A New York editor is shocked to find herself falling for a client that she hates, and yet they must resolve the attraction and chemistry between them as the threat of death looms on the horizon. This is a typical and rather florid romance. Joy is in her late twenties, an attractive editor, who is in charge of a manuscript from a new author the publishing house has taken on, James. His last name is not Bond but there are more than a few similarities, including that he is a dark, witty, dangerous, womanizing British spy and that he drinks martinis.
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Their relationship as writer and editor is fraught with creative differences and attraction to each other. James constantly presses her buttons with his abrasive manner of speaking and casual insolence, which he doesn't mean in a hostile way but which Joy takes in a hostile way. Joy's boss, Sharon, is wise to the ways of men and can see that the innocent Joy is letting James get under her skin because she likes him, and can also see that James likes Joy. But James has a girlfriend, the fabulous and sophisticated Aubrey, an Upper East Side beauty.
Joy feels gauche and unfinished and plain next to Aubrey, but as the manuscript is polished out and edited, James comes to respect Joy's talents and her keen editorial eye. They have some intimate moments in her office but no sex, and Joy is frustrated that James won't be more forthcoming about what Aubrey means to him. Finally unwilling to be strung along while Aubrey appears to be his intended, Joy tells James in no uncertain terms to stop his advances towards her and cuts him out, piqued again by his mockery. She receives a letter from a man who claims to be a character in James' memoir and wants to read it - will she meet him on the Lower East Side? Normally Joy would never agree, but curiosity and a fit of anger towards James force her to say yes. In the alley, she is kidnapped and tied in a warehouse, while the man who lured her there is revealed to be a drug kingpin's pawn. They knew that James was on their trail, with his colleague Aubrey (masquerading as James' girlfriend, it is revealed), and when they suspected that Jame had an interest in Joy, they kidnap her to use her as leverage. However, James and Aubrey and the FBI had Joy tailed, and in no time James busts in and rescues Joy. It's pretty cheesy, but that's not surprising. In the end James and Joy confess their feelings and end up together, with Aubrey looking on in amusement.
Best part of story, including ending:
I didn't particularly like the characters but I enjoyed the setting of 80s New York.
Best scene in story:
Joy's boss teasing her about how much attention James pays to her.
Opinion about the main character:
I enjoyed how elegant and aristocratic James is.