Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress

Available in stores

A Waldenbooks top 10 series romance bestseller

Mills & Boon Modern Heat

17 September 2009

ISBN: 9780263872507

 

Harlequin Presents

January 2010

ISBN: 9780373128891

Cold, 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, the 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 it will take more than a week to thaw her boss's buried heart - though with passion this hot, anything is possible!

Also released as:

  • US large print paperback, Jan 2010, ISBN: 9780373128891
  • Australian paperback, Dec 2009, ISBN: 9780733596896

 


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. Lightbulb. 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.

The book's soundtrack

Of course I listened to Norwegian music - particularly Lene Marlin, Silje Nergaard, and Grieg. But there were some tracks I played over and over for this one.

  • Anna Nalick - Breathe (2 a.m.)
  • Badfinger - Sweet Tuesday Morning
  • Bach, French Suites (Joanna MacGregor)

Read a Bit

CHAPTER ONE

'Matt rang in first thing this morning. The kids have brought a bug home from school and he's been throwing up practically all night - he doesn't think he'll be back until Friday at the earliest,' Judith explained apologetically.

It was much better that the head of the legal department should stay at home rather than struggle into work and share the virus with his colleagues. Jake had no problem with that. He didn't bother asking about Adam, because he already knew where Matt's second in command was. On paternity leave.

Babies and kids everywhere.

Everywhere except...

He pushed the thought away. With Matt away, he needed to make alternative arrangements. 'So that leaves Lydia and Tim.'

'I'm sorry.' The secretary made a face, looking embarrassed. 'They're both at lunch right now.'

'Don't keep apologising. It's not your fault.' Jake frowned. He could reschedule the trip to Norway, but he was keen to get this deal sorted. And out of the two remaining members of the legal team... Tim could talk the talk, all right, but he didn't have Lydia's experience or knowledge; and he was perhaps a little too hungry for results. Jake needed someone calm, someone confident, someone who would pay attention to detail.

It looked as if two out of three would be the best he was going to get.

'Lydia will have to do. Ask her to come and see me when she gets back from lunch, would you, please?'

'Yes, Mr Ande-'

'Jake,' he cut in gently. 'We don't do formality at Andersen's.' It was the first thing he'd changed, the day his father retired and he took over as CEO: dropping the formality and opening things up a bit. But, nearly two years later, some of the staff still hadn't quite got used to calling the boss by his first name.

'Yes, M- Jake,' the secretary corrected herself quickly.

'Thank you, Judith.' He gave her a swift smile, and headed for his office.

***

Lydia will have to do.

That said it all.

And it rankled, even though Lydia acknowledged the justice of the remark. Jakob Andersen was sharp enough to know exactly what was going on in every single division of the company. To know what every member of his staff was capable of doing, to know what worked and what didn't, and where things needed moving around. He'd spent six months working in each department before he'd taken over as CEO, so he knew what every part of the company did and what challenges his employees faced. Anyone who'd been tempted to grumble that he'd only walked into the job because he was the boss's son had quickly changed their minds. Jake wasn't a delegator who spent all his time wafting around or in long lunches. He was a hands-on leader who saw what needed doing and made sure it was done efficiently and, if need be, he rolled up his sleeves and did it himself.

So doubtless he'd already spotted that Lydia Sheridan just wasn't cut out to be a corporate lawyer.

Lydia had the right background and the right training. What she didn't have was the shark instinct.

She'd been trying to kid herself for years. Trying to be the child her parents had wanted. Trying to be the person everyone else wanted her to be. Now, maybe, she thought, it was time to stop trying and just be herself.

So she would go to see Jake, at his request. But she had a feeling that he wasn't going to like what she was going to say. Because Lydia Sheridan wasn't going to 'do' at all.

'Oh good, Lydia, you're back,' Judith said as she walked into the reception area. 'The CEO just came by - he wants to see you asap.'

'Sure.' Lydia summoned a smile. It wasn't Judith's fault that Lydia wasn't cut out for her job, so she wasn't going to take out her frustrations on the departmental secretary. 'I'll go now.'

When she reached Jake's office, his door was wide open, but she knocked anyway.

He looked up from his desk. 'Come in. Take a seat.'

As always, she found herself assessing him, itching to pick up pastels and a sketchpad and start drawing him. Jakob Andersen was simply beautiful. His piercing blue eyes demanded - no, commanded - attention and, teamed with his dark spiky hair and pale Nordic skin, were absolutely stunning. Though his face was maybe a little too thin and angular, and the slight dark smudges beneath his eyes said that he drove himself too hard. Since his two-month sabbatical, eighteen months before, he'd put in ridiculous hours. From what Lydia had heard, he was always the first one in the office and the last to leave.

What was he running from?

Not that it was any of her business. Besides, she wasn't supposed to be wool-gathering. He'd summoned her; which no doubt meant he needed her to sort out some legal nicety for him.

She sat down on the chair he'd indicated. 'Judith said you wanted to see me.'

'I have to go to Norway tomorrow to sort out some contracts. I need you to come with me.'

Abrupt, and straight to the point.

Only… she wasn't quite buying this. Not after what she'd heard him say to Judith. And, given the reason she'd already decided to see him, she didn't need to be polite and pussyfoot around. She could be just as straight - all the way back. 'You need me.'

He frowned, clearly picking up the scorn in her tone. 'Yes.'

'That's a bit hard to believe,' she said.

His frown deepened. 'Meaning?'

'I overhead you saying that I'd have to do.'

He leaned back in his chair and raked a hand through his hair. 'Ah. That.'

At least he wasn't denying it.

'Actually, I didn't mean it quite in that way,' he said.

'No?'

'No. I admit, you're not my first choice,' he said. 'I'd arranged to go with Matt, but he's off sick and Adam's away. I know that both of them have dealt with this kind of thing before, and Matt speaks Norwegian, so it would have saved some time. But it's no matter. I'll translate for you, where necessary.'

'There's no need.'

It was his turn to question her. 'You speak Norwegian?'

'No. I was going to come and see you anyway, this afternoon,' she said quietly. 'To hand in my notice.'

He blinked, obviously taken by surprise. 'Why?'

'Because you're right. I'm not cut out to be a corporate lawyer.'

'I didn't say that. At all.' He looked straight at her. 'Your work is meticulous, Lydia.'

Because she made damn sure it was. It was a point of pride. Her work wasn't the problem. She was. 'I'm not like Tim - I'm not hungry to win.'

'Tim,' he said, 'would be completely the wrong lawyer for this deal. He needs to tone down.'

What? Weren't all corporate lawyers supposed to be driven, hungry for success? 'How do you mean, tone down?' she asked carefully.

'He needs to be able to sum up a situation quickly and know the right tactics to use - when to take it softly and when to push. If you go in with high-pressure tactics in Norway, you'll lose out. I need someone who's calm and competent, who knows the facts and will cut through the hype, and who'll meet deadlines and commitments.' He ticked the requirements off on his fingers. 'Someone straightforward. From what Matt tells me of your work, you're perfectly capable of all that, or you wouldn't be working at Andersen's.' His gaze met hers. 'Your problem is, you lack confidence.'

How would he know? Although she was aware that he'd spent time working in the legal department, it had been before she'd joined the company. She'd only ever worked with him on projects as part of a larger team, never one-to-one.

Before she had the chance to protest, he added, 'You're good enough to do the job; you just don't think you are. You need to work on that. I'll tell Adam to add that to your objectives at your next appraisal and send you on some assertiveness training.'

Businesslike and to the point. And Lydia felt as if she'd been steamrollered. This wasn't how the conversation was supposed to go. At all. He thought she'd got cold feet, was having a minor confidence wobble? That wasn't the half of it. 'I was trying to resign,' she reminded him.

'I know. And I'm not accepting your resignation. Apart from the fact that the legal team is under strength right now - so it'd put us in a mess if I let you go - you do your job well. So there's no reason for you to leave.' He rested both elbows on his desk, steepling his fingers, and looked her straight in the eye. 'Unless you've had a better offer elsewhere?'

From the book Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress by Kate Hardy.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Modern Heat Romance
Publication Date: September 2009
ISBN: 9780263872507
Copyright © 2009 by Pamela Brooks
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information surf to http://www.eHarlequin.com

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Reviews

From Romantic Times: 4.5 stars

Corporate lawyer Lydia Sheridan longs to be a working artist. She's ready to resign her post, but CEO Jakob Anderson needs her assistance on a weeklong job in Norway. Then, if she still wants to leave, he'll wish her the best. Although the two have their own personal baggage, they find they're wildly attracted to each other and indulge in a whirlwind affair. But after Norway will they be able to go their separate ways? This tale begins as a fun and flirty romance that deepens emotionally as Lydia and Jakob open up to each other. Interwoven descriptions of the sights and sounds of Norway add a wonderful ambiance to the story.

From cataromance: 4.5 stars

Kate Hardy's latest novel for Mills and Boon Modern Heat, Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress, is a moving tale about learning to trust again and unexpected romance that I devoured in a single sitting! I love Kate Hardy's books and Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress is certainly one of this award-winning author's best romances for Mills and Boon! Kate Hardy not only manages to recreate the beautiful Norwegian landscape in this book, but she has also created two wonderfully humane characters that just leap off the page and capture the reader's imagination instantly. With a believable conflict, poignant drama, powerful emotional depth and enchanting romance, Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress is yet another terrific romantic tale from the pen of this talented award-winning author! Don't miss it! (Read the full review here)

From Pink Heart Society:

Two scarred souls find romance under the breathtaking Northern Lights in the latest romance by best-selling author Kate Hardy: Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress. When you pick up a novel by Kate Hardy, you know that you're going to get an emotional and dramatic tale full of warmth, charm and heart and Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress is no exception. Poignant, moving and wonderfully romantic, Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress is just the thing to brighten up the cold autumn nights!

From Marilyn's Romance Reviews:

...so full of passion it sizzles off the pages and has such delightful warmth. 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... 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.

From amazon.com

I love Kate Hardy's earlier books and this latest is one of if not the best. Jakob and Lydia, both carrying personal secrets that keep them alone and stuck, commit to a 7 day relationship in which they will speak what each is keeping hidden and, hopefully, lessen its power over their lives. The plot is skillfully woven as Hardy chooses the most salient details of their lives to move the story forward through very difficult memories. Much of the story takes place in Norway and the setting not only adds romance but also keeps the reader busy planning her own trip!

What they're saying on e-harlequin

  • I enjoyed the unusual setting, loved the ice castle - had friends who stayed at one in Canada. Thought the cancer issue was well done. . . a wonderful book.
  • I liked this one. The settings were fun, the story nice and warm, fuzzy and a neat location to boot. Some interesting little twists in this one too. Jakob was wonderful and Lydia was interesting
  • Crying because a scene is just perfect makes the book breath taking. This book was amazing. I think I am particularly fond of it because my husband battled testicular cancer before we were together, this subject just so happens to be touched on in this book. The emotions that Jake and Lydia faced were very much real emotions and played the same way that take place in real life. The book and the 7 day love affair in the book are absolutely amazing. Awesome read.
  • I want to see both the Hero and heroine POV and Hardy delivers this well. I loved the Norwegian setting and the descriptions of places they visited in this story. This is Hardy at some of her best writing. She threw a lot at her protagonists, but is all so believable - this is a stellar story.
  • I really love this author's books. It was really interesting that this story took place in an unusual setting. This was a very good read.

 

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