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READ KINDLE ⚟ Secret Admirer Ñ Grace under pressureRunning into a potential business partner late at night in a broken elevator when one was wearing a glamorous fur with nothing on underneath was awkward, but Grace Blair was cool enough to handle a hot situationHer poised, controlled demeanor belied the insecurity she felt taking over her late husband s business empire, but Scott Gregory was able with one caressing glance to strip away all her pretenses Especially since the handsome New Zealander had made it clear from their first inauspicious meeting that in business, knowledge was power and that he knew exactly what he wantedA YEAR DOWN UNDER With my second book by the author, Susan Napier has landed in my list of favorite Harlequin romance authors Even with the 2 books that I have read, I have come to identify with the fact that her books have those elements that continually surprises the reader, which is no mean feat when someone like myself who has read and loved 1000 s of romances can pick up a novel and be drawn into the story because of the opening chapter itself.Secret Admirer kick starts with seven month widower Grace Blair With my second book by the author, Susan Napier has landed in my list of favorite Harlequin romance authors Even with the 2 books that I have read, I have come to identify with the fact that her books have those elements that continually surprises the reader, which is no mean feat when someone like myself who has read and loved 1000 s of romances can pick up a novel and be drawn into the story because of the opening chapter itself.Secret Admirer kick starts with seven month widower Grace Blair being caught in an elevator with the man who turns her orderly and well controlled life around Grace cannot help but be equal parts horrified and fascinated with the turn of events that takes place in the elevator, nor can she forget the heat that had blazed into life in the stranger s eyes, who continues to haunt and taunt her in vivid dreams of the erotic variety.When Scott Gregory walks into her life as a potential business partner, Grace cannot believe her eyes nor her luck in meeting the man who keeps popping into her thoughts and dreams at the most inopportune moments But years of practice and teachings that had been ingrained into her from her childhood itself lets Grace handle the meeting in her usual icy and reserved manner, or so she thinks until she realizes the ease with which Scott invades her life, turning her whole world upside down and making her face the inevitable truth of her changing feelings towards him.Scott Gregory, hands down, was the best thing about this story His passion for anything and everything to do with Grace, his utter focus and zeal when seducing Grace and of course the way his senses clamor for Grace s touch and the desire that he so evidently feels for Grace was such a beautiful part of the story Scott has a few surprises in store for Grace, one that leaves her reeling, with feelings of possessiveness streaking through her very core The fact that Scott gives her the one thing that he has been holding off from giving to any other woman should have convinced Grace of his much deeper feelings for her, but Grace continually thwarts Scott s efforts until towards the very end which pissed me off for a bit when it came to Grace But nevertheless, the passion, the chase and the ultimate surrender of Grace proved to make this a titillating read that held my undivided attention all throughout.Highly recommended Rating 4.5 5Original review published on MBR s Realm of Romance Quotes included below We have a couple of appointments today, so I was going to reread this Napier title during the inevitable hanging around in waiting rooms with no or terrible magazines in their lounge area But I ended up gulping this steamy novel down last night.Back when I was a voracious reader of Mills Boon, Napier was my favourite of their authors this was my second favourite of her titles But I m thinking if I did reread some of the otherswell, some would definitely stand the test of time better th We have a couple of appointments today, so I was going to reread this Napier title during the inevitable hanging around in waiting rooms with no or terrible magazines in their lounge area But I ended up gulping this steamy novel down last night.Back when I was a voracious reader of Mills Boon, Napier was my favourite of their authors this was my second favourite of her titles But I m thinking if I did reread some of the otherswell, some would definitely stand the test of time better than this one Obviously, since I am giving it 4 and read it at the speed of sound, I didn t hate it But the whole plot was based on the hero behaving like a creepy stalker and The Twist side note I heard Ms Napier speak while she was working out the plot for this novel so I was actively looking for this novel for a couple of years Knowing The Twist didn t spoil the book for me at all, but I can certainly understand other readers being annoyed at the spoiler filled reviews on Goodreads This was a very original idea at the time.I ve just finished reading and Ms Napier mentions that the very short word counts on modern Harlequin Mills Boon make it hard to do much plot or character development This book could have used another 5k words I think, because most of the plot was the h H snarling at each other In spite of this, Grace and Scott were appealing both physically and in character The sex scenes were pretty hot.Weak resolution of a couple of plot strands, but still would recommend This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Re Secret Admirer Susan Napier does a true unicorn event in HPlandia with a stalkery stalkerific H and a nice but not very knowledgeable widowed h who needs some fast lessons in running her dead hubby s company.This story starts with one of the most interesting H h meetings in all of HPlandia The h is wearing nothing but full length mink and some white cotton undies with little rosebuds when she rushes into the elevator that contains the H and his Lady Mucky Muck date for the evening She ha Re Secret Admirer Susan Napier does a true unicorn event in HPlandia with a stalkery stalkerific H and a nice but not very knowledgeable widowed h who needs some fast lessons in running her dead hubby s company.This story starts with one of the most interesting H h meetings in all of HPlandia The h is wearing nothing but full length mink and some white cotton undies with little rosebuds when she rushes into the elevator that contains the H and his Lady Mucky Muck date for the evening She had accepted an offer of a swimsuit modeling shoot and the photographer, whom she knew and trusted, tried a very clumsy pass and took her clothes and locked them in the bathroom While he was getting drinks, the h grabbed the closest covering she could find the fur coat and ran for it The lift gets stuck and Lady Mucky Muck, who is in head to toe designer couture and dripping with diamonds, proceeds to give a loud and long lecture to the h about the horridness of wearing ranch raised fur Now I laughed a bit here at the irony Here is a woman probably wearing clothes made in some third world sweat shop and dripping in diamonds that were probably sold as blood conflict diamonds or that some rampaging ancestor looted and she is going on very shrilly and extensively about ranch raised mink fur I vote for organic hand woven cotton lace HP fashionistas, lovingly gathered by self sustaining farmers and blended with hand raised silk bought in an organized co op that is true eco supportive clothing perfect for all HP high society occasions Anyhows, it gets really hot in the lift and the h is feeling a bit woozy but won t release the death grip she has on the fastenings of the coat The H, who is pretty much a contemptuous sneering mysogynist, gets exasperated and remarks how women can t do anything sensible and tries to take the coat off He gets a great view of what the h isn t wearing, tho the rosebuds are adorable, and then the lights go out as the H is refastening the coat The lift starts working when the lights come back on and the mortified h rushes off into the night.The h is 26 and used to be a model with a domineering show business mother She married her older husband when he was around 34 and it was a big love match Her first hubby owns an electronics firm and did not want the h to work, they were in love, they wanted kids and the first hubby was very much about taking care of his little lady h Then when first hubby hit 40, he died from a heart issue The h has now been widowed eight months and has gotten thrown into the deep end on salvaging first hubby s firm.It is good the h has a lot of practice posing, cause the well dressed haughty bored look works a treat when coupled with non verbal accountant side kick cues when the h has to ward off other business threats to the company from various competitors and corporate raiders Then news comes that a big corporate raider shark has the h s company in his sights.The h is trying to learn the basics of business as fast as she can, but she has never been in control of her own finances in her life first her mother scooped her modeling earnings and first hubby did not want the h to worry her pretty head about things The h only recently learned to balance her own checkbook, but she is taking evening classes and the helpful company accountant is doing his best to punt her through It is very frustrating and hard for the h tho, because her stage mother yanked her out of school early to start earning in a modeling career and some days the h s only sense of hope comes from a weekly mysterious flower delivery from a seekrit admirer These aren t romantic rose type deliveries either, they are cheery little poseys like violets and chrysanthemums and little bouquets designed to give weary spirits a lift The h s secretary wants to discover the source of the weekly blooms of delight, but the h is pretty happy just getting them and feeling the happy bouquet joy, so she isn t too serious about pursuing it So the big corporate raider makes an appointment to come see the h, but first he sends a news clipping of the couple that the h got stuck in the lift with in her unfortunate fur coat incident The h is shocked, because she knows that the misogynist who got an eyeful of rosebuds is also the 29 yr old raider that holds the keys to a necessary component contract required for the h s business The accountant warns that this could be a hostile takeover attempt or a test of the h to try her business mettle and maybe get a share of her privately held company Either way the h needs to be on guard and ready for anything So enters the H, and he is pretty pushy when he hands the h a tape and claims it is he and her dead husband discussing a partnership project The h does her best, but the H is pretty bullying and since he has studied a lot of business psychology, is a recognized ruthless alpha raider and the h is a minnow in the deep ocean, he pretty much walks all over her and her rosebud undies Technically, the h isn t obligated to the H for anything, the company is private, the shares are all hers and yes, there is a tape discussing a potential partnership project, but ultimately the h doesn t have to follow through on a discussion However this H is relentless in his business goals and relentless in his pursuit of the h He hounds her all around, showing up as a guest lecturer at her night class, threatening to reveal the lift incident unless she dines with him and lets him tutor her and then moving next door after he buys her older apartment building which was kinda strange as he has a very nice pricey estate of his own He forces his way into her home and her life and then after a really weird pelvic grinding session when he has the h backed against the wall and she torn between terror and lust, he changes tactics and tries to woo her He also freaks out and has a major fit when the h tells him about her seekrit admirer flowers and it doesn t take a whole lot brain power to see that the H s overreaction about stalkers and obsession is really him revealing his feelings about the h hence the wall almost banging experience.As this is a romance in HPlandia, we can take SN s word for it that this guy isn t a serial killer with ritualistic stalking behavior, and the h eventually succumbs to the H s home cooked food and business tutorials interspersed with a lot of personal charm Tho the h has some uneasy moments with the way the H goes around just arranging things for her, maneuvering and manipulating her and always seeming to link them together publicly Then the H drops the bombshell that all his business goals are directed at one thing, revenge on his now deceased father When the H s mother refused to be manipulated by the H s electronic magnate father or marry him when he deliberately got her preggers, the sewer slurper became enraged that a mere woman was denying him his legacy He walked out of the H s mother s life and refused to pay any kind of support unless the H s mother bowed to his dictates The mother refused and brought up the H herself, until she couldn t afford a lifesaving operation and asked the H s father for help and he refused and let the H s mother die He tried taking over the H, but the H has keen sense of revenge and changed his name back to his mum s and walked out Now the H makes all his moves based on the fact that he wants to topple his father s empire that was left in the care of the man s wife andrecently he has a side focus of obsessing about the h The h reveals that her own mother was an unwed single parent too She wasn t able to become a model as she wished, so when the h turned into such a beauty, the h s mother commandeered her into a full fledged career and then berated and taunted the h when she met her hubby and fled that life The h s mother was incredibly bitter about men and evenbitter that her own legacy via the h was being denied and she could not longer vicariously live the life she always wanted The h isn t bitter about things tho, she has the great good sense to understand that people just do things and really the only thing you can do is either react or move on The h is great at moving on and yet she misses the normal things she never got to have The h also warns the H that revenge is a double edged sword and that the H should proceed in his grand plan o vengance with extreme caution After all look at what happened to Oedipus, who was destroyed and blinded and exiled by his own unwitting hand when he struck out in fury and killed his father The h is also concerned that the H is putting major mojo moves on her, she wants a child desperately, had longed for one for her entire marriage and it was big disappointment to herself and her first hubby that she couldn t seem to get preggers The she knew her first hubby felt really badly that he couldn t seem to get her up the duff, so she spent a large part of her marriage hiding her deep sadness over the lack The H even offers himself up as a stud, if the h wants a baby so badly The h is attracted to the H and reconsidering what she really wants out of life, but the H s continual manipulations to the point where he is sneakily trying to control what she drinks at social occasions is really starting to grate The h is tried of people manipulating and trying to control her, so she takes matters into her own hands and pretends to get royally intoxicated at a business dinner with the H The h makes smart snarky comments to the women who continually approach her about the H and his unattainable heart and fortune and then does a full blown femme fatale act on the H that spectacularly misfires The H drags her out of the dinner and takes her to his scarcely furnished palatial home and then chase her around like a deranged stalker in the dark.It all ends in a big purple passion lurve mojo force moment and the h is ravished almost as much as the H is Then the next morning the H casually drops the bombshell explosion that the h was his very first lurve club experience ever and the h is completely stunned tho honestly she wasn t very far off unicorn petting status herself and now she just ran into a real one As an aside, this H is NOT the first virginal H in HPlandia that honor belongs to the H in Daphne Clair s Take Hold of Tomorrow which this book strongly resembles in many ways outside the stalkerfic H and the second honor goes to Waking Up by Amanda Carpenter But this H is pretty much the most notorious heart breaker Alpha Male H in HPlandia who never got a mojo moment until he met the h Definitely a unicorn in camouflage So the h doesn t really believe she was the H s very first, but she likes him and loves the passion and feels alive after some considerable grief, so she is fine with a bonnet over the windmill fling Then we meet the H s dead father s wife who is clubbing with a 16 year old boy and the H reveals that his father s wife is a teen boy predator and a pedophile She tried it on with the H at fifteen and his father walked in and the disgusting slag lied and said the H was trying to rape her pregger self and later she miscarried The H s father beat him and then sent him to wealthy student version of reform school The H stuck it out like purgatory, focused on getting revenge and shunned all forms of physical contact The women he met reminded him of his father s wife and he despised them tho he took a lot of them out until he met the h The h is horrified and does her best to reassure him and put the blame firmly where it belongs However when the H confesses that he loves her, the h panics She thinks it is just because she is his first lover and she is caught between not wanting to ruin his first physical affair but also not really wanting to be in a committed relationship again either For the first time in her life, the h has some independence and she likes it However she is also aware that the H is sorta vulnerable and she can t in good conscience use his confessions or his fragile new awakening against him and the H pushes hard for the h to commit to him.Things take a serious nose dive when the h believes that the H was the one sending her the weekly flowers and the H doesn t deny it The h is softening her stance on commitment to the H when the company accountant tells her that it was actually a secret codicil to the h s dead hubby s will that the h get a weekly delivery of flowers, to help find some cheering moments in the aftermath of grief.The h is furious and goes to the H s apartment to wait for him for a big confrontation The H gets home a little tipsy from his male club dinner and the h explodes Then the H has big ranty moment back and calls the h s first hubby s flower delivering a creepy way to control her from the grave when he left her near penniless and that the h s first relationship was nothingthan an older man s obsession and that it was all designed to keep the h permanently on ice So the H knew about the will codicil and used it to win over the h and now he wants it all.The h agrees to give him her company and move in with him She believes him about the dead hubby bit and after some back and forth at the company share sign over, the H tells the h that they will split everything fifty fifty from now on, he and the h will marry and have that baby as he figures living well is the best revenge The h is overwhelmed and tries to explain that she only wants him, but the H is all share and share alike partners forever as he whisks her off to the company s private lift to reenact their first meeting for the big HEA.This is a well written book with a ton of drama But this H kinda freaked me out a bit and the whole abuse thing, while incredibly sad and horrible, only served to convince me that had this not been HPlandia, we would be looking at an h in a well and passing notes up in a bucket I also did not like the H s take on the flower delivery from the first husband I thought the H was the obsessed one, he certainly tends to run that way and that whole H melt down ranty moment after the h confronts him was the H describing himself If the flowers had been the romantic bouquet that lovers send, I would have rethought that, but really the types of flowers are just exactly what a caring friend would send to perk up someone s day when they are going through a rough time Since the h had no idea who was responsible, it certainly did not seem like some older man s obsession,an act of kindness from a man who really loved his wife, knew her likes well and wanted to see her happy even in her solitude Yes, the first hubby did leave her in a financial mess, but it was made clear that the first hubby s death was very unexpected and that he had been actively working to resolve the situation It was actually the H who really needed the h s company for his plans to topple his father s empire and so his motives are muchsuspect and since he manipulates the h for his own ends anyways, he certainly did not lose by winning his key revenge tool without having to do much for it Overall this book gets really high marks and it is on the HP required reading list I have many reservations about it, mostly with the manner and the motivations of the H, but it is a very engrossing read and I recommend it for a most unusual HPlandia outing Though some of my friends have loved this with a 5 star love, I didn t quite get the same love vibe I can see and understand why this story affected them There was a lovely and unexpected twist, which I enjoyed For those considering reading this book, don t read the reviews first as some give away this surprise Grrr This Harley was written twenty one years ago and though it mostly holds up pretty well, it still feels dated The twist was really what made this for me At first I felt it Though some of my friends have loved this with a 5 star love, I didn t quite get the same love vibe I can see and understand why this story affected them There was a lovely and unexpected twist, which I enjoyed For those considering reading this book, don t read the reviews first as some give away this surprise Grrr This Harley was written twenty one years ago and though it mostly holds up pretty well, it still feels dated The twist was really what made this for me At first I felt it just a little unbelievable But The explanation was really well done and quite convincing.So, overall a good read I think regular readers of Harleys may appreciate thisthan I did Worth reading if you can get your hands on this book though Steam 2.5Thanks for the recommendation, Nab