Title: The Contract
Author: Melanie Moreland
Publisher/Year: Moreland Books Inc 12/23/21
Length: 200 pages
Series: The Contract #1
A tyrant by day, a playboy by night. That is the reputation that precedes Richard VanRyan. He lives life the way he wants, no concern for the opinion of others. He cares for no one, is completely unrepentant, and he has no desire to change his ways.
Katharine Elliott works under Richard as his PA. She despises him and his questionable ethics, but endures all the garbage he sends her way, because she needs the job. Her end goal is far more important than the daily abuse and demands she tolerates from her nasty tyrant of a boss.
Until the day, he asks her for something she never expected. A new role with a personal contract— fiancée instead of PA.
What happens when two people who loathe each other, have to live together and act as though they are madly in love?
That’s what happens.
Can the power of love really change a person?
Will they survive the contract?
What do you do when the one person you hate the most becomes the one person you can’t live without?
Well, the first thing to note is that I discovered this book through a new app called RADISH that gives you serialized access ‘for free!’ to new books. i’m hooked, although I may have to admit that I read faster than Radish allows me to.
Anyway – back to this story. It’s one of those power dynamics meets the need to change your life in the form of a woman who is underrated. We start this story with Richard, an ad exec who is passed over for the promotion that he felt he deserved because some other guy in his office took a client from him. That puts a plan into action where Richard decides that he’s going to get an offer from their top competitor in the market, and then force the boss to give him what he deserves.
This other agency though is where the trajectory of our story changes. Richard is at the agency he’s at because it fits his personality and reputation. He’s a bit of a shark, lacks the emotional connection to just about anything and is a playboy. This other agency is all about collaboration, family values, and teamwork. Richard’s reputation precedes him and this means that he needs to put up an image of something that he’s not, convince them somehow that he’s not what he seems, in the hopes of getting a job.
What happens though flips his world on his axis. Richard builds this story where he’s leaving his current role because he’s fallen in love with his assistant – perhaps the ONE rule that his current agency has, and that means that he needs to leave, as does she. He’s a changed man because he’s found the woman who was worth changing for, and that’s why he wants to work for Graham Gavin.
Enter Katy – the assistant. A woman who Richard despises because she’s clumsy and yet she takes everything he throws at her and does her job to perfection. He beats her down and berates her, and he doesn’t even know the backstory to why she is how she is and why she subjects herself to all this, and frankly he doesn’t care. until he’s forced to when he brings her into the lie in order to get this job.
Katy has a challenging past as we often find in these stories. Her parents died when she was a pre-teen and she was bounced around from home to home until she was finally taken in by a woman who had just lost her husband. They loved each other as true mother daughters would, but it’s when Penny was diagnosed with alzheimers that Katy realized that everything she had was all to take care of Penny now.
The Contract. This was the solution for both Richard and Katy. Richard needed Katy to agree to terms to stay with him, pretend to be his fiancee, live with him etc, in order to land this job. Katy needed the money and what he could give her so that she could provide for the care that Penny needed.
They got more than they bargained for. Richard realized that there’s so much more to Katy than he knew, and there were aspects that he even appreciated and liked. Katy saw that there were walls up that made Richard into the man that he was pretending to be, and that with a bit of work, she could make him into a better man.
What happens throughout this story though is that we see lies grow and grow, but we see relationships grow at the same rapid speed. There’s so much good mojo happening here that we know it will crash and burn in epic style. There’s no way that they can put up this farce of being engaged for 6 months a year even, and when Richard realizes that his job is based on a trial 6 month period, it means that their fake relationship has to go longer. They have decisions to make. When do they get married so that it doesn’t look fake. How do they manage their lives knowing that they will be linked together for quite some time in a relationship that’s not based on anything good. What will happen when family tragedy hits, and when the other shoe drops professionally that causes the house of cards to crumble?
With all that ‘what happens next’ talk, what we do see Is the development of something real that we wonder if it’s strong enough to last. There’s new emotion, there’s new knowledge and there’s new self realization that makes you want to root for everyone even when you know it’s a lost cause. So, on that note, i’m excited to jump into the second book in this series and see where their path will take us. Will it be hot and sexy, will it be wrought with stress? no one knows…Enjoy!