She's my boss, and she's a stone-cold fox.
Two months ago, I lost my boat, my cat, and—with my leg in a cast—my income. Until I can walk again, the only job I'm fit for is one few have survived.
See, my new boss has a reputation. She's grumpy, no-nonsense, and runs a tight ship. Keeping a tight rein on a movie budget requires nerves of steel. Especially when disaster strikes.
When she yells at me, all I hear is the passion in her voice. All I want in those moments is to kiss her until she can't think straight.
And then convince her that it's okay to fall in love with me.
Fans of 1990's movies like Swimming with Sharks and Beautiful Girls will love this slow-burn, boss-assistant, entertainment biz, office romance from USA Today bestselling author Karen Grey.
A sweet next chapter for Carolina Classics fans...
This was an enjoyable continuation of Grey’s Carolina Classics series. The older woman/younger man trope was done really well and I enjoyed the connection between the mains and the evolution of their relationship and the tensions rang true. As individuals, both Sully and Helen had clear arcs, and their connections to the secondary characters added to the story. He is a sweet guy who’s a little lost and she’s a woman who maybe needs a little balance between work and life. It’s lovely to watch them find what they need both in and beyond each other.
The only element that was slightly off for me was the minutia concerning the job, particularly when in Helen’s POV. If you listen to the Fated Mates podcast, you’ve probably heard Jen and Sarah talk about what they call “fossils”, a catchall phrase for when an author maybe gets a bit bogged down in the particulars of a character’s job or interest. While it’s absolutely important that characters be well-rounded and have growth in themselves including in their work life, over-detailed accounts of the character’s profession at unnecessary and can interrupt a book's pacing. There were times when Helen would go off on the details of who does what in a film/television production and I found myself skimming. I was much more interested when she and Sully were on the page interacting and “showing” the job, instead of when Helen would “tell” about that job via narration.
Despite that, this was a sweet read and I definitely recommend it.
I received an advance reader copy via the author. All opinions are my own.
I loved Helen & Sully!
This is the second book in Karen Grey’s Carolina Classics series. While each book focuses on a different couple, there’s definitely some story lines that will weave throughout the whole series. While I loved and think the prequel, I’ll Stand By You, is a good intro – minimally this would best be enjoyed after reading/listening to book 1, You Get What You Give.
Oh my heart! Sully and Helen were PERFECT. I connect really well with Grey’s writing and characters which is why I continue to devour her books – but this is my absolute favorite of all her books. First there are so many tropes & themes that I love: office romance, age gap, competent women and men who appreciate them for it, small town romance, found family and lots of laughs.
Sully is recovering from a disastrous boating accident and dealing with all that comes with it: physically, financially, and emotionally. Helen is a movie executive who has no patience for assistants or time for love. When Helen’s in need of help during a shoot in North Carolina, Dani suggest Sully. While he’s usually the muscle on set, he knows how the business works.
Immediately I connected with Sully. I just got off crutches after a surgery earlier this month and I could relate with how frustrating it is to not be able to do so. many. things. I love the way Grey brought all of those little details into the story. Helen was also fantastic. The perfect mix of strong, driven, smart, a fierce friend, and yet still vulnerable.
These two are fireworks. At first just clashing (in a fun way) in the office and then sparks fly in the bedroom. But it isn’t all just lust. It was easy to tell that these two belonged together and that their HEA was a certainty… once they managed a few bumps in the road. While Helen is 10 years older at 38, the age gap didn’t actually cause a lot of issues. Overall, Grey provided just enough angst in a few areas to make things interesting without dragging it out.
I like that the rest of the Carolina Classics gang is integral to the story, but doesn’t take the light away from Helen and Sully. We get updates on Violet & Nate, Ford, Whitney, and it looks like Dani’s book is up next. She’s been such an intriguing character – I can’t wait.
A sexy May to December romance
This narration pairing is one of my favorites I’ve heard
Mackenzie Cartwright is so sexy in her male sex voice. I like her inflection which works well for her alpha business woman but has a vulnerability to it. And I can listen to J.F. Harding all the live long day. He has a swoony subtle southern accent and does so many other characters well. This was perfect!
It’s refreshing to have a male character that isn’t successful. Sully had a serious accident which has changed his life enough that he needs to reevaluate where he goes from here. So he gets a job being an assistant to a movie producer, a very successful woman, Helen. Helen’s the grumpy in this grumpy/sunshine, may to December romance. And I so loved seeing this journey of love. Grey writes mature characters who behave like adults, without crazy unnecessary drama that so many other books have because the story is shallow. This kept my attention the entire time.
I love Karen Grey’s retro books. All the references to movies and tv shows on her chapters are so relatable. As someone born and raised in LA I can’t help but absorb the movie references even if you don’t work in the industry. June gloom and the Santa Anna winds…. Only a fellow Los Angelino knows these specifics about LA. I loved it!
I really enjoy the unique elements that Grey puts into her books. In the beginning each of Helen’s chapters begins with a movie quote and Sully’s begin with a Thich Nhat Hahn spiritual quote: fitting for each of these characters. And as the book progresses and their relationship blossoms his chapters start with movie quotes and she takes on the spiritual ones.
Overall, this was a great listen and I’ll definitely be putting this on my repeat listen list.