When Samantha's boss, the cold and intimidating Mr. Putnam, summons her to his office, she's not sure what to think. When she's asked to accompany him on a business trip, she's thrilled that her hard work has been noticed and excited for the chance she'll have to pitch her new idea for the company. But when she finds out she's his date for his sister's wedding… Well, it's going to be one hell of a weekend.
The Verdict: The plot's pretty standard, but there's always room for a different spin or a fresh new take, so I thought I'd give this one a shot. Unfortunately, this one is simply too short to really get off the ground, and in the end, I simply wasn't convinced.
Samantha's smart, a hard worker, and easy on the eyes, and that's what Blake is looking for when it comes to a date for his sister's wedding. His faithful assistant suggested enlisting one of the women from the office for the role, and Blake figures it's better than whatever high society candidate his mother would inevitably set him up with. However, he doesn't reveal the real purpose of the trip until after Samantha has been conscripted for the part, but when he does, he makes it clear that they will actually be working between wedding weekend events. Later, when he finds that they're expected to sleep in the same room, he's concerned that doing so could equal a sexual harassment lawsuit, which pretty much shreds his credibility as a successful businessman, given that requiring an employee to even pretend to be a date is grounds for exactly that.
Much of the story was completely underdeveloped, and there were several pieces that it seemed should have been important but were little more than side notes. First, Blake apparently had a previous relationship that went horribly wrong, and I'm guessing that should have been part of the reason he wasn't much of a dater. However, after a mention, it wasn't touched on again, nor was anything explained, so I'm not sure why it was even brought up. Samantha had a recent relationship gone wrong as well, having recommended her boyfriend for a job at Putnam only for him to dump her for someone else. But while the synopsis implies that it's something keeping her from easily trusting and dating again, she's more than willing to throw herself into another relationship after a single day. And because apparently every romance must have a jerk for the hero to punch, there's the groom's brother, a flirty mess of a man who makes a scene in front of the whole family. But he's completely unnecessary to the story, and those paragraphs focusing on him would have been better used to add something to the ridiculously fast romance brewing between Blake and Samantha. And that brings me to the real issue I had with the book…
The whole relationship is tied up with a big red bow without any real development or depth. One day Sam's being told she's going to be Blake's date. The next they're faking it for the family and sleeping separately. And the next they're sneaking off together and planning out how they can both date and work together. Were this a full-length novel, or perhaps if more time had been spent on character development than wardrobe, I think I could have been convinced. Instead, it seemed like I was reading more of a story outline, with all the intense emotions and dramatic moments not yet written. I've read novellas before that had me fully invested in the characters before I knew what hit me, but Weekend with the Tycoon just wasn't able to pull that off.
***FicCentral received this book from Wordsmith Publicity for free in exchange for an honest review.