from the ceiling and the double stairway leading to the second floor. He followed the housekeeper into a room furnished in cherry and walls lined with oil paintings and mirrors.
"Tilly, I have your favorite drink," a young woman said in a musical voice just before the body attached to the voice entered the room. "Whisky, a double---" Big blue eyes met his in consternation as the woman carried her prissy dog tucked under her right arm and in her left hand Tilly's drink. "You're not Tilly."
Whoa! He inhaled and caught a draft of a scent that reminded him of the sweetest tease. So this was Lori Jean Granger in the flesh. She looked and smelled good enough to eat. He could see why those doddering old fools would be falling all over themselves. But he wasn't a doddering old fool. Her skin looked like cream, her lips a deep pink rosebud currently set in a moue of unhappiness. Her blonde hair hung just past her showers like a silk curtain. Her white cotton dress with tiny red dots skimmed over breasts that reminded him of ripe peaches and down over the feminine curves of her waist and hips to just above her knees. She wore red high heels, the kind of heels that could give a man wicked fantasies. They were the kind of shoes a man wanted to see a woman wear when she wore nothing else.
Jackson pulled his brain out of its death spiral headed straight for his crotch and hardened his heart before another part of him turned hard. He met her gaze and extended his hand. "I'm Jackson James. I've been assigned to handle your account. Mr. Till has retired."
She frowned. "I didn't realize."
Jackson nodded. "It was a surprise to a lot of people." But not to the partners, since Mr. Till had royally screwed up.
She shot him a troubled glance. "Oh, well, would you like some whiskey?"
She looked as if she could use it. He shook his head. "I don't drink on the job."
"Oh, that makes sense." She glance around and set the drink down on a table and turned back to him. "Mr. James, then." She shifted the dog to the other arm and shook his hand. "I'm Lori Jean. It was kind of you to make a house call. I do need to arrange for some additional funds."
"We should discuss the status of your trust. You've talked to your attorney?" he asked.
She gestured toward a chair. "Please have a seat. Yes, I talked with Clarence. He said something about the possibility of a more recent will."
"That's right," Jackson said, wondering if she was truly in the dark or if she was just acting. It didn't matter, he thought as he opened his briefcase and pulled out three fat files. He was ready to turn on the light. "A more recent will has been found, and your father stipulated that half of your trust will be given to you when you're thirty and the other half when you reach fifty-five. Until then, you'll be given a sizeable annual allowance. Unfortunately, you're twenty-four years old and you have spent your allowance through your twenty-eighth birthday. Some adjustments will have to be made in your spending."
Meet the Author
Leanne Banks is a popular, bestselling romance star who has written over 20 books for Silhouette and HQN. She is known for her very humorous contemporary romance novels that have a strong undercurrent of emotion as well as her savvy self-promotion.
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Trouble in High Heels
Warner Forever, Mar 2009, $6.99
Since the death of her affluent martinet father, heiress Lori Granger has given away a fortune to anyone who asks. Her father¿s CPA firm is at a loss as to how to prevent Lori from going broke even with her late dad not trusting her with money so he added to his will that she must marry by thirty or live on his budget.
Desperate the partners assign their newest accountant Jackson James to work with the out of control Lori. He behaves different than the wimps she previously was assigned. He says no and means it. However, tired of all their meddling especially her father from the grave, Lori orders Jackson to find her a husband. He struggles with saying no as he is falling in love with his client and worse she wants him to find her a husband.
The growth in the lead characters from Oscar the Grouch and Miss Piggy to caring in love protagonists make for an amusing fun read even if this version of It Happened One Night has been told often. The accountant stoically understands the bottom line is occupied by the expendable newbies who breathe in the sh*t rolling downhill without a snorkel while Lori¿s monthly pittance would make Republicans in Congress ashamed of her capitalist rant. Fans will enjoy this lighthearted contemporary romance as the lead couple goes through the phases of fictional relationship from war to fragile peace to friendship to love with a few humorous setbacks at each stage.
Trouble In High Heels
Hachette Book Group.com, 2009
Reviewed by Kay R. for ReviewYourBook.com, 01/09
Lori Granger is an heiress who gives away too much money to make her accountant happy. Her solution is to have a temporary marriage to get access to her trust fund. Jackson James is her new CPA and is enlisted to find her a husband.
Trouble In High Heels is written with the perfect amount of wit. Sassy, sexy, and great romance are the words I chose to describe Trouble In High Heels. Leanne Banks is a talented author. I look forward to reading more of her books.
Reviewed for queuemyreview.com; book release Mar09
It was a gloomy day outside my window today. Rain, overcast, and cold (well, cold for the South anyway). Since I needed a bit of a pick me up, I picked up Leanne Banks newest contemporary, ¿Trouble in High Heels¿, hoping for a love story with some humor to brighten my day. BINGO! Instant mood changer!
Lori is a young, beautiful, shapely heiress with a heart of gold. She grew up with her father who controlled her through love and guilt. Since his death she¿s given away staggering amounts of money. That¿s what makes her feel good. She¿s always been pretty sure a happy marriage and kids aren¿t in the cards for her future, so she does her best to create her own happiness via generosity. Things are going well. Then a new accountant is assigned to her and he¿s actually trying to tell her she has to stop giving away money and live on a¿budget (gasp). Apparently dear old Dad added a codicil to his will and Lori must either marry or live on a (very generous) budget until she¿s 30. That¿s the last straw for Lori. No more controlling men¿ever!
Jackson comes from a dirt poor background and has struggled hard to finally be a successful CPA. When his boss tells him he¿s finally made full partner with a corner office, he¿s thrilled. Then the back of his neck begins to tingle. WOW! The partners are giving him one of the biggest accounts the firm has¿hey, wait a minute. Something¿s just not right with this. If it sounds too good to be true, in Jackson¿s experience, that means it¿s downright horrible. After quickly looking through the file, he realizes he¿s been given a promotion and a raise only because his firm expects him to say no a young, gorgeous, spoiled heiress. No problem.
These two are at loggerheads from day one. An heiress who¿s been extremely sheltered and a hard-charging CPA with plans for the future-- they both want their way, and those ways are diametrically opposed! I didn¿t like either one of them at first. I mean, hey, a young gorgeous heiress¿I hate her already! And she has to live on a ridiculously high budget? Kill me now. But I actually grew to like Lori. She was smart and capable and just needed to do a bit of growing up. And Jackson? Well, he too came off rather gruff at first, but pretty soon I was cheering for both of them. Their gunfire repartee had me giggling and their heated attraction kept me reading. This was no `fall into bed¿ story. They grew to be friends first and the love came afterward. There¿s even a secondary romance that I would have liked to see have a book all its own. And the settings match the story perfectly.
¿Trouble in High Heels¿ won¿t have you thinking the philosophy of love. Nor will it tinker with your emotions. What Leanne Banks does well is combine hot romance and humor. So if that¿s what you like, you¿d do well to pick up a copy when it's released in March 2009.
Leanne Banks is a national #1 best-selling author of romance novels. She is the winner of the Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards in Series Sensuality and Love and Laughter. She is also the winner of the Florida Writers Beacon Award, the Golden Quill Award, the Georgia Romance Writers' MAGGIE Award and Booksellers' Best Award. Her books have been recognized by the Award of Excellence Contest, the Romance Writers of America Rita Contest, and the National Readers' Choice Awards. Other titles include: Footloose, Underfoot, Some Girls Do, and When She¿s Bad. Leanne resides in Virginia with her husband and two children.
When Lori Granger¿s esteemed father died, she inherited a fortune. Known for going through her money like normal people do water, Lori has stretched her funds too tight on her many charitable donations. Now, not even her alluring and illustrious image can save her. Hired by her father¿s estate, Jackson James is determined to control her spending. Worse, he appears immune to her many charms. He refuses to loosen his grip on her trust fund and helps her to fulfill a condition of her father¿s will- to find a husband! As the attraction between them intensifies, and Jackson finds that Lori is much more than a rich girl with a credit card, could Mr. Straight-as-an-Arrow and Miss Break-All-the-Rules be just what the other needs to find true love¿And right in front of their bickering, lusting eyes?
The only issue I had with the book was two phrases that the author used, ¿inundulated¿ and ¿French kiss¿. It may be just me who feels this way, and the author only used them a couple of times each, but they drew me out of the story when they were used. They just didn¿t seem to fit there.
This was a great story to get you out of your hum-drum life. The characters were charming and relatable. The setting drew you in. The plot flowed agreeably and smooth. There weren¿t any dead spots where I lost interest. You know that you¿ve been sucked into a great book to escape when you find yourself laughing out loud uproariously- which I did, several times, in fact. I especially loved the side story with Geoffrey and Maria. I wanted to read their outcome as much as Jackson and Lori¿s.
Trouble in High Heels, by Leanne Banks, is a hilarious and zesty story, filled with heart and vigor.
Author and Reviewer