Anyone but the Boss by Sara L Hudson

Alice works as a visual merchandiser in the luxury store owned by Thomas Moore and his family in New York. Thomas is attracted to Alice, but won’t admit it to himself as she is his employee and he does not wish to take advantage of his position. Due to his upbringing, Thomas is lacking in social skills and can’t express his feelings so Alice believes he does not like her because of the way he behaves.

Anyone but the Boss is really a book of two halves. The first half of the book concerns the upcoming Elvis-themed wedding of Thomas’s brother Chase in Las Vegas. Several of the store staff are making the trip, and I may be in a minority here but I found the humour a bit juvenile. In fact, I almost stopped reading at this point. The morning after the wedding, Alice and Thomas wake up in bed together, wearing matching rings, with no memory of what went on the night before. What is the likelihood that they would believe they had got married, without further investigation, but you just have to go along with it for the rest of the story to make sense.

I much preferred the second part of the storyline when Alice and Thomas take over parenting duties for Mary who has been abandoned by her mother (Alice’s foster sister). Mary is a delightful child who wins Thomas over and enables him to loosen up and show how kind he is underneath his stern exterior. Thomas’s mother Emily’s reaction to Mary is also a revelation – we see a completely different side to her. All that’s needed to complete the picture is a hairless cat with a bad attitude.

The story is told from the point of view of both Alice and Thomas so we get a rounded picture of what is going on. The characters are well written and believable, and develop as the story goes on. Naturally there is a lot of humour or everything might have seemed a bit dark. This is the second book in a series and I have not read the first one, but I don’t think it really mattered. Thanks to Boldwood Books and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.