I've had the pleasure over the past years to read many Mills and Boon and Harlequin debut books. Secret History of a Good Girl is Aimee Carson's debut and I never would have guessed. It was a captivating romance, well crafted, with interesting secondary characters. I couldn't put it down so in the end, I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning until I finished it. All I can say is incredible!
Her hero was a handsome and rich hotelier, Paulo Domingues. He had left the family business, Domingues International to start his own boutique chain of hotels.. There were several reasons he left. His entire life he had been compared to his older brother, had fought for his father's attention, and his wife Bianca had left him and married his older brother. Talk about drama! On top the that, when his father died, he left the entire business to Marco, his brother. Paulo became a success on his own and now he was getting ready for the grand opening of the Samba Hotel. However, he had a problem, his event planner had quit her job so he was in the process of interviewing for a new planner.
Alyssa Hunt, the heroine had her own story. She grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, her mother was 14 when she was born. When there was a shortage of money, from the age of six when they had no food, her mother taught her how toshop lift food. As she grew older, she was arrested twice for stealing. She did the crime but she also served her time. When she got out of jail, a woman took her under her wing, got her a scholarship to go to a high class college and a catering job. Ass you read Alyssa's story, you'll learn about another disaster, one that almost ruined her. Now, rich people intimidated her but she was determined to move forward, work hard and make her event business well known and a success. However when people found out about her record, some of them cancelled their events.
She had an interview with Paulo at the Samba and she wasn't going to let anything or anyone get in her way of getting the job or ruining her dream..Their initial meeting was interesting. Paulo didn't feel Alyssa had enough experience and Alyssa was determined. After arguing back and forth, he finally gave in and demanded a proposal for the Mayor's Birthday to be presented first thing the next day. She pulled a fast one, lifted the original proposal made copies, and reworked it. He was stunned because after looking at the security cameras he couldn't see how she snagged the original file. And then her background check, of course, came back negative. Like he told his best friend Nick, "she wanted me to find out". So, Paulo took a chance and had her reporting directly to him. Alyssa was a workaholic and determined to make Paulo eat his words. The way she now looked at life, the past was behind her and she looked to a successful future.
Working side by side, they got to know each other well. Of course Paulo had questions which at first she skated around but there was one thing for sure, they lusted after each other. Alyssa went after events that Paulo thought she couldn't pull off but she proved him wrong every step of the way. She got a Hollywood couple's wedding; the publicity the hotel earned was astounding. The passion and sparks couldn't be denied and when they finally came together, let's just say it was an erotic adventure in the hotels elevator! he he
The secondary characters.......her mother, his Chief of Ops, his brother Marco, BFF Nick and his ex-wife Bianca were fabulous. I'm hoping Aimee will write Nick's story and Marco and Bianca's, at least. However, the main focus of this powerful and sensual love story was communication, respect, and first and foremost, trust. Without trust, how can a relationship survive? And thanks to this new incredible author Aimee Carson they got their happy ending due to the interaction between Nick and Paulo, Alyssa and his talk with his brother. They helped to give Paulo the happy ending he so deserved and the strength to go after the woman he loved. Secret History of a Good Girl is also part of the Unbuttoned by a Rebel miniseries and a book I honestly will long remember.
Play with fire…
Miami hotel tycoon Paulo Domingues knows that beneath his events planner’s southern priss, Alyssa Hunt is all sass. Little Miss Prim has Paulo’s inner rebel roaring to life – he’s determined to seduce the fire out from behind it!
And you might get burnt!
Tough-cookie Alyssa hasn’t fought tooth and nail to shake off her past to be blindsided by one smooth-talking boss. Until, punch-drunk with desire, she succumbs to temptation and realises what she’s been missing out on! But will Miami’s most wanted bachelor run when he discovers the real reason behind her good-girl façade…?
Secret History of a Good Girl will be released as a Harlequin Presents Extra on February 7th, 2012.