Review: Anything You Can Do by Marianne Stephens


    Anything You Can Do
    by Marianne Stephens

    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Publisher: Breathless Press
    ISBN: 978-1-926771-17-5
    Price: $4.95
    Breathless Press has this rated as a Heat Level of 2 or Explicit love scenes with graphic or strong language

    What I liked
    Loved, loved, loved the hero in this book. He’s just enough Alpha to be attractive, but not so Alpha that he can’t be realistically tamed. I thoroughly enjoyed the premise of the book, the tension throughout the beginning of the plot, and the eventual relationship that ensues. I found Marianne Stephens’ writing to be engaging and her plotting to be coherent and smooth. The heroine was less a woman I wanted to hang out with than an interesting character, but the hero made up for whatever else I might not have enjoyed. I find most contemporary heroes to be far too preoccupied with sex to be attractive, but this guy understood himself well enough to know that there was something special about this girl that a weekend of hot sex wasn’t going to cure. I thought the premise was cute, and the ending fulfilling. If you enjoy contemporary romances with a little steam to them, I think you will enjoy this book very much.

    Book Blurb

    When her daycare facility needs financial aid in order to offer the employees at Ryan Industries the best care for their children, Allison Minetti approaches the CEO, Jeffrey Ryan. After he fails to answer her requests for a partnership, Allison dares him to spend one week at the center. Jeff accepts the challenge and ups the ante by demanding her company for the weekend if he wins.   
    Instant mutual attraction leads to a week of seductive teasing and brief steamy encounters. Is there a way for them both to win? Or will someone’s interference in their challenge lead to mistaken conclusions and pull them apart?
     Allison thought she’d go crazy. Being stuck in an overheated elevator within kissing distance of a sexy, charming man, made her crave to purr like a kitten. The electricity charging the air between them should’ve been enough to jump-start the elevator.

    As sanity warred with the fantasies marching through her brain, Allison scooted a short distance away from Jeff. She smoothed her skirt before pushing back the damp curls clinging to her forehead. Damn his kissable lips. Their closeness weakened her control and made her vulnerable.

    “I wish they’d work faster.” Exhaustion and the heat, coupled with embarrassment and passion, tore at her composure.

    “So. One week with you and the kids. I won’t be left alone with them, right?” A tinge of nervousness colored his question.

    Allison laughed and then said in a nonchalant tone, “Absolutely not. I have to make sure they’re taken care of in case you decide to escape.”

    A sly grin spread across his face. “Just checking. I wouldn’t wanna whip them into shape and encroach on your territory.”

    A niggling doubt crossed her mind. When he’d accepted the challenge, she’d been positive he wouldn’t be able to handle even one day in the daycare. Could he make it through a week?

    “I’ve gotta stand up and stretch. Maybe the air from the vent will reach my head quicker that way.” Jeff maneuvered his body into an upright position. “Hey, I think it’s cooler when you stand.” He offered his hand to Allison.

    She grasped it, and prickles of heat raced up her arm. He gave a gentle tug and helped her up. Once standing, Allison wiggled her hand free and concentrated on yanking down her skirt. Doing something, anything, helped her forget his burning touch. “Yep, it’s cooler this way.” She fanned her face with her hand.

    “Should we shake hands and seal our deal?” Jeff stretched out his hand to once again encase hers.

    “Let me make sure I absolutely understand this. If you live through one week of daycare, all I have to do is accompany you around town for a weekend, no strings attached?”

    He drew back his hand and placed it over his heart. “That’s the deal and all I ask.” He grinned and added in a sexy tone, “Unless you decide to change the rules.”

    Allison considered the realities of their agreement. Although confident she’d win, logic wormed its way into her assessment of their dare. Even if she lost, she’d be in his company. She could sneak her requests into their conversations, so it wouldn’t be a total defeat.

    “Hey down there! Grab onto something or hit the floor. I’m gonna start up the motor!”

    With one huge grating sound, the elevator jolted and rocked into action, causing them to lose their balance. They stumbled as the car sped upward. Jeff landed in a sitting position.

    Unsteady on her feet, Allison tripped and lost her footing. Jeff reached out, gripped her hips to stop her from falling backward, and pulled her down toward him. She landed with unladylike grace in his lap, renting inches of splits in her skirt seams as she straddled his body.

    They grabbed onto each other, locked in an intimate embrace. Basic instincts took over. Her lips slid across his, and her hands wound into his curly hair. His tongue teased her into a frenzy of soul-searching kisses.

    Jeff groaned and moved his head back to rest against the wall. “Wow. Very nice.”

    With her heart pounding, Allison reeled as she tried to regain her composure. His kiss left her panting for more. She missed hearing the elevator door open.

    “I see you managed to occupy yourselves,” a woman’s voice stated.

    Reviewed by Rebecca Lynn, a contributing reviewer for the Pen & Muse blog


    1. Just saw this. Thank you for the review! Glad you enjoyed it! One scene in the book came from my experience as a kindergarten teacher: I had a boy who would come in every morning, sit by a plastic-lined trashcan, and vomit. Then, he'd go eat a school-sponsored breakfast. I decided to challenge the hero with the same event!


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