Julia: Shilling samples at a grocery store isn’t exactly my dream job. Yet here I am, tray in hand and fake smile plastered on my face. The one highlight is seeing him. I don’t know his name, but if I did, I’d scream it during the naughty dreams he inspires. He’s crazy handsome, all confidence and an air of power. He’s never said a word to me. Never even looked in my direction. Then one day he literally falls at my feet. Now I have his wallet. I know where he lives. And I’ve found the nude photos of him online.
It’s not the bruschetta on her tray he really wants to taste. . . .
Bastian: I’ve dated models, doctors, and CEOs, but something about Julia Rominger has me intrigued . . . and more than a little aroused. Maybe it’s her lush curves driving me wild. Or the fact that she has no problem telling me to go to hell. Either way, she’s seen me at my worst; I want to hit her with my best. I know where to touch, where to kiss, and just how far to push to drive her crazy. Soon, however, pleasuring Julia isn’t enough. I want to possess her. I need to make her mine. And I’ll fight to the bitter end to win her heart.
Sometimes, fate just hands you an opportunity and when Bastian Rich passes out in front of Julia Rominger’s sample table, well, Julia seizes the opportunity.
For weeks, Julia has lusted after Bastian. She’s stood by silently as he walks the aisles, eyed his gorgeous butt every time he bends over, and prays one day he’ll stop by her stand even if only to ask for whatever lame sample she’s currently inflicting on customers. Him passing out and landing right in front of her isn’t exactly how she hoped to meet him, but . . . . .
In the confusion of Bastian passing out, the EMTs arriving and whisking him away to the hospital, Julia realizes she has Basitan’s wallet and no way to contact him. A few keystrokes and Google gives Julia the information she needs and once she works up the courage, she’ll return Mr. Hottie’s wallet, check to see he’s all right, and be right back on her way to her crappy job and apartment. What Julia can’t imagine is what happens when she finally meets Bastian.
Bastian is exactly as his name implies, Rich. He owns his own company, he’s extremely successful, and he has no trouble finding a date. In fact, Bastian has dated some of the most beautiful, sophisticated women so his interest in a grocery store employee doesn’t make sense, even to him. The facts can’t be denied and Bastian has spent an inordinate amount of time in the grocery store working up the courage to speak to Julia. Imagine his surprise the day she walks into his office with none other than his wallet. Once again, opportunity has come calling and, like Julia, Bastian isn’t going to ignore the opportunity.
In what could only be described as a whirlwind, Julia and Bastian fall into one another with ease. Bastian has the means and the desire to woo Julia and Julia has the desire to be wooed. The only kink in the plan is Bastian’s nasty habit of showing her an incredibly good time and then falling off the radar for days or a week at a time. Because the relationship is so new, Julia doesn’t want to appear clingy and Bastian isn’t quite ready to reveal his secret, the secret that keeps him from further pursuing Julia and long-term committed relationship. It isn’t until Julia finally forces the issue and discovers Bastian alone and sick that they are truly able to be open and honest with one another. To say things get worse before they get better is like saying an earthquake is just a tiny little fart.
The Bottom Line: Mr. Rich is an easy read and, for the most part I remained engaged. This is a bit of a slow starter, but once Julia and Bastian truly meet the pace picks up. There’s certainly passion between the two, but there is a lot of uncertainty, unspoken words, and a third party who also has an interest in Julia. There are a great many obstacles to Julia and Bastian’s HEA, but once the air is cleared and everyone’s position is understood, the way is cleared. Overall, I liked this read, but it isn’t something I got overly excited about. It’s a decent read with some interesting moments, but it isn’t a read I would recommend readers put at the top of their TBR list.