Once upon a time, I had everything: money, power, a multimillion-dollar company, a loving family. Well, at least I thought I had everything. Then my parents died, and I found out my whole life was based on a lie. That’s pretty much the moment when I went numb. Told the world to f*** off and went on a bender of epic proportion, just to see how far I could fall before I hit rock-bottom.
Now I’m back and all I want in this world is my morning—okay, afternoon—coffee. Then one of my employees has the nerve to call me out for cutting the line at the coffeehouse at the company I own. Sure, I’m a little scruffier than usual, but come on, bitching out the CEO? Not a smart career move. Just who does this smart-mouthed ball-buster think she is? And more important, what do I have to do to get her number?
Holland O’Dell may be uptight, but I wouldn’t mind taking her back to my place and ripping off that business-casual blouse/skirt combo and burying myself in her curves. She pushes my buttons, but at least I’m feeling something. And whatever it is, I won’t stop until I get more.
Oliver has never been particularly spoiled, but he’s also never wanted for anything. To be fair, Oliver earned everything he has. As a young elite athlete looking to improve his performance, Oliver and his dad developed soft and hardware to aid athletes. The inventions revolutionized the sports industry and Oliver and his dad became incredibly wealthy businessmen. Now in his twenties, Oliver has become restless and with the blessing of his parents has taken a leave of absence to see where he wants to next phase of his life to be. Life on the beach and in the bar is pretty fantastic and Oliver has no intention of coming home until he has to.
Oliver’s homecoming is under the worst of circumstances and he spirals down into a pit of denial and depression. As he’s drowning his sorrows in liquor and denial, his company is in trouble yet no amount of begging and/or pleading on the part of his executive team can pull him out of his funk. What does pull him out of his funk is the sassy woman in the company coffee shop who not only tells him off, but is secretly working on a new design that will single-handedly pull his company out of its own downward spiral. Her idea is excellent, but she needs a technical expert to help her clean up the design. Oliver is both willing and able to help her out as long as she continues talking to him and helping him come back to life.
Holland O’Dell is about as motivated as a girl can be. Her life is literally planned on paper and every step, every action is calculated and geared toward achieving her goals. If she can pull off this secret project, she stands to advance her career in a huge way. Holland is smart enough to know she needs help with certain aspects of the project, but it rankles having to ask for help. When help comes in the form of a mystery man with some serious skill, Holland sees him as the lesser evil and accepts his help. It isn’t until she’s in serious lust with Oliver and ready to pitch the project that she finds out who he really is and the situation becomes, shall we say, complicated.
Oliver’s return to work, his desire to see his company succeed, the success of the “secret” project, and his budding relationship with Holland revive Oliver in a way nothing else could. He’s tired, he’s burning the candle at both ends to fix problems at his company, but he’s also ridiculously happy with Holland and their life together. Right up to the moment it all goes to hell, Oliver is convinced things in his world are perfect. For Holland’s part, she likes Oliver a great deal, and her new promotion is a sweet deal, but she just can’t get past the feeling she really didn’t earn the position. To be sure, for the first few weeks are pure bliss, but Holland allows her old doubts and fears to creep in and override her logic and reasoning, not to mention, her heart. Before she even really understands what she’s giving up, Holland cuts all ties with Oliver. Unfortunately, as Holland quickly discovers there’s more at stake than just two broken hearts.
The Bottom Line: I am well and truly on the fence with this read. I think my hesitation at truly liking this read revolves around Holland and her attitude. From the very beginning, Holland’s attitude is somewhat ridiculous with her deep-seated need to do and accomplish absolutely everything on her with no help from anyone else. Rather than behaving like an adult, Holland allows her doubts and fears to override everything else which leads to some very poor decisions. Quite frankly, Holland is an off-putting character who I disliked more and more as the story progressed. Conversely, even with all his problems and questionable judgement, I really liked Oliver quite a lot. He was dealt a tremendous amount of crap in a short period of time and just did the best he could to deal with everything, even Holland’s crap. In the final analysis, Mr. Big is an all right read which probably doesn’t need to go at the top of your TBR list, but probably shouldn’t fall off the list completely either.
I write about emotional connection and intimacy, and love giving readers smart, sexy books to curl up with.