Winning the Boss's Heart by Hayson Manning
Mason Christian has twelve weeks to flip something old into something new for his Japanese client, and then he's getting the hell out of Footsteps Bay, New Zealand. Not even his temporary cook and secretary—the feisty, luscious Billie McLeod—will deter him. There's no denying she makes him feel alive. More alive than he's felt in three years...
Billie has one dream: save enough money to go to college. That's why she's agreed to work for hard ass, all-business-no-pleasure Mason Christian—a man who has every intention of destroying through "modernization" the town's most cherished historical home. But before she can say see ya, she realizes she's signed the dotted line and is contractually bound for eighty-four days. Working with male perfection every day is awesome with a capital A—as long as they can stick to a hands-off policy that gets harder every day...
About the Author
Hayson Manning grew up with her nose in a book. She was entranced by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pippi Longstocking, Black Beauty and wanting to live in Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree. She's lived in Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, London and now in California.
She loved a pint in London, hiding behind a phrase book in Paris and exploring the subterranean chamber of the Giza pyramid. All she ever wanted to do was write fun and flirty people who aren't perfect but will fight for that one person who will love them for who they are. That dream has come true, writing for Entangled. A hopeless romantic she lives with her infuriating but adored shoe-discarding husband, two teenage swimmers, a tubby opinionated cat and a current foster dog who needs sanctuary before finding an ever after home.
Come, stop a while, escape in the pages of her books.
Read an Excerpt
Winning the Boss's Heart
By Hayson Manning
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Hayson Manning
All rights reserved.
This isn't going swimmingly.
Billie McCloud hit the doorbell for the third time. All this way for an interview for nothing. Her prospective boss had barked out during their brief phone call that she should be here at ten o'clock sharp or not show at all. Well, she'd gotten here five minutes early, and it was now ten minutes past.
Her blood went on a low simmer.
When she turned and started walking toward her car, the scent of pine and wild mint that surrounded the Bay of Islands property, nestled in the top of New Zealand's North Island taunted her.
Billie turned at the questioning voice that sounded like it had partied with the Marlboro Man then soaked itself overnight in bourbon. If she could have reached out and grabbed onto something, she would have.
Man Magic stood in front of her. He had to be at least six-four to her five-eight in ballet flats. His black, finger-combed hair looked like it did what it wanted. His high cheek bones and strong chin were covered in a healthy dose of dark stubble. But those eyes. Daniel Craig-blue framed in thick, black lashes locked on hers, and she fought to catch a breath. A slightly off-center nose spared him the pretty label.
Dear God. Working across from and looking at male perfection every day? Awesome with a capital A. He stood in a dark blue business suit that looked like it had been sewn around him. A crisp white shirt expanded across a wide chest, and shoes polished to within an inch of their lives completed the package.
Yep, Man Magic in all its glory.
Shivers and tingles danced across her skin, and the moment felt one step removed from reality. She'd never shivered or tingled in a way a girl was supposed to shiver and tingle, ever.
She walked back to Man Magic on legs that felt liked she'd just exited a spin class.
"Billie. I prefer Billie. Wilhelmina is such a mouthful." She pressed a professional smile onto her face and hoped it didn't hang there like a badly constructed Lego grin. "I'm here for the job interview." She glanced at her watch. "Ten sharp."
He stared at her, and nothing moving on his face.
She adjusted her handbag on her shoulder. Right, this wasn't going swimmingly.
"Mason Christian." He thrust out his hand and strong, firm fingers wrapped around hers. As his hand pulled away, the parting brush of his skin sent a lingering shiver in her fingertips. Again with the shivers. Her body heated uncomfortably.
His eyes widened slightly, and his dark brows lifted. "Follow me." Without waiting for her to speak, he turned and walked into the gorgeous old homestead whose floorboards creaked out a weary greeting.
She narrowed her eyes when he didn't even bother with a backward glance. He might as well have commanded her to sit and stay.
Really. She hurried to follow him into a huge lounge room that had been converted into a temporary office with two desks, two uncomfortable chairs, and more computer equipment than she'd seen outside of an electronics store. Tiny particles of dust hung in the speckled light.
He indicated a chair for her to sit in and slid into another across from her. "I need a cook and a secretary. If you get the job, I'll be calling you Forty-Two, as none of my assistants stay. I work long hours and expect the same."
"Forty-Two?" she blurted out. She did some quick math. He didn't look to be older than thirty. She'd put him at twenty-eight tops unless he was dipping his face into cell rejuvenation fluid each night. "You've had forty-one assistants?" A quiver of doubt covered her skin like a blanket of cobwebs. Of course, if he called them all by number, like they were nothing more than prison convicts, was it any doubt he'd gone through them so quickly?
She should get up and leave and never look back. And she might if not for the huge paycheck he was offering.
He watched her with those unblinking blue eyes. Didn't look like the man smiled a whole lot. She resisted the urge to shift in her chair. She doubted his middle name was jocularity or could even form the word "fun" in an anagram. In fact, she'd bet her ThighMaster and Zingo knife that he'd never heard a funny joke. He shrugged. "As I said, none of my assistants stay long, so I number them. It's easier to remember."
"Yeah, because remembering the name Sue, Jane, or Henrietta would be a hardship."
He blinked as if he'd just noticed her for the first time and did a full scan of her. A heartbreaking smile that would get him admitted to secret societies, exclusive men's clubs, and women's underwear transformed his face.
Holy moly, the man had some chops.
"Your references are impressive." He looked down at a folder containing the resume she'd emailed earlier in the week. The smile slipped off his face so fast she wondered if she'd imagined it.
"Thank you." She studied him as he read. Word around Footsteps Bay was that he was a ruthless developer who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. Yeah, she could see that. The way he held himself. The aloofness that he wore like a comfortable coat. The way his body seemed to be a coiled rope of muscle. He didn't take no for an answer, and everything about him advertised that fact.
He frowned. "There's a time gap here. You haven't worked for the past eighteen months?"
"I haven't, no." She held his gaze. "I had things to work through."
The mask that held his face immobile shifted, and she caught a glimpse of heartbreaking sadness so strong her breath left her body. "Why do you want this job?"
Her breath returned and kick-started her heart.
She forced calmness across suddenly shaky nerves. "I love the area. This house, Wuthering Heights and all its history. It's heaven. I'm a great personal assistant, and I think I'm a pretty good cook. Ultimately, I want to finish my culinary degree, and with the money I'll make here, I'll be able to afford it." She smiled what she hoped was sunny and warm, pushing for the home plate. "I think I'm the only one you'll need." Heat fired into her cheeks. Crap. As usual, her mouth forgot to check with her brain.
Nothing moved on his face as he regarded her. Not a blink or a pull of his lips. Nothing.
Had she imagined that underwear-loosening smile from before?
Painful silence stretched between them. She squirmed in her seat, watching her three-month dream job drift away.
"What do you mean by Wuthering Heights?"
She leaned back in her chair and glanced out at the grounds. "My best friend Sarah and I used to come up here when we were kids. We were convinced it's where Cathy and Heathcliff lived. We'd sit and listen for Cathy calling for her lost love."
His expression was one of complete bewilderment.
She grinned. "Yeah, I know. Look at how that turned out, right?"
He twirled an expensive looking pen like a conductor. "I develop houses into retreats for wealthy clients. The renovation of this house has to be done in twelve weeks maximum, as I have a Japanese buyer lined up. Forty-One couldn't commit to working long hours and I do work long hours. I need to know I can rely on you to keep up."
"I have caffeine for blood."
He stared at her so hard she struggled not to fidget. "Is it acceptable for you to live here for the duration of the assignment so we can fit in maximum hours?"
She pulled herself higher in the chair. "Yes I'm fine with living here. I understood it was a live-in when I agreed to the interview."
With his index finger, he pushed a piece of paper across the desk. "You will need to sign this contract committing yourself to the entire refit of the house. It's imperative that nothing go wrong."
She concentrated on the contract and gave herself a mental high-five. She must have the job if he was offering a contract. Yay. Culinary school and fulfilling my dreams, here I come. Sarah and the rest of the town would be stoked, as there was a growing sense of unease in town that the new owner wanted to rip the heart and soul out of the community by destroying the grounds and everything they symbolized. Lately there'd been a lot of development, McMansions replacing landmarks that had stood in Footsteps Bay for generations. This job was her chance to learn the new owner's intentions and help avoid the lynch mob if the orchards were razed too, since they were dying to know what the plans were for the grounds and house.
As she read further, though, an icy feeling slithered down her spine. The terms were clear enough, but if she left before the refit was complete, she'd basically owe him her house, her car, and possibly a kidney.
She looked up at him. "Why do I need to sign a contract? Usually my word is enough."
He leaned forward in his chair. Without warning, she inhaled his spicy scent. The girls perked up and said hello.
What is wrong with me?
Vertebrae locked into place.
This was her potential boss, not Man Magic.
She closed her eyes and wished for a do-over moment. Here she was sitting in an interview for a job she wanted with damp underwear.
He raised one dark brow as if he could sense what was going on with her body, and that only sent more heat around her misfiring nerves.
His face darkened. "I've invested a lot in this renovation, and I can't risk jeopardizing it if you decide to leave before the assignment is complete. I wouldn't have time to find Forty-Three, hence the contract."
She tilted her chin and looked him straight in the eye. "You'll find in a town like this that your word is your signature, but if you want me to sign, I will." She leaned across, snagged the pen, and signed her name at the bottom of the page.
"I want to be in and out as soon as possible. I've never undertaken a renovation in a town this small before, but this house and these grounds have such potential as a minimalist retreat."
She snapped up straight, the pen tight in her grasp. "A minimalist retreat? This house, with all its history? Are you serious?"
A quizzical look blurred his features. "Totally serious. The potential buyer is looking for an easy care house and grounds."
She gazed at the hand-carved high wooden ceilings, then dropped her attention to one of the fireplaces in the room. Beautiful hand-painted ceramic tiles framed the wrought iron. One of the many French doors was open, and the view offered endless orchards and acres of fruit vines. Her muscles seized, and she rubbed the center of her chest. She couldn't even imagine this home — these fields — stripped bare. The town would wither and die. Hell, the townspeople would stand up a lynch mob, and she'd be tarred and feathered along with them. She stood.
"I'm sorry, there's been a mistake. I can't do this." She put her handbag on her shoulder. "This place means everything to the community. I can't be a part of ripping out its heart."
She'd made it to the door when his monotone voice turned her body to stone.
"I believe you've signed a contract."
She turned, the blood leaving her head in a rush. "You'd make me work here even though it makes my skin want to peel?"
Nothing on his face moved except for a small flare in his mesmerizing eyes.
To think she'd thought this was Man Magic. Yeah, he may be one hot tamale on the outside, but she bet old Satan himself was sitting in his heart playing Solitaire.
"I am completely serious, and unless you can afford the penalties — which are quite substantial — I think we should start work. You're the only qualified applicant, and I'm on a deadline."
She glanced out the window and bit back the thickening in her throat. Distant waves whispered against the shore. Seagulls argued overhead. Sun streamed through an open window dappling the polished floorboards in splotches of orange. The click of a grandfather clock counted down the years in the hallway.
It was peaceful. It was perfect. It wasn't a minimalist retreat.
She tried a different tack. "Has your potential buyer seen this place? I bet if he did, he'd have chickens roaming out back and a goat named Ethel as a lawnmower before you know it."
He stared at her as if she'd just grown four heads and a penis and was giving him a let's-get-it-on look. "I'm sure they'd rather spear themselves through the eye with a fork than have chickens running around. As for a goat named ... "
Silence stretched between them like the neglected exercise band that hung off her bedroom door.
Mason Christian might seem relaxed but for the way he held his shoulders and the determination in his eyes. She knew he wasn't going to budge. She closed her eyes for a second and, when she opened them, found his eyes locked on hers.
"Will you take the penalty payment in the form of plasma and internal organs?" she asked in a quiet voice.
Her stomach dropped. The magnitude of living here with him twenty-four/seven was inconceivable. She crossed her arms over her chest.
"You'd want me to work for you, knowing I hate what you're going to do to this place? You'd want me to work for you for twelve weeks knowing I don't like you?"
His eyes narrowed. "I don't care if you like me or not, Forty-Two." He said the numbers in a slow drawl, and her fists balled. He glanced down at her hands then slid his gaze back to hers. "We're here to do a job. That's it. We'll interact over work matters. That's all. Feelings are irrelevant."
Well wasn't Mason Christian just the king of charm? Think, Billie, think. Nothing came at her from left field, right field, or center field. Where was a time machine when she needed one? She licked very dry lips. "Do you have an apartment in Auckland? Will you be leaving for the weekend?" she asked. Please say yes. Please say yes. Please say yes.
"No. I don't have a home. I stay in the houses I'm renovating before I move on."
"Great," she murmured. "So it will just be us?" she asked in a slightly breathy voice.
He glanced down at the notes in front of him and indicated with his pen for her to sit. She reluctantly crossed the valley between them. His phone rang, and without a glance in her direction, he was soon deep in conversation.
She let her gaze roam around the room, and her skin tightened. How on earth was she going to survive twelve weeks with the man? How on earth was she going to get him to change his mind? The townspeople would kill her if she were part of murdering the house and the land. She owed the town for giving her a home at a time when she and her mother were in a bad way. Unless ... She sat upright in her chair. Unless she told them of his plans. Like spying, only without the firing squad. Hopefully.
He ended the call with a barked, "Tomorrow!"
She jolted in the chair.
Mason stared at her resume, then returned his full attention to her. "Your last employer has written that you're a magnificent cook. What's your favorite dish?"
She slipped into work mode. "Depends if it's summer or winter and what's seasonably available."
"Everything you want is at your disposal. It's a sultry summer night, and you're cooking a meal for two."
She leaned back into the chair and clasped her hands together. "Who am I cooking for?"
"Well, if it's you and your grandmother, I'd do something like steamed snapper with a ginger and honey glaze, and a green salad."
A dangerous, challenging glint sparkled in his eye.
She crossed her legs. Bring it on.
For a split second his eyes warmed, and his lips curved up into a hint of a smile. "A pinot noir sits on the table, and there's a wild red-head on my arm."
"Crayfish lightly steamed with a dash of lemon, grilled fig and fennel salad with goat's cheese and roasted pecans," she said, keeping her voice smooth.
"Sounds good. The redhead menu unless I notify you otherwise." He leaned toward her and tossed his pen onto the desk.
The pressure in the room seemed to have dropped, as if a thunderstorm were brewing, air heavy, oxygen levels low. She'd do anything to throw open the windows, invite in a breeze. She sneaked a peek to see if he noticed the shift. Didn't look like it. She'd guess he could win a Powerball jackpot, and the man would look the same. Mind you, it wasn't as if she had any great experience in men, her ex being her one and only. She could be reading him totally wrong.
"What about dessert?"
She swallowed hard. No matter how many times she'd tried to make a never-fail cake, they failed. They were either as hard as concrete or forgot to rise and lay flat and unappealing as concrete.
A hollow sigh escaped her.
"Fresh fruit and ice cream maybe with a drizzle of hot chocolate sauce," she replied, smoothing damp hands down her skirt. Gourmet ice cream was her savior, as was melting dark chocolate and cream for a quick but decadent dessert. Sprinkle on seasonal berries, and she was right up there with the Gordon Ramseys of the world, minus the forehead in dire need of a flat iron.
"Right. I think everything is in order." He stood and placed himself directly in front of her.
"Are you sure you want me? There's probably far better candidates —"
He cut her off. "You're mine for the next twelve weeks."
Their gazes locked over the table, and her whole body heated to combustion level.
She smoothed shaking hands down her skirt again. "Right. When would you like me to start?"
Excerpted from Winning the Boss's Heart by Hayson Manning. Copyright © 2013 Hayson Manning. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a sweet, funny and often sad story about two lonely hearts that have the capability of healing each other with love if they will only let it in. Well Mason needs to take the chance. Billie has so much love to give but a bad marriage has made her question her ability to be what a man needs. When these two find their HEA it is like the sun coming out from behind a cloud. Thanks to Entangled: Indulgence for giving me the chance to read and review this wonderful story.
An incredibly entertaining read by Hayson Manning! The intensity between the hero and heroine made this novel truly magnificent! I read this novel in one day, I simply couldn’t put it down! Mason Christian is motivated, determined and strictly professional, until he meets Billie. Billie, or as Mason prefers to call her, Forty-Two, doesn’t cower to the brooding and grouchy manners of Mason. Instead, she manages to see the person deep down. The person who is haunted by ugly demons. As Mason and Billie work together on flipping a house, the lines between personal and professional begin to blur, resulting in a very messy, very sexy, relationship. But Mason’s looking for a friends-with-benefits kind of relationship and Billie’s not interest. Billie wants the kind of love that stays strong through time, not the kind that’s hot one minute and cold the next. Can Mason conquer his demons and see what a great catch Billie is, or is he going to push away a woman who just might be perfect for him? Everything about this novel is absolute perfection from the witty dialogue and well developed characters to hot romance and a happy ending. It will grab your heart strings and not let go to the end! I especially liked the Wuthering Heights references throughout the novel. I also loved the way that Billie and Mason both had almost paralyzing fears but Ms. Manning used the fears to grow the characters closer together. Such a great sense of trust and security was shown throughout those scenes that I found myself smiling at how real it seemed. If you have not yet read a novel by Hayson Manning, and even if you have, I encourage you to pick up a copy, curl up on the couch and be prepared to become completely absorbed in a novel! I look forward to reading more fabulous stories from Hayson Manning! Rating: 4.5 Heat Rating: Hot Reviewed by April P Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Reading this reminded very quickly how much I love Hayson Manning, gifted storyteller and you can always count on some wicked humor woven in! Mason is the man you're going to love to hate. He's bossy, pushy, driven and overly determined to succeed at all costs. Billie who is divorced, in need of a job applies for the position for two reasons, one being she needs the money to go to culinary school, second she hopes to change his mind about the house and town and make him see how important the place is. Since Max has burned through 41 assistants already he aptly calls Billie #42. Not Billie, 42. Billie in kind, calls him whatever name is on the tip of acerbic tongue at the moment. It's hilarious. Her inner dialogue throughout the whole book kept me laughing. The title assistant also entails cooking for Max. The do all, be all, end all. He keeps ungodly hours and is exhausting just to deal with him. We get to meet the town folks and Billie's friends. No one will speak to Max. The way they deal with him is thigh master slapping funny. Billie really attempts to ease Max into the beauty of the place, what the house and grounds mean to the locals and we get a lovely view of small town living in NZ. As hard as Max works, his own story unfolds as to why he's so surly and driven, Billie is also working her magic on the side to try to save the house and keep Max content. A good job done, but doesn't come off without some hitches. I absolutely adored this story and love Hayson. Solid plot, abundant humor and two well written characters, along with the townsfolk will have you turning the pages until the very end. I read this in one swoop, I did not want to put it down! And remind myself to go back and read the rest of Hayson's books in my library but she's so worth multiple reads! Loved it!
This book was funny. I love Billie and everything about this book. Looking forward to read more from this author.
It was all supposed to be done in twelve weeks, but Mason Christian's idea of turning something old to new for one of clients didn't end up working well for him. While he promised to keep his private life locked away from anyone near him, he wasn't expecting his new cook/secretary to made him feel again, especially after he made it clear that their contract was strictly work related and nothing else. Ever since her divorced, Billie has been eager to start fresh and she needs a job to go to culinary school. So when she gets an interview for the job as Mason's cook/secretary, she wasn't expecting to find her future boss as a workaholic that has no intention of using her actual name, rather he insists on calling her “forty-two.” When he tells her about the project that he needs to get done, she is surprised to find out that he is going to destroy the town's most cherished historical home, her Wuthering Heights home that she used to love going to when she was younger. Now she has to live with him everyday until their contract ends, but the more time they spend together, the more secrets are revealed and the more attracted to each other they become. I really enjoyed reading Winning the Boss's Heart, Billie's personality is great! She is funny, caring and outspoken. While, Mason's personality throughout the book changes from being a recluse to a little bit carefree at the end. He is definitely caring towards Billie, even though he doesn't want to show that he cares. His love for Billie's dog, Stanley, shows that he is not heartless after all. The dynamic between the characters fits from the very beginning, they are attracted to each other, but their stubborn personalities made it difficult for the two to meet at common ground. There are a lot of secrets that each character starts to reveal throughout the story and that made the character's more compelling and it made the story interesting to read. The book is very well-written, and descriptive. Manning did a good job developing the characters, yet I sometimes found myself wanting to shake some sense from both of the characters (it just took them longer to resolve their problems), but the ending I really enjoyed reading. The epilogue tied everything together as a whole and I highly recommend it. :)
5-Stars!! 42 Gives Magic Man the Last Offer He Will Ever Refuse With her second book, Winning the Boss’ Heart, Hayson Manning took us to her beautiful home country of New Zealand. Set in the bucolic coastal town of Footsteps Bay, Mason Christian hired Billie McLeod to work as his personal assistant on a project he hoped would be completed quickly. Billie was a heroine who knew her own worth. After suffering some personal setbacks, she was saving money to finish her degree, and working for Mason seemed like the fastest way to earn the most money. She fearlessly challenged Mason and the sarcastic nicknames she created for him, were inspired. Nothing like treating the boss with the same impersonal disdain, as he treated his employees. Mason was a deeply broken man, sublimating his emotions in his work and keeping people at arm’s length. As his feelings for Billie grew, he was forced to confront some painful events from his past. Little did Mason know that fate would intervene, to give him a compelling second chance at love story. Ms. Manning beautifully constructed and sensitively handled, Mason’s heartbreaking past. Billie and Mason’s interactions ran the gamut of emotions from trepidation, to antagonism, to friendship, and finally, acceptance, and love. Lovingly meddlesome townsfolk and growing spicy, sexy action rounded out this terrific story. With Wife in Name Only, Hayson Manning became a must-read author for me. After, Winning the Boss’ Heart, she became a must preorder or must 1click author for me. I highly recommend her books for well-developed characters, richly illustrated locations and secondary characters and multilayered storytelling.
WINNING THE BOSS'S HEART wasn't what I expected at all and fit with none of my preconceptions of 80s Harlequin romance centered about a stereotypical boss/secretary courtship. This contemporary romance takes place in the intimate setting of a live-in architectural renovation. The author has a solid style—active voice, smooth pacing, and excellent flow. The dialogue gives good ear and the word choice is crisp and vibrant. (Man Magic, hee!) Billie McCloud is a smart, driven widow who needs to take a short-term admin job in order to pay her tuition to culinary school. She's sentimental about the small town she lives in, which is the only real home she's known following a bohemian childhood with her single mother. She craves permanence, stability and the sense of home derived from tradition and history. She has romanticized the historical home that Mason Christian wants to renovate into a "minimalist retreat". Initially, I didn't like Mason very much. He came across as cold, distant and arrogant. His redeeming quality seemed to be his willingness to tolerate/show affection for the heroine's slobbering Great Dane. His icy facade cracks as the story progresses and the reader discovers a man who has suffered a great personal loss. His infant daughter died of SIDS and his wife left him, so he has built his fortress of solitude and dedicated his life to his work. Deep down, he's a considerate lover, a kind soul and desperately in need of love. I loved how Billie shook up Mason's orderly existence with her unconventional whimsy. The author adds an excellent zap of humor with the string of nicknames the heroine slaps on the hero. Sexual tension sizzles between the pair and intimate scenes are spicy. The hero and heroine are obviously meant together and the HEA-ending will not disappoint. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I adored this book. I'm a big fan of Hayson Manning's humor and this book was full of laugh out loud moments from the feisty heroine, Billie. I loved her. Paired with the wounded hero, Mason, I couldn't turn the pages quick enough. I really could *feel* the tension radiating off Mason as he fought his attraction to Billie. Equally engaging was Billie's compassion and unselfish desire to help Mason heal from his past. That give and take was written beautifully and watching Mason change put constant smiles on my face. And the ending? Swoon! Mason's actions had me falling even more in love with him. This was a fun, fast-paced read with heart-tugging emotion and sexy, passionate moments that I think every romance lover will enjoy.
A Real Winner That is a Must Read. I was given a copy of this book from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way. Don’t expect Mason and Billie to have sex right away. Their interactions remind me of a fencing match – some words that come to mind are parry, thrust, and retreat. The story is what will hold your attention – sex is just icing on the cake. With the way Billie seems to get under Mason’s skin you have no choice but to turn the page to find out what happens between the two. You will also find that you can’t help yourself, you just have to chuckle. If you like a book that you can read all in one day, you will want to add this book to your shelf. You’ll also get some sass, some romance, and the ever-popular HEA ending. Hayson Manning is an author to watch out for.
Mason Christian is a developer. He needs an assistant now so hires Billie McCloud. He's driven and a workaholic who won't let himself become emotionally involved with anyone. Billie has a tender heart and a generous nature. She believes in people and second chances. She wants this job so she can pay off her debt. Both have suffered pain and loss, but they've handled it differently. She uses humor and he uses indifference. Mason lost his daughter Ruby. He blames himself for her death. Billy gives her heart easily. She took care of her ex-husband until his death. These two are drawn together both emotionally and physically. Is there a future if you can't make peace with your past? Hayson Manning writes an emotional story that shows how each of us handle loss. Billie is a feisty woman who has great strength. She won't give up. She handles her problems with honesty and humor. Mason doesn't want to feel so he builds a wall that no one can break through. He calls Billy 'forty-two' to avoid any personal involvement. Can love conquer all? This story will grab your heart. I couldn't put it down. It brought tears to my eyes. You need to read Winning The Boss's Heart.
This story is difficult to review. Overall it was a good book. There were just a couple of times where I was shaking my head at Billie wondering how she could take things. Billie, who was the best character of the book, has spent 2 years taking care of her terminally ill ex. She's in a financial bind and needs enough money to go back to school. Work in her town is scarce. She responds to an ad for a temp job with really great pay. Mason... was an ass from the moment he appeared. He has trouble keeping assistants. He refers to Billie as #42. He may be good looking, but he tells Billie up front if she breaks her contract he'll take her for everything she has. Great start to a working relationship right? It especially helps when she finds a note from #41. The book continues with their own personal struggles. He's developing land that she loves. She feels she's betraying the town that took her in. He's not dealing with a devastating loss and is just consumed with grief. The part where I have trouble with Billie is with some of the things he says to her. I get that they were drawn to each other, but I think it would have helped if there was a little time passed after he would say such hurtful things. Other than that, it was a good light read.
A few months ago I got a chance to read Hayson's debut book Wife in Name Only, I must confess that I thought it was pretty darn good. Now Hayson Manning brings her new book Winning the Boss's Heart. Just like her first book, she still brings the emotional tug, but adds a dash with some lightheartedness. Mason Christian is an all work and no play kind of guy. He basically lives breathes work. However, that all goes out the window when he hires his 42nd assistant, Billie McLeod. Now Billie is a bit of a free-spirit, but wants to establish roots in one area. Plus, she has a dream of finishing up culinary school. Mason would be a stick-in-the-mud kind of guy. He has a tendency to hold on to the past and he has erect these walls to make sure no one penetrates the barriers. The best way to keep things impersonal is calling his assistance by the number they were hired as, so Billie is number 42. By the way did you know there was this baseball player that was 42 that broke through some major barriers when he join the major league. Not that has anything to do with the story. I'm just stating a fact. Back to book thoughts. Anyway, Billie has a tough task working for Mr. Impersonal. Yet, him calling her 42 isn't going stop her from being who she is, oh no she found the perfect way to needle him. Instead of calling him by his first name, she calls him so many different names. For example her are a few of the names she calls him: Grover, Jimbo, Denzel, Philbert, Shaft, and so many more. It's amazing that don't kill each other, but they both start to grow on each other. While one has no problem with the changing of the relationship, the other tries to head for the hills. What better way than to make the other feel insignificant. Honestly, Billie is probably the most rounded character I have ever saw, especially with the lifestyle she grew up with. You would think she would be more of a flake, but she isn't. However, she wants to be embrace by love. Mason is stuck living in the past and he has no clue how to get past it. At the beginning of the story he really didn't want to move from the past, but Billie changes everything. She's sort of the wild card. Overall, a good emotional read with some lightheartedness. So, if you are looking for something like this, you might want to give Winning the Boss's Heart. Copy provided by publisher
I wish he were my boss... This book has every element I love in an easy-read romance; passion, intimacy, wit and emotion with characters to fall in love with, a journey that is captivating and in a descriptively beautiful setting. Property developer Mason Christian is to tact and diplomacy what I am to ballet dancing (I am no ballerina). He's a bossy, driven, stubborn workaholic, but my goodness, is the man sexy. Underneath the harsh exterior is a loveable man hiding his pain and who makes you wish you could delve into the book and give him a huge cuddle to take it away (amongst many other unprintable things ). Billie Mcleod is smart, quirky, witty, kind and not afraid to argue back. She's not without her insecurities but they're realistic and the type we women understand. She agrees to be Mr. Grumpy's 42nd assistant but unlike the previous 41, he meets his match... I absolutely loved them both to bits. Their bickering and banter made me laugh, their horizontal activities were full of passion and as they grew to know each other my heartstrings were pulled, I was frustrated and it was touching and heartwarming. It's a fabulous book that leaves you completely satisfied, with a smile on your face and is one I will read again. The first book I have read from Hayson Manning won't be the last. It goes without saying that I definitely recommend.
A temporary arrangement that blazes with heat from the very beginning. Mason is looking to refurbish this estate and move on. He needs an assistant for only 12 weeks so the job can be finished in time. Billie is looking for a temporary arrangement where she can make money to go to college. This job opportunity sounds almost perfect... until you factor in the chemistry they both feel. This story was heartwarming, sensual, and extremely sensitive to the topic of losing a child. Mason is the broken man - broken by the loss of his daughter and the dissolution of his first marriage. All he is interested in is working, keeping his mind busy so he does not have to think about his feelings, and being able to sleep at night. Although he keeps busy, his thoughts still plague him and sleep eludes him. Billie's influence on Mason is obvious from the very beginning of their strange arrangement. She is so full of love and empathy, she could rally anyone to happiness. I love how she handles Mason and brings him around kicking an screaming, so to speak, so he can face life, his feelings and finally become a worthy member of society. This book is a fantastic one day read full of entertainment. Tastefully sensual, this romantic story will leave you smiling.
Billie McLeod is in for the journey of her life. She’s hired to be a personal assistant to a wealthy real estate mogul. Mason Christian wanted nothing more than a personal assistant to be organized and at his beck and call. Unfortunately, he hired Billie. As Forty-two, the forty second assistant Mr. Christian has had, Billie brings her vivacious charm and wit to all situations. She realizes that the tyrant boss is really masking deep seeded pain. She doesn’t know what it is, but she’s determined to find out and try to save the community from his retched plans. This book is delightful! It is well paced, with characters that make you want to invite them to dinner. The banter between Billie and Mason puts a smile on your face, and an ‘atta girl’ in your heart. The reawakening of Mason will touch the hearts of all romantics. Billie’s persistence in the face of adversity is commendable; from making Mason face his demons, to giving him a way to save face with his business connections. Billie has Mason’s back while he’s still fighting to keep her away from his heart. I can’t wait to see what’s next on tap for Hayson Manning!
I was not sure what to expect when I started this book. I am glad I read it! It was a great piece of work. I love the characters, especially Billie. She is so quirky and down-to-earth. I truly love a book that has snarky female characters.