Monday, January 04, 2010


Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress by Kate Hardy is so full of passion it sizzles off the pages and has such delightful warmth.

Jake Andersen stepped into his CEO position when his father retired. However, he just didn’t assume the top position, he was the kind of man who worked in all departments, got to know the staff and made the office environment informal. He was beyond a hard working CEO; he was a man who had deprived himself of pleasure and relaxation. It was his way of not remembering what he had faced and the lost months and the secrets he was hiding. Now he was faced with an important business deal in Norway and needed one of his attorneys. However, both were unavailable so he needed to count on a junior staffer, Lydia Sheridan. While going over their game plan for the deal they were about to present, Jake realizes he’s very attracted to Lydia, but he’s her boss and then he formulates a plan which he feels would benefit them both, a week long affair.

There were only two people in Lydia Sheridan’s life she could count on…..her godmother and her best friend. And now she’s at a crossroad in her life. Since she was a child she has tried to please her parents, she’d given up her dream to become an artist and became a lawyer instead because it was expected of her by her parents. She’s always felt they never loved her and nothing she could ever do would please them. On top of everything else when asked by the CEO of Andersen Marine to accompany him on a business trip to Norway and take extra time off to see the sights, she’s not sure what to make of the offer. She finds him to be the most handsome man she’s ever met and when the attraction becomes too much and he offers her a week of passion and an adventure which will end when they return to London; she can’t refuse.

Their lives were so different from each other……Jake’s from a supportive and loving family, parents, grandparents, cousins who adored him and worried about him. Lydia just the opposite, had parents who never attended the special events in her life, never showed any emotion, were controlling and made her feel so unloved. Now on this business trip her boss, her very sexy boss has offered her time to explore her feelings, have an affair full of passion, talk things out, be a sounding board for each other and in the end, they can both walk away and he’ll accept her resignation because she’s explained she wants to chase her dream of becoming an artist.

After the business was finished their time and the beginning of their affair was magical. It wasn’t just the magic of the country itself, it was their time spent talking, loving, sharing and it was Jake’s realizing the hurtful childhood Lydia had experienced and trying in his small way to make their time together special. And Lydia realizing how beautiful and special Jake was and embracing his secret and through her art and sketching him and healing him without him even realizing it.

For me personally, Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress made me take stock of my life and my career choices. I wish years ago I had read this very powerful love story which makes one realize they can follow their dream. Why one might ask? Because we all make choices based on family and others and sometimes not for our own personal needs. Lydia lived her life for her parents and gave up so much and finally she had the courage to leave a respected profession as a lawyer and take a chance on being an artist and loosing what was left of her relationship with her parents. It makes one question their own personal choices in love and career and what’s important.

And then there was Jake, the brilliant, handsome man who was loved by family and friends, unlike Lydia. The very same man who couldn’t get past what had been dealt to him in life, the cancer. Even though part of their affair was to be honest, talk things out, share and in the end walk away and be better people because of their week together, he failed them both and realized it too little too late.

Its obvious Jake and Lydia were meant to be together but it took some time for Jake the man who had respect from his peers and the love of family to realize how much she meant to him. Author Kate Hardy’s talent shines through as she provides her readers with a magnificent ending and a few surprises in the final chapters of Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress.

Behind the Book
I've always, always wanted to see the Northern Lights. The next best thing to doing something is writing about it... so I had the fun of persuading my editor that the frozen north is verrry sexy. Yes, I know Presents/Modern Heat readers love Mediterranean men - but this would be different. Glamorous and sexy, but different.

Then I told her my hero was a reindeer farmer. We were drinking champagne at the time, so she thought I was teasing. When she realised I was totally serious, negotiating started in earnest. NO REINDEER. So we compromised. He'd be a shipping magnate, but I'd get my Northern fantasy. Complete with ice hotel (James Bond).
But I was writing the book just before Christmas, and there were reindeer in the city centre. I had to go and see them. And then they ended up in the book. (I hid them where she couldn't take them out.) And then, at revision stage, I sneaked in four more. The way I see it, if you're getting married in the arctic, how else are you going to get to the church? (I was also writing this book when we had a major cold snap, so to research exactly what it felt like inside an ice hotel, all I had to do was step outside my front door, because it was the same temperature. Minus four Celsius.)
So. We have Jakob the shipping magnate, who's hiding a deep dark secret; and Lydia, his lawyer, who's tried too hard to please everyone else and is about to rebel spectacularly. (Ohhh. Light bulb. I've just realised: this is my rebel book - except it's the heroine rather than the hero who's the rebel. Of sorts.) Can they overcome their pasts and risk a future together?
I loved writing this. I drove the entire family bananas - we were eating Norwegian food (sadly, I was the only one who liked gjetost, so I had to eat it all myself) and I was trying to talk them into taking our summer holiday in Norway, except in February rather than summer as it's the best month to see the Northern Lights. But then my husband discovered what the temperature in Norway is, during February... so I'm still negotiating that one.
I also had a great conversation with my fellow Modern Heat authors about vodka - I prefer wine to spirits, so I had to talk to some people who do actually like the stuff, in order to find out what my heroine would be drinking in the ice hotel and exactly what it tastes like. Kimberly Lang came up with the goods for me: vanilla vodka. Cheers, Kim! And thanks also to Heidi Rice for sharing Finland with me and reminding me about the different sorts of snow.
As Lydia is an artist, some of this book is quite visual, so I'd recommend looking up Edvard Munch's Madonna.

It's dedicated to my friend and fellow Mills and Boon author, Nicola Cornick, who let me grill her about her own adventures in Spitzberg and answered all the weird questions that authors come up with when they get the chance to grill someone.
Book Description:

Cool, hard business....

Cool Jakob Andersen likes working with extremes, and the frozen plains of Norway suit his business style. But with Lydia Sheridan accompanying him on business, his temperature is about to soar….

Red Hot Passion!

Jakob wants a seven-day affair, and Lydia is finding her resistance melting away. It's hard to keep saying no when her body is screaming yes! But will it take more than a week to thaw her boss's buried heart? With passion this hot, anything is possible!

Knightly Tours offers a great tour to Alaska to see the Northern Lights!

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