Book Spotlight: Heart Smart by Emma Lee Jayne
(Work for It #2)
by Emma Lee Jayne
Date Released: March 4, 2021
About Heart Smart
Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has a problem ….
I’m a jerk. Everyone I know or have ever worked with agrees. “Misanthropic asshole” is the term I hear most often.
I don’t care what other people think as long as they leave me alone to focus on my research on soil microbiology. Plus, I walk with a cane thanks to a childhood accident. I have scars on my face. And if that isn’t enough to scare people off, my bad attitude and general grumpiness seal the deal. Which is just the way I like it.
Except, I’ve been short listed for one of the most prestigious academic fellowships around. To win it, I’ll have to give a series of speeches. On a stage. With an audience. While being filmed.
Yeah. None of that is going to happen.
Unfortunately, my boss has a plan. He brings in one of the communications lecturers to give me a “make over,” help me write the speeches, and manage my social media.
But the last thing I need is some nosy, bossy, gorgeous woman meddling in my life.
And Holly is the solution…
I’m a mere communications lecturer at a prestigious research university. I’m used to being outclassed and under-educated compared to the PhDs who surround me.
But I’m good at what I do. Brilliant, actually.
When Max’s boss (who happens to be my ex-husband) begs me to help transform this beast of a man into someone worthy of the fellowship, I have my work cut out for me.
It’ll take a lot of badgering, blatant manipulation, and some outright thievery to get Max to cooperate. All of which I handle with the enough professionalism and restraint that should earn me a fancy grant.
What I can’t handle is how unexpectedly attractive I find the stubborn and brilliant man.
This is a battle of wills and wits, and neither is prepared to admit defeat …
Heart Smart is a full-length workplace romantic comedy and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Work for It series, Educated Romance World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
Read my 4.5-starred review of Heart Smart.
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An Excerpt from Street Smart
He stands up and shrugs out of his wet duster. I take it from him. It’s still dripping, so I walk into the back to hang it up in the work area where it can drip on the linoleum instead of the wood floors. When I turn back, I see Max has also shucked his jacket and draped it over the back of a nearby chair.
And he’s unbuttoning his shirt.
My steps slow. Then stop.
He’s looking down, so he doesn’t see my mouth drop open as he shrugs out of his oxford shirt. He’s wearing a white T-shirt on under his Oxford.
I never, not in a million years, would have thought wearing a white shirt under a dress shirt would be inherently sexy. It shouldn’t be.
It’s oddly formal. It calls up images of old-world elegance and cuff links.
But it’s also just . . . hot.
Because while all of Max’s other clothes are ill-fitting—including the pants he’s still wearing—the crisp white undershirt is snug. It highlights every one of those perfect muscles I’ve been trying not to think about since I saw them at his house that day.
Every. Single. One.
From his stupidly broad shoulders to that narrow waist.
I’m still staring—who am I kidding? I’m still drooling—when he looks up from carefully draping his shirt over this jacket.
I must look like a pervy cartoon with bugging eyes and a long, dangling tongue, because he clears his throat and says awkwardly, “I don’t like having hair caught in my collar.”
I nod mutely.
“So I took off my shirt.”
I nod again. Still dumbstruck.
But surely I’ll be able to speak again sometime in the next couple hours.
“I hope that’s okay.”
I clear my throat.
Because the whole struck-dumb-by-his-muscles thing is starting to get ridiculous.
“Yes.” I swallow. “Absolutely. Whatever you need.”
God, I hope that didn’t sound like a proposition.
I clear my throat again and quickly add, “To feel comfortable. You should do whatever you need to feel comfortable. That’s the point, right? You should be comfortable and I should be . . .”
I should be silent.
Because, oh my God. Dumbstruck was so much better than this rambling mess.
“Firmer is better,” he blurts.
He blushes and presses his lips together, before saying, “When you’re washing my hair. Or touching me. A firmer touch is better than a light one.”
I nod, the pieces falling into place. I had read that people with sensory issues and people on the spectrum sometimes find light touches over-stimulating.
“Thank you for telling me.” I want to say more. Something that will get him to open up to me. But is that really a good idea? Do I really need more ideas about how Max likes to be touched?
Um . . . that is a big, fat no. No, I do not. Because I’m only touching him to cut his hair and trim his beard. I do not need to be getting ideas beyond that.
About Emma Lee Jayne
I write the kinds of books I want to read. Fast-paced books with lots of world-building, snarky heroines, and swoony heroes. I love story, pop culture, gossip, and baked goods. I’m a modern-day hippy and certified LEGO nerd.
I live in the Austin, Texas hill country, with my geeky husband and two extremely geeky kids. We have dogs, chickens, cats, and more LEGOs than should be allowed by law. Oh, and I stress bake. So if my characters talk about food a lot, that’s why.
Emma also writes as RITA award-winning author Emily McKay.
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