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cover83704-mediumFooling Around

by Noelle Adams

In this steamy novel from New York Times bestselling author Noelle Adams, a notorious tech mogul makes a mild-mannered woman an offer she can’t refuse. What he gets is a battle for control—and a million-dollar affair.

Eric Vincent isn’t in the habit of asking for help. As the founder of a lucrative sports videogame franchise, he’s accustomed to getting his way and enjoying the fruits of his hard-earned success. Then all his illusions of dominance are shattered by a skiing accident that leaves him hobbled, facing a string of surgeries and months of immobility. The only way he’s going to survive is with someone by his side to anticipate his every desire. Someone who will devote every waking second to his comfort. Someone like Julie Nelson . . .

Julie’s life revolves around other people: her students, her parents, her sister. But even she has her limits. Julie has zero interest in playing personal assistant to Eric Vincent, a man who’s as arrogant as he is charismatic . . . until he ups the salary to one million dollars for three months’ work. Soon Julie’s struggling to bite her tongue—and resist the chemistry that draws her to Eric. But after one scorching kiss, Julie decides it’s finally her turn to be selfish. And this time, she’s going to get what she wants.

(BTW, there is a minor spoiler for the ending below so stop reading if you don’t want to know.  But it is just a tiny thing.)

I was surprised at how much I liked this story.  Usually these contrived situations (and a Cinderella-esque love story) just don’t play out all that well, but Adams does a good job of giving readers people to like and a plot that works.

Eric may seem like he has everything (and he is a bit of a poor-little rich boy) but he does have troubles of his own.  And time spent with Julie, with some hard-hitting heart-to-hearts, has him looking at the man he is and why he lives his life the way he does.  Those same heart-to-hearts also has Julie looking a little deeper at her own motivations.  They are good for each other and grow closer as they are forced to spend a lot of time together.

I like that while Eric makes some minor changes, he doesn’t do a beast to prince transformation.  Instead, he learns to look a little deeper at his reactions to certain situations.  Julie gets to know him as he was – gruffness, spoiled moments, and all – and she likes him anyway.  She sees the caring and intelligent man he is as well and that while he has his faults he has his good side too.

Julie has the more obvious growth thanks to her time with Eric.  She learns to be a little more selfish (in a good way) and to stop avoiding the things she wants.  I think that my favorite thing is that after she starts on that path to finding her own life, she continues even with Eric in the picture.  She doesn’t let their romance stop her from getting her own apartment (for the first time in years) and figuring out how to be independent after all the time spent taking care of other people.

While it is still a little bit of a fairytale, with the rich man falling for his servant, it’s got the growth needed for both and a chance for them to be the support each other needs.