From the publisher:
From the USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine comes the clever, funny, and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two old women—under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager.
Dazzle (n): Brightness that blinds someone temporarily.
Position Vacant: Two ancient old women residing at Providence Retirement Villa seek male assistant for casual exploitation and good-natured humiliation. Duties include boutique shopping, fast-food fetching, and sincerely rendered flattery. Good looks a bonus—but we aren’t picky.
An advertisement has been placed (again!) by the wealthy and eccentric Parloni Sisters. The salary is generous and the employers are 90 years old, so how hard could the job be? Well, none have lasted longer than a week. Most boys leave in tears.
Ruthie Midona will work in Providence’s front office, and be at the Parloni’s beck and call, forever. That’s sort of her life plan. If Ruthie can run the place in her almost-retired bosses’ absence, with no hijinks/hiccups, she has a shot at becoming the new manager. She might also be able to defend her safe little world from Prescott Development, the new buyer of the prime site. Maybe after all that, she can find a cute guy to date. All she needs to do is stay serious—and that’s what she does best.
Until, one day, someone dazzling blows in to town.
Teddy Prescott devotes his life to sleeping, tattooing, and avoiding seriousness. When Teddy needs a place to crash, he makes a deal with his developer dad. Teddy can stay in one of Providence’s on-site maintenance cottages—right next door to an unimpressed Ruthie—but only if he works there and starts to grow up.
Ruthie knows how this sweetly selfish rich boy can earn his keep—and be out of her hair in under a week. After all, there is a position vacant…
It’s hard to believe in this day and age that there is a young woman, a twenty-five year old woman, who believes herself ready to live in a retirement village forever. Yet somehow it feels true here, and you can’t help but root for Ruthie to wake up and realize she has a whole lotta life in front of her.
When Ruthie’s boss goes on an extended vacation, she leaves Ruthie in charge, and she hires a temp, Mel, to help out. Things are changing at the retirement village though; there is a new owner, the Prescott family, and they are known for shaking things up. The first they did was give everyone’s contract an end date for the following year. But Ruthie is bound and determined to show them what a good little business this is. Providence is home to forty townhomes owned by very wealthy people, including the Parloni’s. Ruthie loves all her old people, but especially these two women, who are eccentric and entertaining. When the Prescotts show up, father and son, with the father seeking employment for his son, Teddy, the old women hire him.
Teddy is as laid back as it gets. A natural born wanderer, he couch surfs until he lands in Providence, where his job includes daily humiliation but somehow he doesn’t mind. Especially if he gets to live on the other side of the very thin wall from Ruthie. Ruthie is security and order, something his life has always lacked. But she cannot believe this gorgeous man could possible be interested in her.
Mel is determined to get Ruthie out into the dating world and works very hard at it. She forbids Ruthie from dating Teddy, explaining he is way out of her league but while Ruthie definitely believes that, she also can’t help falling for the sweet man. There are also endangered tortoises, business start-up stress, and a makeover – not to mention the angst these characters go through to find their happy ending.
This is another fun read from Thorne, who has become one of my go-to authors for light, humorous love stories. If you want to escape for a few hours, look no further.
4/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
SECOND FIRST IMPRESSIONS by Sally Thorne. William Morrow Paperbacks (April 13, 2021). ISBN: 978-0062912855. 352 pages.
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