The Millionaire Upstairs by M.J. O’Shea

Rate: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication day: January 1, 2016
Length:  198 pages
Publisher: Dreamspun Desires (Dreamspinners Press)

The Millionaire UpstairsHe might be hard to work for, but he’s impossible to resist.

Sasha Sobieski has the perfect job working at legendary American fashion house Harrison Kingsley—or at least he used to. He just never thought he’d have to work for Harrison Kingsley himself. Harrison is exacting, difficult, cold, and hands-down the sexiest man Sasha has ever seen.

After years at the top, Harrison Kingsley knows what he wants, when he wants it, and exactly how he’d like it to be delivered to him. What he wants most right now? His new assistant. Sasha is mouthy, opinionated, and he drives Harrison mad. Problem is, Harrison can never tell if it’s with anger… or desire.

My View: This is the first volume in the new Dreamspun Desires house line by Dreamspinner Press. According to their website, “These are contemporary category romance novels, complete with your favorite heartwarming heroes, cracktastic clichés, and terrific tropes. It’s all about the feel-good loving that will leave you grinning.”

As a writer, I thought about submitting a story for this new line, but the writing guidelines felt too restrictive for my style. And, in my opinion, these guidelines are the reason I didn’t enjoy this story more. Yes, the author delivered exactly what they needed, but in the end, it read as forced.

I loved Harrison after reading less than a paragraph from his POV. He was my favorite character archetype — surly, millionaire, reclusive, with a heart of gold. He had great qualities, but he didn’t have enough time for a real redemption. In a handful of pages, he tried to justify his actions with a childhood story that seemed too little too late and unnecessary. His personality should have been enough of a reason behind his words.

Sasha was adorable and sassy. A perfect combination for Harrison but their time together was not as interesting as their courting and time apart. He was a great friend and Mateo, Padma, and Jo complemented his story well.

The settings, the job descriptions, and some of the secondary characters were great. Overall, it was a good story with a nineties’ feel.

What I liked the most: More of Harrison’s snarkiness.

I wanted more of: Penn’s and Sasha’s relationship.

Who should read it: Perfect for those who grew up reading Harlequin category romances.

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