Secret Intentions
by Caitlyn Nicholas, contemporary (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 1-60504-197-1


Secret Intentions is the story of Zaniah Best who, upon the urging of and with the aid of her brother, gets herself hired as the personal assistant of wealthy sod Corbin le Joli de Villiers de Saint Marc. You see, her father believes that Corbin is using some shady methods to orchestrate a management buyout that will leave him without a job. Therefore, Zani the boat designer is going to play the PA in order to find any information that will prove that Corbin is leaking confidential information in his bid to take over the company.

I have to warn you guys, Secret Intentions is more of a screwball comedy than a romantic suspense. I went into this story expecting something more sober only to realize that it's something that is better off enjoyed after consuming a considerable amount of strong beverage first. If I know that this is going to be a celebration of an incompetent heroine falling in love, I'd have avoided this story in the first place because I detest incompetent heroines nyuk-nyuking their way into love because the heroes find them so cute and precious when they mouth off in what is supposed to be a sassy and feisty way.

When Zani goes for an interview with Corbin, for example, she is already mouthing off to him in a manner that I suspect is supposed to mirror some banter in a classic black-and-white romantic comedy, only that I find the whole scene ridiculous. Shouldn't a woman bent on deception try to pass herself off as, you know, a competent PA so that she can get hired by her target? Of course, one can argue that Zani is an amateur and she's not really keen on taking this gig in the first place, so maybe she can't be blamed for being silly. But I don't know what to think when she later screws up spectacularly, like hunting for documents in Corbin's office when he's still in there, only she can't spot him at first. This is one story where the hero falls in love with the heroine because she's an incompetent twit.

Needless to say, this is not my idea of a good read and Ms Nicholas hasn't done enough here to make me change my mind.

Rating: 56


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