All I wanted from him was the truth. I was given everything but. ~Victoria
All I wanted was to know where we stood. But, Victoria is an expert at evasiveness. ~Blaze
Have you read in the papers lately about all of those politicians being caught with high class hookers? I’ve slept with most of those men. You can also believe that if I was still in the business, they would have never been caught with me. No matter what you do in life, professionalism is key.
Working as a high class hooker, then a bartender at the best strip club in NYC, I had been making good money for years.
That was until the night I got the call…
The call that flipped my life upside down…
My best friend and her husband died in a car accident, leaving me the caretaker of their eight-year-old daughter. My life needed to change fast. I managed to secure a position at Townsend Realty Company. My attraction to Mr. Townsend, one of the wealthiest men in America and step-brother to the infamous Hurley family, was instantaneous and overwhelming. But, after five years of nothing but professionalism, I’m convinced he wants nothing to do with me romantically.
I have worked for this man for five years, managing every facet of his life. I’ve been in love with him for five years. When money tightens, I find myself in a tight spot. Then Mr. Townsend makes me an offer that I can’t refuse. Be with him and only him for two grand a week in cash. It’s an offer I can’t and don’t want to refuse.
But what happens when the money is no longer enough? What happens when I want the man as more than a client? What line won’t you cross?
Even ex-hookers draw the line somewhere.
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Miss Victoria Wright
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no saint. I’ve got a walk-in closet full of skeletons. I come from the wrong side of the tracks and spent my whole life trying to cover up just how broken my home was. My mother, when she wasn’t whoring herself out, was busy turning her body into a pin cushion. My father liked to get his cardio by using me as his punching bag. The only thing that was ever in our fridge was beer. In the cabinets, bags of heroin. I went to school hungry often. The most uncomfortable feeling in the world is hunger pains. Impossible to get a good night’s sleep when they strike.
I know who the best dealers in the city are, who the kindest pimps are, where to go for the best time. I can tell you the easiest, quickest way to make money illegally. I’ve received my education on the streets, and I have connections in low places. I walked the streets as a high-class hooker myself for three years before I started working in the best gentlemen’s club in New York City. As soon as I figured out that men were attracted to me physically, I seduced the hell out of anyone that would give me an edge, help me survive. I never thought too closely about what I was doing at the time. Instead, I bucked up, while I fucked and sucked my way across this city. That was all before I got the call…
As far as Kendall, the thirteen-year-old whom I care for, knows, I was life-long besties with Mother Teresa. Drugs? Just say no. Sex? Only appropriate on your wedding night. Your body is a sacred treasure to protect always. She believes that I used to work at a dance club that sold people water when they were thirsty from all their exercise. I color her imagination with Little House on the Prairie-like stories, cover up her vision with Norman Rockwell paintings. And she’ll never know otherwise. Not while I’m alive. She doesn’t need to know those horrors. She’ll get into an Ivy League School and have the life she has always dreamed of- the kind of life you see on Hallmark movies. She will know only the best about her mother and father: how kind they were, how much they worshipped her, how better they made the world by existing. I won’t let their memory fade to little more than dust.
I’m not bitter or angry about my past though, despite what you might think. My parents are both dead, torturing their bodies with years of drug abuse. As their own worst enemies, they punished themselves better than I ever could. But, the real reason I’ve learned to let go of the anger is that I’m still alive. I’m still alive when incredible people like Evalyn and Rich are dead- killed by a drunk driver on their way home from a date night. They’ll never see the woman their daughter will grow up to be, never give her away on her wedding day. How can I hold on to such hate when I’ve been so blessed?
For the past five years, I’ve been raising Kendall. When the police called me to tell me the news, and the social worker told me that I was who Evalyn and Rich wanted to raise their daughter, my life needed to change…fast. I cut everyone out of my life except for one friend, Andrea, who was also friends with Evalyn. Through a connection at the club, a CEO named Chris that had been trying to get in my pants for months, I found out that a wealthy business man in the Finance District was looking for a secretary. Mr. Townsend, one of the wealthiest men in New York and connected to the Hurleys by marriage. In case you’ve been living under a rock, or are far removed from New York, the Hurleys own this city. Buildings are named after them. They whisper in the mayor’s ear. They have a few senators in their pockets if the stories are true. Several generations of their families have been in high political positions since America’s Civil War. Their money is as old as it comes. If the city was human, the Hurleys would be its lungs, breathing out its influence in everyday life. I screwed Chris senseless for a recommendation and an interview and then marched myself into my future boss’ office with a take no prisoners attitude.
I wouldn’t take any of it back, though, because I believe in the butterfly effect. If one single moment was changed, I might not be where I am today. It might not be true, I might have wound up here anyway, but why chance it? I love my life and the people in it, as well as the lessons my friends have taught me along the way. Evalyn showed me the power of unconditional love. Kendall taught me what a purpose filled life felt like. Rich taught me about sacrifice. My other friend, Andrea, taught me about the importance of knowing your self-worth. My former boss, Trent, taught me about what determination can accomplish.
But, my boss, Mr. Townsend…Well, I’m still not sure what he’s taught me, but I will say that if you have to work behind a desk all day long, managing someone else’s life for them, it doesn’t hurt if the man is so sexy you wonder daily if your panties will suddenly burst into flames. He could teach me anything he’d like.
I wouldn’t recommend being in love with your boss for five years; it makes it extremely difficult being at work and doing practically anything. We are two souls from two different worlds who have no business being together, and so I have never tried to be with him. I don’t belong with him; some rich, uptight woman with a tiny dog in her purse who has been fed from a silver spoon all of her life does. Unrequited love also hurts like a bitch.
Mr. Blaze Townsend
My father, Charles Townsend, changed the business world with a simplified mathematical formula that he followed, tripling my family’s worth. He then patented the formula, released it in a series of books and articles, and earned millions. He was an incredible man, a hell of a businessman, and an amazing father before aggressive cancer claimed him. Growing up, there were three principles that my father pounded into my head, three business ideas that he said I should die by. The first was never ever mix business with pleasure. Second, have male secretaries: It’ll keep you from mixing business with pleasure (and keep your wife/girlfriend/lover happy). Third, don’t take work home. When you leave the office, come home and decompress. My father believed firmly that you’d be a better man and ultimately a better businessman if you did so.
I broke the second principle the second Miss Victoria Wright strutted into my office for an interview that was practically shoved down my throat by a business colleague, Chris. She had the job the second she walked through the door. I broke the first principle when I fell in love with her, and I break the third principle every night when I come home fantasizing about her, wanting her. It’s gotten to the point where I now call her into the office after business hours to print up documents or give me some report, claiming I can’t find them on her computer system. I do it just to have a few more hours with her, to pretend that I’m actually part of her life. But, the truth is: I’m an outsider standing out in the cold peering through the house window at her sitting by the fire. I’m not in her life; I’m simply her boss deluding myself that I have any place with her. I am one of the wealthiest men in America. My step-brother, Benjamin Hurley the Third, is tied to the most prestigious and wealthiest name in the country. But, it all seems worthless since Victoria looks at me as no more than her paycheck provider. Sometimes she even flinches at my touch. I try to touch her as little as possible.
Five years I’ve put myself through hell, torturing myself with wanting her. I remain strictly professional with her. The last thing I need is a sexual harassment lawsuit. It’s only now that I realize just how wise my father was. Five years is a long time to want a woman. I have no one to blame but myself.
Five long years.
At this point, I would do anything to be with her.
If the opportunity ever presents itself, if fate ever steps in and lends a hand, I would be with that woman any way I could. At this point, I am beyond all reason. I am a man who wants to be burned by fire. The situation is a six-car pileup on the freeway waiting to happen. I know that. The problem is…I don’t care anymore.
My Review: 4 stars
This was an interesting book. To feel something for someone for 5 years and not do anything about it would be beyond frustrating for me. I can't imagine how Blaze and Victoria managed to stay apart that long. Victoria had a troubled past, to say the least. She is responsible for Kendall, who comes into her life after a terrible tragedy. Blaze thinks that if he just has Victoria for a while, he can get rid of the feelings he has built. When they finally do come together, once the opportunity rises, there are some very hot, sexy scenes. I loved that they both finally admitted how they felt, but then the book ended so abruptly. I was a bit stunned. I also cannot wait to find out what happens next. Do things continue moving forward or not? There are many things left unresolved that I'm looking forward to getting the answers to.
I'm a substitute teacher, graduate school student, mom, and wife by day. I'm a writer by night.
I live in New Jersey with my husband, daughter, and dog. I enjoy finding new inspirational music to add to my playlist for writing.
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