I downloaded a free copy of Reconstructed, by Tasha Black. It is currently free on Amazon. (Or was at the time of posting.)
Description from Goodreads:
Westley Worthington has it all. Piles of money, good looks, a head for business, and a seemingly limitless supply of women who want to please him. And that’s just the way he likes it. Until a brush with death causes him to rethink his priorities, and consider someone besides himself for the first time in his privileged life.
Cordelia Cross has never had it easy. Her duty to her family has her working as an assistant to a man she hates just to pay her sister’s medical bills. When her arrogant boss alienates his last true friend, she finds herself promoted from schedule-managing coffee grabber, to the newest member of West’s inner circle.
Tempers, and passions, ignite as the two start spending time together, until a shocking accident puts their newfound attraction on ice. When West is faced with the toughest trial of his life, Cordelia helps him realize that he has all the tools he needs to be a force for justice.
Together, they must turn West into the hero no one ever thought he could be.
Wellllll, it wasn’t baaaaad. It just wasn’t very good either. This is a romance above all else and I’m sorry, but it wasn’t enough to carry the plot. Mostly because it wasn’t at all developed and it was too diluted by the attempt at action/sci-fi. Plain Jane assistance works for jerk-face, womanizing boss and is inexplicably attracted to him. Jerk-face, womanizing boss can’t figure out why his starlets no longer appeal and all he can think of is plain Jane assistant. That’s pretty much it. It makes no sense. What’s more, it’s inferred that plain Jane assistant is smart and witty and capable, while all those other pretty, sexy, available women (read slutty, because that’s the subtext) and by extension all other women are not. This makes me twitchy.
Then there’s the attempt at a sci-fi, action plot. It fails almost completely because it’s just too weak. The characters survival stretches credulity. His recover is almost instantaneous. His accomplishments inhuman, but worst of all we’re not shown anything. I have this specific incident I want to use as an example, but it would be a spoiler. So lets just say someone does something impossible to save someone else. He tells that person to go, sacrificing himself. That’s the plan, anyhow. Cut scene, end chapter. New chapter, he is giving someone a gift, culminating in the pseudo-sex scene symbolizing their forever union. We do not see the action. We do not know how he survived. We don’t know what happened to the person saved. We don’t know the aftermath. We don’t know what happened to the ultimate villain, only the minion. We don’t even know who the second person, who disappeared without mention, had been. What was the point of including any of it, if the author was going to skip all the important stuff? Honestly, the book would have been stronger if she had just written an office romance.
The writing itself is ok, for the most part. But it fails at times. For example, the hero does have some character growth, random as if feels at times. But this is part of how the author let the reader know about it. “West was deepening before her eyes – becoming less a caricature of a playboy and more of a man.” Yep, got it. Thanks for making sure I didn’t miss the fact. Head/desk.
So, again, it’s not all bad, though I guess I made it sound like it was. There is a good side character, Dalton, and some obvious set up for future books. But it’s just not really very good.