Saturday, April 6, 2013

Temping Is Hell by Cathy Yardley

Temping Is Hell (Necessary Evil, #1)
Temping Is Hell by Cathy Yardley


Kate O'Hara can't wait until this temp assignment is over. The woman who hired her is a psychotic pageant queen, her coworkers are convicts-turned-clerks, and it's so boringly corporate it makes her skin crawl. Even her sexy-as-sin boss, famed billionaire Thomas Kestrel, isn't enticement enough to keep her there. Once she makes enough to pay off her bills, she's out. Or so she thinks...


Next thing she knows, she's accidentally signed over her soul. Literally. And she's discovered Thomas's real mission: to kill thirteen bad guys in one year, in order to get his—now his and Kate’s—souls back.


From learning to boost the morale of some paper-pushing demons to navigating her way through blood-red tape, Kate has to work closely with her super-hot supervisor and get her flaky act together, before somebody clocks her out—p permanently!

found on Cathy Yardley's blog

Thomas Kestrel had become a millionaire by the time he was eighteen years old, a billionaire by thirty. He was said to be one of the smartest, savviest, street-wise self-made businessmen to hit the country in a century.
And here I am, lost in my own office building.
He scowled as he tried taking another turn. In his defense, he’d only transferred to the new headquarters a day ago; he’d been too busy tying up loose ends in the old building in North Carolina, including its demolition. And the labyrinthine design of the new headquarters, while deliberate and mystic and supposedly full of protective chi or some such, was also a real pain in the ass to figure out.
He was getting ready to stoop to using his phone’s GPS when he heard the strange noises. There was a ribbon of light spooling out from the bottom of a closed doorway.
His heart started pounding.
Who the hell is in my building at this time of night?
He approached cautiously. Fiendish Headquarters was built specifically to be an impregnable fortress, in more ways than one, but he knew better than to let his guard down.
“My anaconda don’t want none unless she’s got BUNS, hon…”
His eyes widened.
Apparently, whoever was skulking around at one in the morning was a Sir Mix-a-lot fan.
He opened the door cautiously, peering inside. The woman he saw was thin, maybe five-six, wearing an ugly gray-green blouse and a shapeless khaki skirt. That alone told him she didn’t work for Fiendish: his employees wore strictly Fiendish Fashion clothing, and he’d know if they sold anything that damned ugly. She had long, ruby red hair pulled up into a haphazard ponytail, with straggling curls escaping.
She was also “shaking her money maker,” every now and then shutting a file cabinet drawer with one jaunty hip shimmy.
“….baby got baaaaaaaacccck!,” she shrieked, finally catching sight of him.
He couldn’t help himself. He grinned broadly. She had square framed glasses that were slipping down on a cute nose. She looked like an absent minded librarian or a vaguely frumpy co-ed. She held up a stapler like she meant business.
“Um, hi. Just heard somebody singing, thought I’d investigate.” He held out his hand. “I’m Thomas.”
“Hi. I’m mortified.” Putting down the stapler, she shook his hand, blushing. Then she moved in a whirlwind, popping folders back into place, scribbling on a pad of paper. Within seconds, it seemed, everything was neat as a pin.
“Big project, huh?”
She wrinkled her nose, grabbing the paper. “Just helping get the personnel files a bit more…user-friendly.”
“Maggie ask you to do that?” He vaguely remembered Maggie taking on that task last year, but had complained at the sheer volume and complexity of the task, and the fact that she didn’t want to work with the “geeks,” as she called I.T., about automating it.  He’d wondered what the big deal was, but a lot of Maggie’s “special projects” seemed to garner the same description.
The girl smirked at him. She had a great smirk. “Sort of. She asked me to make a phone list, but this will be a little more comprehensive.”
“Done for the night?”
She shut down the computer. “I think so. I just need to leave a note for Maggie.”
“Considering the lateness of the hour, I’d better escort you to her office.” He knew where the elevators were from Maggie’s office…at least, he thought he did. Hopefully this redhead knew the way to the office itself.
“Good idea.” She shot him a self-deprecating grin. “I mean, there’s no telling what kind of weirdoes you might run into at this time of night, right?”
He chuckled. “So, you have a name?”
“Kate. Kate O’Hara.” Her smile was warm, sweet. “I’m a temp.”
“How are you liking it so far?” he asked, as they fell into step together, strolling casually down the hallway.
“What, working here at Fiendish?” He watched as she kneaded the back of her neck with one hand. “It sucks like a Dyson. But hey, it’s a job, right?”
He stopped, staring at her for a minute. “You do have a way with words, don’t you?”
“Oh my God.” She shook her head, rubbing her eyes behind her glasses with her fingers. “I’m sorry. My internal censor clocks out at midnight. Actually, I think it took the day off.”
“Don’t be sorry. I like it when people are honest with me.” And she probably didn’t realize he was the founder and CEO. That was sort of refreshing. “So what sucks about it?”
“Other than being stuck here at one o’clock in the morning organizing?” she asked. “I guess I never thought I’d be working at a place like this, you know?”
His feeling of amusement waned. “What do you mean, a place like this?”
“Big corporate.” She wrinkled her nose again.
He struggled not to feel offended… or at least, not to let it show. “Fiendish Enterprises is a multi-billion dollar corporation, true, but it’s really a dozen different smaller companies. Fiendish Fashion. Fiendish Fun. Fiendish Escapes. Fiendish Films…”
She shrugged, obviously unimpressed.
Okay. Now he was definitely offended. “So, you’re telling me you have no interest in fashion, or traveling, or entertainment?”
Kate shot him a quicksilver grin, momentarily stunning him. “Look at me. Do I look like I’m all into haute couture?”
He glanced at her ugly outfit again, although this time, he took a bit more notice of the woman underneath. There were some curves there, he noticed, buried under the business casual, but it was as if she’d deliberately chosen clothes to hide what she had.
He was used to women who flaunted their assets and used fashion as a weapon. If anything, Kate seemed to use fashion as a duck blind.
She’s honest, though.
“As for the rest: I’ve traveled some, sure, but I crash on people’s couches or stay in hostels. Fiendish Escapes has the whole five star treatment, doesn’t it? Like, maids and lackeys and Egyptian cotton and Kobe beef and whatever?” When he nodded, she shrugged. “I’m not interested in paying the down payment for a house, just so I can have a bunch of toadying and overindulgence for an entire week. Frankly, I don’t need all that.”
“Yes, but Fiendish isn’t about need,” he pointed out. “Sometimes, it’s about desire.”
She paused for a second, and her green eyes went wide, her cheeks flushing just a little.
He wasn’t sure why he was needling her so hard, other than that sanctimonious pleasure-deniers tended to get his boxers in a bunch. But there was something about challenging her, watching her expression go surly, that was actually entertaining.
It occurred to him that for a man who had made his livelihood on expensive, extreme, and exclusive options for entertainment, he actually personally enjoyed precious little of it.
“So what about fun?” he prompted. “Got something against that, as well?”
“Sure, I like fun. What’s not to like?” Kate agreed absently, looking up and down the corridor, obviously more intent on finding Maggie’s office than on what she was saying. “But from what I’ve seen, actually working here isn’t fun.”
Now it was his turn to grimace. “It isn’t?”
“No. It’s working your ass off to convince other people to drop a wad of cash on stuff they don’t need, so they can momentarily pretend their lives don’t suck as they bust ass to afford the stuff we’re selling… Here we are. Maggie’s office.”
He crossed his arms as she tried to put a note down on the desk, only to find no clear space. Finally, she sighed and put it on Maggie’s chair.
“So what you’re saying,” he reiterated, as they headed toward the elevators, “is that my job—and everybody else’s job here—is basically pushing expensive, self-indulgent, ultimately hollow crap.”
She was silent for a second. Then she sighed, and to his surprise, she put a hand on his arm. “I’m sorry. That’s unfair. I’ve had a crappy day, and not a lot of great experiences with big corporate, but I’m firmly against snap judgment. I apologize for that.”
Her apology, and self-awareness, threw him off.
“Besides, you obviously love it here,” she said in a low, serious voice, releasing his arm and walking. “I felt that way about the place I used to work, before it went under. I guess…I just miss the way things used to be.”
I know that feeling,he thought.
“Besides, one of these days I really should learn when to shut up.”
He laughed at her abashed tone. “You’re sort of a neat person, Kate O’Hara. And a very inventive singer.”
“And you’re probably the coolest billionaire I’ve ever met, Thomas Kestrel,” she said, with a little chuckle. “Of course, you may be the only billionaire I’ve ever met, so that kind of narrows the field.”
“You knew who I was?” The elevator arrived, and he followed her in, torn between feeling amused at her audacity and a little disappointed—was she just playing up the smartass act, trying to get his attention?
“Your picture’s in the lobby,” she pointed out. “We’re not talking Sherlock Holmes, here.”
“So, knowing all that, you still panned my corporation?” he pressed. “To my face?”
“Apparently.” She was blushing again, like rose petals on milk. Suddenly, he got the strong feeling that she wasn’t acting. She was not only being herself—she was probably clinically incapable of being anything else. “Besides, I don’t mean to make it sound like this is, you know, that bad. It could’ve been worse.”
He studied her, paused for a beat. “Could’ve been Microsoft, huh?”
“Don’t even joke.” She shuddered. “Anyway, it’s later than I thought. I missed the last train. Guess I’d better call a cab.”
He could smell her perfume, if it was perfume. Maybe it was some kind of soap. It smelled sort of flowery, but not in an overpowering way. Like… lemon, he thought, and the white clover he used to stretch out in, back at home in North Carolina. He took a deep breath, and noticed he was standing a little closer to her than necessary.
He didn’t move.
Pulling out his phone, he tapped a text to his limo company. “Listen, I’ll have one of our drivers drop you off, okay? It’s too late for you to catch a cab by yourself.”
“That’s really nice of you.” She smiled at him, then surprised him further by giving him a gentle punch on the arm. “You’re a good guy, no matter what the papers say. You know that?”
He felt a surge of warmth, started to take one step closer. Then stopped himself abruptly.
What the hell am I doing?
It was one o’clock in the morning, and he was joking with a cute redheaded temp. Noticing her perfume. Smiling at her.
Don’t you remember why you’re here?
He closed his eyes. Thinking of the real reason he’d moved to Oakland. Thinking for a moment of the real—and deadly serious—purpose of the new Fiendish headquarters.
And it’s just the beginning.
“No, Kate,” he said in a low voice, finally taking a deliberate step away from her. “No, I’m really not a good guy.”

A few random facts about Cathy Yardley :

I am a fiction addict.
I love J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts, Jim Butcher, J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, Stephen King, Jennifer Crusie, Marian Keyes, J.K. Rowling, and a slew of other authors.
I have been known to stay up all night to finish a new novel.  I don’t so much read as devour.
I am an out of the closet foodie.
People who follow me on Facebook can attest: I am a foodie-blog whore.  Love Smitten Kitchen.  Adore Pioneer Woman Cooks.  Bake my own bread on a weekly basis (because the recipe is so frickin’ easy, a chimp could do it — and it tastes phenomenal.  I am a walking infomercial for this bread. ) Total Top Chef freak.
I am a geekgirl.
I love the San Diego Comic-con, or “The Con” as they call it.
I was part of the SCA — The Society for Creative Anachronism — and briefly sponsored my own mini army.  I learned to speak some Japanese from anime.
I have a near encyclopedic knowledge of character actors and obscure movies. I have been called to settle bar bets.
I have a more-flirtatious-than-appropriate relationship with Excel spreadsheets.  When I used to work at a day job, if I wore lipstick they assumed I was going on an interview.  To this day, an entire marketing department lives in fear of my memory.
I love being an author.
Love writing.  Love promoting.  Love everything about it.  And I love hearing from readers.  Email me, anytime, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

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Jen's Review
Cute story - I haven't been reading a lot of PNR so this really hit the spot :)

When Kate was sent to the big corporate offices for a Temp job, she got more than she bargained for.

Her boss, Maggie - lol It's hard to like Maggie, but she makes easy to see through her shell - she's a bitch - she tries hard to make life miserable for everyone else, but she has her reasons :)

When Kate tries to make more of the job than Maggie has to offer, she ends up with extra work. Staying late to finish up, Thomas, The Billionaire owner of the company stumbles into her office.

Now the attraction to Thomas is there, and Thomas seems to find a strange attraction to Kate, but they don't think twice about it. They have a nice friendly chat and that's it.. right?

Next day Maggie gets mad at Kate for over stepping her boundaries. Knowing that the company has secrets that needs to stay hidden, she tries to Fire Kate.
But when Thomas walks in, he likes the extra stuff that Kate did for the company, and can see how it's all helpful, and over ruled the whole being fired bit.

Now Maggie is furious at Kate, so she sends her downstairs to Contacts -
Down Kate goes, and what she finds down there is beyond anything she ever imagined!

The story was cute - funny and different - I was impressed with the whole getting your soul back bit.

Thomas had sold his soul all in the name of Love, and when that backfired, he wanted nothing else but to get it back. hiring Yagi to help him get his soul back seemed like the perfect way.

Yagi wasn't my favorite character. He was all business and that was it. But he's a good guy and is very thorough.
And when he see's Thomas making decisions about Kate that complicate things, he pulls back and lets Thomas decide what's more important.

Kate gets in over her head. No one can understand HOW she can be so helpful, especially with the "basement boys" but she is. And when she learns about what's REALLY going on, she starts to get scared.
Kate is a strong girl, She doesn't always think with her head though. She thinks more with her heart. Trying to help every little lost puppy, or Demon as this book goes, isn't always the right thing.

So when she meets up with Victor Klaus to give him a warning, Kate finds herself deeper into Thomas's life than she ever thought she would be.

Like I said, cute story :) Recommended to those that love a cute PNR - not a lot of Romance, but it's there :) 

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