Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
☆.•*´¨`*•• ••*´¨`*•.☆REVIEW☆.•*´¨`*•• ••*´¨`*•.☆
Most Eligible Bastard is an enemies-to-lovers gem that had me laughing one moment and genuinely shocked, to the point of tears, the next. This Romantic Comedy had a very serious subject matter within the story and I loved the moments of levity that lightened what could have been a more somber story. I only wish Bernadette, Smucker’s owner, had been in the story a little longer, she was certainly an eccentric character that made me laugh more than once. I need to practice my contemptuous hand wave to get it just right, I can still picture Bernadette doing it. I loved this little gem and still laugh when I remember all the zany antics Vicky manages to pull off.
For the last three years Vicky has been acting like a dog whisperer to Smuckers, a Maltese she inadvertently befriended. Acting, being the operative word, despite denying her inability to communicate with dogs, Bernadette Locke, Smucker’s owner, was convinced otherwise. So Vicky had played along, telling Bernadette what she wanted to hear on behalf of her one and only friend, to comfort the dying woman. Vicky fell into the role of dog whisperer by accident; she actually made her living selling cute doggie accessories through Etsy. She and her sixteen year old sister, Carly had moved to NYC a few years ago and money was tight. Bernadette had offered Carly a dog walking gig, to get closer to Vicky, and she accepted.
Estranged from her only son, and hated by virtually everyone who came in contact with her, it came as no surprise to Vicky that Bernadette left her Smuckers in her will. What did come as a surprise was that she was the head of the Locke Foundation and owner of fifty-one percent of Locke Worldwide, a multi-billion dollar corporation. Or rather, Smucker’s was the new owner, since she left everything to her beloved companion.
Henry, and the entire Locke family, had been ghosted by Bernadette ten years ago, over an unfortunate incident that he’d apologized for repeatedly over the years. His mother had been a cold woman throughout his childhood and he’d been convinced she never loved him. After the will is read he was convinced Vicky’s a grifter, a con artist that scammed Bernadette. Why else would she leave everything to her dog, instead of her son? Including a valuable seat on the board of directors with the power to veto. Or rather Vicky had a seat, as Smucker’s voice, the scammer was the one with all the power.
Henry and others on the board decide to hire a PI; convinced he’d find something hidden in her past, some dirt to put her away, since buying her off didn’t work. In the meantime, he’d have to spend more time with the little thief; he was convinced she had something up her sleeve. He couldn’t believe Vicky is just an innocent bystander, as she claimed, and had been helping Bernadette without knowing who she was. One way to get closer to her was to pour on the charm and see if he could trap and catch her that way. Or rather that was the plan until he started to see a side of Vicky he never expected.
“Henry is like the hottest and most charming vacuum cleaner salesman who ever came to your door. And you invite him in and you let him show you the vacuum, how well it cleans and how all of the attachments work. And you see that he loves this vacuum, and his love for the vacuum makes him insanely desirable. And you guys laugh and have fun cleaning the carpet. And it’s nice.
And you keep telling yourself it’s not about you—he just wants to sell you that vacuum cleaner. That is his only motive! Except it’s getting harder and harder to remember that.”
Vicky tries hard to not to fall for Henry’s charm but it becomes harder when it’s obvious they’re both attracted to each other. Poor Vicky! There’s a reason she and her sister had moved to the city, to escape her ugly past. A past she doesn’t want anyone to find out about, a least of all Henry. She doesn’t know if she can live with the shame, should it come out and become public, again. Henry begins to lose the tough exterior he’d built to protect himself, to hide years of hurt caused by Bernadette, the more he’s around Vicky. Could he have been wrong about her?
She glares at me now. “I can’t believe you tried to strip poor Smuckers of his vote. Do you have no decency?”
“When it comes to protecting this company?” I say. “No.”
Her gaze intensifies. “Just no?”
“None at all,” I say. “No decency whatsoever. Nada, if you will.”
Her pretty lips part. It’s shock. Maybe a little bit awe.
I give her an amused smile, adjusting my jacket sleeve over my cuff just so. The suit was tailored by a man who charges three hundred bucks an hour and is worth every penny.
“Uh,” she says. “You think you’re all that? You’re not.”
“Oh, I am all that,” I say. “I very much am. And for the record, I will crush you in the end.”
“Smuckers had this medication once,” she says. “We tried to hide it in his food, and he spit it out. No matter what we did, he’d spit it out.” She puts one finger on the paper with the new amendment and slides it back across the desk. “Smuckers doesn’t like when people try to fool him. That’s his message for you.”
“I have a message for Smuckers.” I put my finger on it and slide it back across to her. “Smuckers needs to know that we have a private investigator on this case. Smuckers might not have very nice food to eat if you ended up in prison.”
Finally she looks scared.
Brett swoops in. “I say we settle this. One-time offer from me personally.” He writes the number—$4,500,000.00. “This offer expires in two minutes.”
My heart pounds. She needs to take offer. We’ve shown how close she can come to losing everything.
She looks at the paper.
She’s all alone caring for that sister of hers. She’s poor—we have her banking information; we know it for a fact. She has every reason in the world to take it. Yet she hesitates.
“This is our last offer,” Brett says. “After this, we’ll take the company from you, and you’ll get nothing.”
She raises her brown eyes to me. It’s me she’s really dealing with. I like that she knows that.
“You know what Smuckers hates even more than being fooled?” she says.
My heart pounds. She almost lost everything to me, and now she’s going to tell me a dog story?
“He hates being threatened,” she says. “And bullied. He really, really hates it.”
“Well he’s going to have to get used to it,” I hear myself saying. “He’s used to bubbles and bows and sunny parks but he’s in the jungle now. There are animals who are faster and stronger and smarter than he is. Animals who will dominate him easily—savagely, even.”
“Then you don’t know Smuckers very well.”
“Oh, I know all about Smuckers, and I’d suggest he practice rolling over. Baring his belly for the superior predator.” I lower my voice. “Begging sweetly for mercy.”
The color heightens in her face. This shouldn’t be fun.
But oh, it is.
I keep going. “Smuckers may think he can request packets and bylaws and get up to speed, but he can’t compete here. He doesn’t have the skills.”
“Smuckers thinks owning fifty-one percent is the best skill to have,” she says.
Amazon US➜ http://amzn.to/2zfhkbt
Amazon UK➜ http://amzn.to/2zgCCbk
GooglePlay Alert ➜ http://eepurl.com/c7ngpz
ADD to your TBR➜ http://geni.us/BeIcB