The Director and Don Juan is the second of four books about the Philadelphia-based Story sisters who are all on the look-out for love.
Heiress Alice Story left her father’s company three years ago in a blaze of glory, inviting all of his employees to jump ship and join her, but only one accepted her offer: mail room clerk, Carlos Vega.
While Alice spent the next three years getting her own company off the ground, Carlos became her indispensable right-hand man — executive assistant and office manager, loyal counsel and trusted co-worker.
And all the while, they were quietly falling in love with each other.
When Alice is offered a lucrative business deal in Puerto Rico, island-born Carlos is the perfect person to accompany her on her trip as translator, but as they travel together from Philadelphia to Santo Domingo to Ponce, two unlikely co-workers will discover that during their three years working together, their feelings for each other have grown far deeper than they ever could have guessed.
And though business-minded, proper Alice will try her very best to ignore the longings of her heart, scorching hot, insanely sexy Boricua, Carlos, has no intention of letting her go.
4 stars — I received a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.
I love it when you dive into a favourite author’s new book and she reminds you that YES you do love reading, and YES that last book just wasn’t right for you! Because I can wholeheartedly say that I was sucked into Alice and Carlos’s story from the first page. It’s funny how it’s hard to articulate what style of writing you love, but you just know it when you do…and Ms. Regnery’s writing is always just smooth like butter, I can just consume it and devour it and I’m captivated instantly.
One of the things she does so well is chemistry between characters. And Alice and Carlos definitely had that going for them in spades. It’s funny, b/c this one is a bit more of a slow burn romance, we don’t get to the steam until like 70% I believe. But all that anticipation is pretty delicious in itself, and then once the romance delivers, it’s beautiful and tummy tingling! I loved the way the romance between Alice and Carlos developed, from a deep abiding trust and respect, with a side of friendship, to acknowledging that more had developed, sometimes without them knowing. And then just facing that moment where you couldn’t ignore it any longer, and it was time to go for what you wanted. While there was a bit of angst and drama, it wasn’t drawn out for the sake of being drawn out, and it resolved as I would expect it would in real life.
I LOVED Carlos’s patience with Alice. I loved that he knew not to push it too fast, but that he wouldn’t give up. I loved his optimism in the face of potential obstacles. I loved how clearly he cared about Alice and was thoughtful over her needs. I loved that he was charming as can be, but not too much of a dog (though perhaps I would have liked a better resolution with Leticia and Lena). I loved that he had a multi-faceted personality — alpha when he needed to be, but happily beta in other aspects of his life. And I really felt like that juxtaposition was well placed, b/c Ms. Regnery was not afraid to address the gender roles and pressures that men face as well (and in this case, particularly in the latin community). As a romance reader, we often see the struggles that women face in their professional lives (and I love that), but how often do we see a man deal with criticism for somewhat less ambition, or being happy serving a strong woman. I don’t know if I’m making sense, but I just really loved that.
And on the other side of the coin, I loved Alice’s ambition, and her unwavering desire for both a career and a family. She was such a strong heroine, and someone to be admired. But I also loved that she needed someone like Carlos to take the reins in their intimate settings, so she could just feel and experience. They were such a great match. I kind of appreciated that she was a bit awkward socially, b/c she had spent so much time trying to live up to her father’s impossible expectations, and focused on her professional pursuits, that she had let some of her personal relationships slide (like with her sister’s).
And that is the crux of why I love Ms. Regnery’s Blueberry Lane series. EVERY SINGLE ONE has a completely different set of characters. We get to see and fall in love with all types of people, and we get to learn of each of their struggles. From the shy to the bold, from the family oriented to the career oriented.
Honestly my only problem with this novel is that it *felt* short. I don’t know why. Maybe it was because I was interrupted in the middle of my reading, and couldn’t get back to it for a whole day, and so I fell out of the pacing? Or maybe b/c I wanted to see more at the end after they were together. I LOVED the epilogue we got, but a part of me was curious to read the scenes with her sisters when she told them about her new relationship, or at the office once they were back, or again, what happened with Lena (is their relationship strained now?). It just ended with me wanting a tiny bit more. Hence my 4 stars instead of more.
So yeah. It’s so nice to read a book and get what you’ve been missing. It feeds my reading soul or something. Can’t wait to see what happens with Elizabeth and Jane.