“The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen is the one who can ruin everything…”
I love Sarina Bowen and in my opinion her colabs with other authors have always worked and I have enjoyed those books. So it is no surprise that I couldn’t wait to read Temporary, a collaboration by Sarina this time with an author that is new to me, Sarah Mayberry. This book was a fun and easy read and kept me fully engaged with great character development. The more I read about them, the more I loved them. It had some emotional and intense parts which just added to the dynamic mix that is Temporary.
Grace is working as a temp for the company Walker Holdings in the hope that by working hard, she proves herself and in turn lands a permanent position and a steady income. That income is not only to support herself, but also to support her fifteen-year-old sister, whom she is singlehandedly raising.
An opportunity presents to Grace to prove herself to not only her immediate manager, but also to the CEO of Walker Holdings, Victoria Walker. Grace is approached by Victoria to take over the dealings of the estate of her recently passed away brother, Jack.
When Grace arrives at Jack’s apartment to start the appraisals, she meets Callan, Jack’s nephew. Grace is automatically attracted to the hot Aussie, but she won’t let that cloud her focus. She has a job to do and is determined to do it well… but the hot Aussie is becoming too damn hard to resist.
“The day we met, I’d been disgusted by my mother hiring a temp to dispose of Jack’s life, Now I understood that hiring Grace had been her greatest gift to me. My mother didn’t know it, but she had changed my whole outlook on life.”
The more time Callan and Grace spend together the more their relationship develops into something so much more. The attraction and chemistry between the two was intense and even though they come from two different walks of life, they worked well together. “Will they stand the test of time or will it all fizzle if Callan’s snobby mother finds out? What’s going to happen with Grace’s job?” These were questions I kept asking myself and the intrigue of what was going to happen meant I simply could not put this story down.
I’m a 100% born and bred Aussie and I’m always a little worried about reading stories with Australian characters; whether the author will use correct slang and terminology synonymous with Australia. Having an Aussie co-write Temporary though, was the icing on the cake because it made it that much better for me; more natural and realistic. I am in complete agreeance with Callan, Tim Tams are so much better than iced Vovo’s.
Temporary was an enjoyable story from start to finish; I loved the lighter, fun side and the more heavy and emotional side. It was just the perfect mix for me. The writing was flawless which kept me engaged and I loved the characters, their passion and steam. I definitely recommend this story to anyone who loves their contemporary romances about two different people, from two different backgrounds coming together and finding love and comfort within each other, which at times is not always easy and sometimes things get worse before they get better. I can’t wait to read what this dynamic duo comes up with next, I have a feeling it’s going to be a cracker.
“Holy cannoli,” I said, completely forgetting myself as I opened the double doors to Jack Walker’s apartment Monday morning.
“What’s wrong?” my friend said in my ear.
Jasmine had called me as I left the offices of Walker Holdings, the keys to Jack Walker’s apartment burning a hole in my pocket. We’d spent the last twenty minutes catching up on each other’s lives while I walked uptown.
“This apartment I’m supposed to be inventorying. It’s unbelievable.” I took in the foyer with wide eyes.
I’d been prepared for something lavish, because the Walkers had buckets of money. But this…this was beyond lavish. And I was only in the foyer.
The floor beneath my feet was polished stone, but it was the wall in front of me that had blown me away. It was covered in vividly colored giant artificial flowers, so thickly applied the wall beneath was completely hidden. A riot of bright oranges, deep cobalt blues, and the occasional sunburst of yellow, the colorful backdrop was the perfect foil for the snow-white sculpture displayed in front of it—an intricately executed, scaled-down statue of a horse and rider.
“Let me guess—gold stuff everywhere? Velvet? Lots of faux-ye-olde-worlde family portraits?” Jasmine said.
“No. It’s beautiful. There’s an installation in the foyer, a whole wall of flowers. Like Eloise Corr Danch…” It hit me that this was an Eloise Corr Danch installation.
Which was when I realized this project I’d landed was going to be Big. Really Big.
“Must be arty rich then, not tacky rich,” Jasmine said knowledgeably. The only child of two high-flying lawyers, she was well placed to categorize the many permutations of wealth.
My heels tapped against the floor as I ventured further into the apartment, and even though I was braced for more fabulousness, what I glimpsed through the doorway to my left made me literally gape.
“Oh my God,” I breathed as I stepped into what was the most incredible room I’d ever seen.
“What? Tell me what’s going on,” Jasmine complained. “You’re practically having an orgasm. I need details.”
I didn’t know where to begin. The view? The ceiling? The fireplace?
“You’d have an orgasm, too. Make mine a double. This living room is freaking amazeballs. The ceiling has to be twenty, maybe twenty-four feet high. And it’s painted in hazy blues and yellows…like the Chagall at the Opera Garnier in Paris.” Jasmine and I had taken art history together our first year of design school, so I knew she’d understand the reference.
“And there are windows—huge, kick-ass windows that go the whole height of the room, and the view… God, Jazzy, I don’t even know how to describe the view. The whole of the city laid out in front of you. And there’s this fireplace, so big you could probably fit my entire apartment inside it, made out of some sort of old stone with amazing carved pillars… And there’s art everywhere. Beautiful, amazing multimedia.”
“Oh baby, yes!” Jasmine shouted. “Talk artsy to me.”
I tilted my head back as I described the room, taking in the stunning ceiling, the suspended star-shaped sculptures hanging in front of the window, the many prints and paintings on the walls.
When I dropped my gaze I realized there was a big armchair in the corner of the room, angled to face the view—and that a man was sitting right there, in the chair.
A beautiful man. And he was watching me.
“Fuck,” I yelped, leaping backward, one hand clutched to my chest like a damsel in distress.
“Let me guess—live panther, chained in the corner?” Jasmine asked.
“I have to go,” I said, not taking my eyes off the man in the armchair. He lifted one eyebrow in a silent expression of curiosity. “I’ll call you later, okay?”
“At least tell me if there’s a panther or not,” Jasmine said.
“No panther. I have to go.”
It wasn’t until I ended the call that I realized I’d made a mistake—because if you’re confronted with a strange man in the apartment of a rich dead man, being on the phone to someone who knows where you are is probably a good idea.
“Don’t let me interrupt your next orgasm,” he said, the last word drawn out and lazy. And holy fuck—that accent. Australian, if my startled brain wasn’t too confused to hear him properly. His words had an easy lilt, but the tone of his voice was rich and smoky.
“Who—who are you?” I asked, embarrassed to hear the crack of fear in my voice.
“I think that’s my line,” he said.
For a long moment we just stared at each other. I took in his dark hair and the angle of his rugged cheekbones. He had two days’ worth of scruff on his jaw, his whiskers roughening up an otherwise perfect face. He was a few years older than me, maybe late twenties, early thirties, with blue eyes.
And, me being me, I noticed that he wore an expensive button-down shirt—a finely threaded jacquard pattern with a spread collar. Tom Ford maybe. Or Zegna.
I couldn’t tell how tall he was because he was sitting down, but he was clearly in shape, with broad shoulders and long, muscular legs that were stretched in front of him with relaxed abandon.
His eyes weren’t relaxed, though. They were watching me with sharp, assessing interest…
About Sarina Bowen:
Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.
In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.