Something short and quick!
Author: Nell Carson
Title: Not Your Average Joe
Release date: 1st of August 2013
Published by: Escape Publishing
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance
Pages: 212 in in e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
Reality TV just got real in this Cinderella story about a factory worker and a CEO’s son…
Jennifer Wright is finishing a long shift on the assembly line at Brickman Foods when she meets her newest trainee, Jason Baxter — only that’s not his name and she knows it. She recognises him instantly as Jared Brickman, internationally renowned playboy and son of the CEO of Brickman Foods, working undercover to film the reality show, Joe Average.
Jared is also the father of Jennifer’s son, Chris, although he doesn’t know it. The six years since they dated have been momentous for Jennifer, but it’s clear when they meet again that Jared doesn’t even remember her. Jennifer knew Jared the boy — irresponsible and reckless. Now she has the opportunity to discover Jared the man. She’d like to tell him about his son, but fears his reputation as depicted in celebrity magazines.
Is Jared an infamous heartbreaker, or is he the man she sees now: sweet, shy, and dependable — someone who can be trusted in her son’s life…and maybe even her own?
Well, I confess that I live for Cinderella and secret baby tropes (among others of course) and thus, this story was just up my alley. And, in general, it fulfilled and met all my expectations on what I prefer to read about when taking on a book with these particular favorite themes.
Gist: Hardworking single mother Jennifer is working her pretty butt off at Brickman food factory when her evil ex and, coincidentally, father of her son and heir to the food empire Jennifer is an employee of, saunters in with a quite questionable disguise (according to her) and introduces himself as her trainee. He, of course, is filming Undercover Boss, where he must show how brilliant or pathetic he is at the most basic jobs in his own food factory, so that audiences can laugh at his failure. And between sorting carrots, Jared and Jennifer have time to rekindle their love without him knowing her and her admitting she knows him.
My interest and fascination with reality tv is basically zero so I wasn’t too excited for this part of the plot, but it all tied together nicely and it gave the book something original next to everything else. I don’t recall many stores with the reality show element.
The romance was sweet and subtle, there was no overwhelming passion and love declarations here. Jared and Jennifer got to know each other, there was attraction, they grew close, and after trials and tribulations and misunderstandings and confusion, they came together. I liked how their relationship developed and didn’t jump from stage one to happy-ever-after. They actually got to know each other first (with or without Jared’s lousy disguise).
There were some really cliché and rolling my eyes moments and I couldn’t contain my anger towards the two dads – they deserved hard kicks in the backside area. In addition, the fact that Jared couldn’t recognize Jennifer didn’t really speak in his favor and was quite odd, people don’t change that much. Do they?
I was also hoping that the big revelation about Chris would have been more special with some decent bonding scenes and not just as an afterthought. Then again, it wasn’t too shabby, so I’ll leave my complaints regarding this here.
Jennifer was admirable and hardworking, always present for her colleagues and trying to balance her heavy work and study load with her time with her cute son. She was likable and easy to root for, but I would have liked her to kick more butt in regards to the nasty boss, Jared taking responsibility for their relationship and her fighting for their love.
Jared, despite the wealth, looks and charm, came across a normal person – human – , making mistakes, doubting oneself, having regrets, being embarrassed, blushing, not knowing what he wants, etc, I really felt that he stood apart from all the typical macho millionaire hunks who have all figured out and just needed a woman to complete their lives. Jared was a simple vulnerable guy underneath it all, someone who could change only for the better. I’d like to read more about such heroes who are not hard as rock and too flawless to take seriously.
This was a charming quick and easy read. It had some really adorable moments, an array of likable characters and a sweet love story. It’s not without its issues, but I still recommend this as light reading.