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“Emma! You have got to wake up.”
Canon is holding me, but I feel jostled. He’s been shaking me. I gulp down air.
“Shhh.” His hand smoothes my hair out of my face and down my back. Pulling back, he looks at me. “I thought…oh, God, I thought you were being…and I heard you, and I could see the lights, and then and then and th—oh, my God, what the motherfuck are you wearing?”
He propels himself backward from the bed.
This is all so weird. I look down and remember the pity party that ended in donning a peach negligee with black lace inlays and fabric that makes Clara’s sheer robe look like plaid flannel.
“This? This is actually lingerie.”
I told him he would know it if I wore it. I don’t do things halfway.
“Wh-Why?”
Deer in headlights. Yeah, that description works here.
And just to keep things straight, I’m sporting the headlights.
Maybe we could call them blips.
I may have just set off the radar…
There’s something about flustered Alaric Canon I can’t get enough of. I’m practically naked, yet he’s the one uncomfortable.
“Why? What did you expect me to wear?” I stand to usher him out…and show off the cute little coordinating panties. “Did you think I sleep in the nude?”
“Goodnight, Ms. Baker,” he calls behind him. He has already crossed the hall.
“And a goodnight to you, Mr. Canon.”
For the last year, Emma has watched as Alaric Canon roll through personal assistants as each of them doesn’t measure up to his impossible standards. With his piercing eyes and the way that his suits fit his body, Emma decides she needs a plan to get noticed by the temperamental Mr. Canon. When her number comes up to be his PA, however, the plan goes awry and she is definitely noticed…not exactly how she had hoped.
ThePlan_cover
My thoughts 5 Stars

Emma Baker is a cubicle occupant who has a crush on the corner office a**, the singularly most beautiful man she’s ever seen, Alaric Canon.

There’s a revolving door for Canon’s personal assistants.  In fact there’s an office betting pool on how long each will last.  Emma, having observed Canon extensively, wins regularly.  How else could she support her shoe habit?

Emma doesn’t plan to be a cubie inhabitant forever; she’s going to law school at night.  Emma also has a plan to be at least a blip on Canon’s radar.

You know what they say about the best laid plans…

THE PLAN is narrated by the laconic, sarcastic, and witty Emma.  My connection with her was immediate.  Ms. Salsbury’s writing style added to the fresh, fun feel.

Emma’s been crushing from day one on Canon.  Canon is all business.  Focused and paid to think he’s all about time management and productivity.  His gaze skates over her when it meets her at all.  After her dismal office party failure she’s come up with a plan to at least be a blip on his radar.  Then Rebecca, her boss and the person in charge of finding PA’s for Canon, throws a monkey wrench in Emma’s plan.  An important job saving merger is in the works.  Rebecca doesn’t want to waste time on an untried PA.

 She’s terrified.

Rebecca.

Terrified. I may soil myself.

“This department has a lot riding on you. And by this department, I mean me.” She clears her throat and manages to assume something close to her normal, chilly demeanor. The cracks in the ice are still there.

“Emma, you’ve been here long enough to know how this shakes out. No one expects you, or anyone, to last long. Every Canon PA is really a temp position. Help him prep for the trip and make it until he leaves and I’ll give you a raise when you get back here. Make it a month and you’ll come back to this department with a promotion.”  

After three days Emma can no longer take the notes left furtively on her desk.  After he’s prepped her for his absence she can’t not say something about those annoying honey do lists….

“Ms. Baker, you somehow feel you know better how I need to be assisted than I do myself?” he says flatly.

“To be frank, Mr. Canon, I’m the one with the history of being able to play well with others. Maybe it might be high time to try something new.”  

When the position expands into Emma having to accompany Canon on his important merger business trip she is a model of professionalism and efficiency.

Stepford Secretary.

“Your coffee, sir.”

12:15 p.m.

“We will set up in my room and go through the POs.”

All of them? Years’ worth?

“Yes, sir. As you wish.”

“Order room service.”

“As you wish.”

“Could you bring me some water?”

“As you wish.”

“You do realize I have seen that movie.”

“Sir?”

His eyebrows rise. Oh, Buttercup, you smug bastard.  

I laughed aloud through so much of THE PLAN and the above snippets are some examples of why.  If laughter is the best medicine Emma is an excellent way to receive your daily dose.   It isn’t all fun and games though.  The enforced proximity brings things to a head in ways Emma never dreamt.  The evolution from crush to everything is enthralling.  I couldn’t tear myself away.  There were some parts I read over and over…

Beautiful. He is gloriously, scandalously, incandescently beautiful.

I want to hold him. And never let go.

It scares me.

 

He moves the curtain out of the way. “Why do you always do that?”

We both watch the snow fall.

“Do what?” The bare glass is cool under my hand.

“Leave.”   

The love scenes are slightly cooler than the surface of the sun and focus on Emma’s emotions, thoughts, and yes, the humor that’s never far away with Emma.  Erotic as they are the writing style leaves blanks for the reader’s imagination to fill in.  For this reader that wiggle room gave the scenes an intensity and emotional depth that had me catching my breath.  Heart be still, there were times I felt it was going to beat out of my chest.  Need I say that Alaric is my new all time favorite fictional fella?

God, I want to hear.

I want to taste his secrets and feel his sounds and listen to his mouth on me.

Lick his jawline.

Sweat and sweet.

 

He holds fast, sounds so soft, kisses form a line over my breastbone. They’re unsteady. Tender whisper-laced kisses. Barely audible over the pulse thrumming in my ears. These are the secrets.

Finally.

And I hear some of what he has to say for the first time.

Furtive, so much so it almost feels like I eavesdrop. “Only you…” His mouth presses to the pulse point on my throat.

 

I take him.

There is a responsibility in that notion that I never saw before. Take care of as well as care for.

Honestly, aren’t you sighing right about now?  This is only a taste, just imagine the full meal.  Goodness gracious…

Emma and THE PLAN made me forget myself, my surroundings, and time.

As George R.R. Martin said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.  The man who never reads lives only one.”

THE PLAN allowed me to live vicariously as Emma and boy howdy what a time I had.  I can’t wait for Ms. Salsbury’s next book.  I’m looking forward to my next life.  
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Author Qwen
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