Monday 6 August 2007

Madam of the House by Donna Birdsell

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPublished by Harlequin

Cecilia Katz is a woman with problems. Her marriage has come to an end, leaving her in a financial mess, and her career as a real estate agent is on rocky ground. If she could just sell her best property, a huge - and ostentatious - house, the commission would solve everything.

As she tries to stay afloat, things go from bad to worse. Her ex-husband decides to remove all her furniture, and thanks to him losing most of their money, their special-needs son is threatened with being kicked out of his boarding school. At work things aren't looking any better. Things are getting crazy as a co-worker sabotages all her attempts to make sales and tries to steal her clients. Thank heavens for Jake, her assistant who is an absolute god send. He isn't bad looking either, if only he wasn't so much younger.

Cecilia is struck by an idea and decides to use the property to host a party. Not just any party. She gets Jake to hire hot young studs to entertain bored housewives and suddenly things start to look brighter. That is until a stash of drugs is found and the local law enforcement start paying closer attention. Suddenly her once calm and quiet life becomes crazy and she wonders if she will ever come through this.

I decided to read this one when I was surfing online and saw the title and storyline. It seemed so fun, so outrageous, so brilliant, and surprisingly it was a harlequin novel. That shocked me. I had memories of watching my mum read harlequin books and I remember peeking through them and thinking they were too old fashioned, romantic and mushy for my taste. This one caught my attention though and I was thrilled when I read it, to find that it was as fresh and original as the blurb on the cover said.

It turns out that Harlequin have a series, of which this novel is a part. It's the Next series, which their PR manager describes as a series of warm and compelling novels for any woman who's ever wondered "What's next?". I myself like to think of Next as meaning that they are directed at the next generation of women. However you want to see it, it's a series that I will be paying close attention to. This book had fun, friendship, laughter, drama, thrills and more. This is definitely not how I remember Harlequin novels. Look out for this range of books at a store near you, take a peek for yourself, and you just might be as surprised as I was!

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