TBR Day: Lynne Graham’s “The Boss’s Valentine”

This is posted as part of Keishon’s TBR Day challenge, which is aimed at encouraging us readers with the towering TBR piles (you know who you are) to start tackling the books that have been languishing in there for eons.

This month’s challenge theme: Category romance


51DdmZ5dzPL._SL160_ Book: The Boss’s Valentine (category romance)

Author: Lynne Graham

Copyright Date: 2003 (re-released in 2008 )

Me and… Category Romance: I used to read tons of Mills & Boons (or Harlequins for those in the States) back in my university days, primarily because they formed the majority of the local library’s romance collection.  And then I moved to the big city and suddenly, there were bookstores!  With proper romance sections!  With American imports!  So I gradually started cutting back on the number of M&Bs I read, and started buying based on the author instead of the back cover blurb.  Now, only one author remains a M&B autobuy for me: Lynne Graham.  I’m a sucker for her innocent English heroine and ruthless Mediterranean hero plots.

Why did I buy this book? It’s a Lynne Graham.  Refer to previous paragraph.  Plus the fact they were re-releasing this with the old-fashioned covers.  Ah, nostalgia.

Why did it sit in my TBR pile for so long? The downside of only reading one M&B author is that the books begin to feel very formulaic after a while.  And unfortunately the opening chapter of this one were so clichéd, I never got past the first few pages.

What is it about? Naive ditzy heroine, who secretly would prefer to be a nanny but forced by circumstances to do a nine-to-five job in Marketing.  A very alpha, very handsome Italian boss, who despite his best efforts, can’t help noticing the junior that constantly messes up in Marketing.  Company do.  Alcohol.  What else but a secret baby plot?  With a Big Misunderstanding for good measure.

So what did I think of it?  Okay, I hate to say this because it is a Lynne Graham and some of her books are on my keeper shelf, but the first half of this book bored me.  I skimmed through most of it, though once Santino figured out he had a baby, things got interesting.

The whole nanny-turned-incompetent-office-worker and super-powerful-and-rich-businessman setup felt dated, and then the bitchy secretary setting up the Big Misunderstanding didn’t make it feel any fresher. 

But then, Poppy developed a backbone and faced life as a single mum, Poppy and Santino bumped into each other again, and then I got into the story.  And there were bits that made me smile: Security turning a blind eye to Poppy trying to get out of the office the morning after, Santino sneaking upstairs to see his daughter for the first time, etc.

This really felt like a story of two halves to me, and I suspect part of it is due to me working in an office environment as well and rolling my eyes at Poppy’s fumbling around with computers and coffee, etc, in the first few chapters.

My conclusion? Not one of Ms Graham’s best, but I must admit I wasn’t quite in the right mood for it.  And my own experience may have influenced my reaction to the plot.  I’m going to read her latest release and see if I feel differently or if I just need to take a break from her books for a while. 

As an aside, what’s happened to titles like “The Boss’s Valentine”?  Now we have “The Greek Tycoon’s Disobedient Bride” and “The Ruthless Magnate’s Virgin Mistress”.


3 thoughts on “TBR Day: Lynne Graham’s “The Boss’s Valentine”

  1. Great review, Li!

    M & B brings back memories for me. When I lived in northern California (about 15 years ago) the local library used to have old M & B hardcovers that I used to gobble up. I, too, miss the old category titles. I find the current descriptive ones mechanical and off-putting.

    You had me with The Bosses Valentine until you said “Big Misunderstanding.” I’m good with dashing European rich guy, wide-eyed innocent, and secret baby, but the Big M drives me nuts! lol

  2. Nice review Li 😀 I think that you really have to be in the right mood when it comes to reading formulaic books 🙂 You made me itch to read one of the secret baby books… LOL 🙂

  3. Renee – Oooh, the M&B hardcovers. It’s a library thing, definitely.

    Nath – The right mood does help. I was actually going to read another category for this challenge because I thought I wasn’t giving this one a fair chance. But ran out of time…

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