Anything He Wants
St. Martin's Griffin / November 27, 2012 / $14.99 print, $9.99 digital
Lucy Delacourt's temp position isn't quite her dream job but it pays the bills. The highlight of her day is riding the elevator in the mornings with a handsome stranger. Tall, dark, and sexy as hell, Lucy knows he's way out of her league, but a girl can look, right?
Everything changes the day the stranger seduces her. Completely out of character, she yields without a fight, but she has no idea her wanton acts with a man whose name she doesn't know will change her life forever. Because the sexy stranger is none other than Jeremiah Hamilton, billionaire CEO of Hamilton Industries, and one taste isn't nearly enough to satisfy his need. As the billionaire pulls Lucy deeper into his world of high stakes business deals and ruthless takeovers, he demands nothing less than her complete surrender. But even as enemies seek deadly revenge against him, she’ll discover that her greatest threat is falling for her fiercely guarded boss…and yielding to her own darkest needs.
Releasing novels in serial form is not a new concept. It started in the 17th century, but was really at its height in the 19th century in England. Robert Louis Stevenson, Thomas Hardy, and Charles Dickens serialized novels during the Victorian period, as did Stephen King with The Green Mile in the 1990s. But I’m an immediate satisfaction kind of gal, so I find the serial novel to be very anxiety-inducing.
Thankfully, by the time I discovered new-to-me author Sara Fawkes and her serial erotic romance, Anything He Wants, the fifth (and final) installation was releasing so I didn’t have to wait.
The story is written in first-person point-of-view, from temp office worker Lucy Delacourt. Smitten by an unknown man she watches on an elevator for weeks, her life takes an entirely different tangent upon their first…encounter. First person can be a little disorienting. It was initially hard to get into Lucy’s mind to see things play out in real time. Eventually, however, Lucy's adventures became totally engrossing.
The erotic nature of the story also gave me pause because it’s not my first go-to genre and Anything He Wants starts off with a bang, both literally and figuratively. After the first few hot couplings, I had been drawn into the story between Lucy and billionaire CEO Jeremiah Hamilton—the same Hamilton whose company Lucy works for. Fawkes uses a very light hand in describing the sexual situations between Lucy and Jeremiah. The narrative and dialogue between the two isn’t harsh or crass. She weaves an emotional connection between the two as the story progresses that’s both believable and compelling.
Their first romantic encounter occurs in an elevator, when Jeremiah corners Lucy and calls her out for engineering their daily shared elevator rides. Not only does she not know he’s the man who owns the company, effectively making him the boss, she has no idea that the spark of awareness also flickers in him.
“I see you on this elevator every morning. Your doing, I take it?”
Discombobulated. That’s probably a good word to describe Lucy. Here’s this sexy, powerful businessman, whom she’s admired from what she considered a respectable distance, coming on to her. She’s later shocked to discover that when she’s summoned up to the Hamilton Industries CEO’s office, she’s standing face to face with Mr. Elevator Orgasm himself. Initially panicky that she’ll be fired, she swiftly learns that the proposal he issues is more of the indecent nature.
“Mr. Hamilton is expecting us,” my boss said to the lady at the desk, who nodded and picked up a phone as we passed.
I stumbled at her words, my legs suddenly refusing to work. Why are we in the corporate section of the building? I’d never read up on the company; it was a temp job, meant to be only a short-term employment gig, but I knew this wasn’t any kind of business floor. It has a Donald Trump feel, more a reception area than an office. There was no way however that they’d send me here if they knew what I’d done.
What a shock to see Jeremiah Hamilton’s name plate on the desk. And what a shock to see that her elevator guy was Jeremiah Hamilton. He’s got all kinds of crazy questions about her passport and why she dropped out of college. And by the way …
“… I have another offer for you, a job if you’re interested. I’m in need of a personal assistant.” I blinked several times, taken by surprise by the offer. I peered into his face but it was like granite; I couldn’t tell at all what he was thinking. Suspicion curled in my belly as I asked, “What kind of personal assistance?"
“Anything I want.”
And there you have it. An indecent, but oh-so-tempting proposal. Once the gauntlet was laid, the story really picked up the pace and held my attention. Though it’s considered an erotic thriller, the erotic was far more prominent than the thriller.
Dolly Sickles is a Southerner with a lifelong penchant for storytelling. Her Secret Squirrel identity is Dolly Sickles, but she also writes romance as Becky Moore, and this year her first children’s book will be published as Dolly Dozier. She’s an avid reader of all literature, but she takes refuge in the romance genre, where despite the most grandiose, exhilarating, strange, and unlikely plot that’s out there, every story has a happy ending.