|The Intern Affair is a fun romp that brings to a close a little bit of mystery contained in The Elliotts series – who is Finola’s child that she gave away for adoption when she was just 16? It veers away from the big competition for the head of the magazine conglomerate and provides us with a fine romance in classic St. Claire style. As you might guess, to truly enjoy this tale, it will help you immensely if you have been reading the series.
Finola Elliott is the Managing Editor of the highest-ranking fashion magazine and has been determined to win the competition set up by her father amongst her siblings. The Editor with the best bottom line at the end of the year becomes CEO. Finola has always seemed to be in charge and the one with the most ambition, with her red hair and green eyes marking her as the pride of her Irish mother, Maeve. But in the last tale, Finola’s sense of loss was introduced. When she was young and rebellious, she got pregnant and was forced by her father to give up her baby, who she heard was a girl, for adoption. She recently registered with an agency that seeks to reunite children with their biological parent and has been hoping to find the girl. Cade McCann is Finola’s vice president on the fashion magazine and one of his jobs is to ensure the interns are assigned a supervisor and choose one who will shadow Finola for six months – an assignment that is highly prized. Cade is also handsome and single, having focused on his career under Finola’s tutelage. It is his hope to get her job when she becomes CEO.
Jessie Clayton is, by far, the best choice in the intern pool for the shadowing job. But she has intrigued Cade because he has noticed that she generally avoids Finola whenever possible – not usual behavior for an intern. Jessie is a redhead who wears funky looking glasses that make her eyes look violet rather than the deep green they are. Jessie is also a small town girl, growing up with a loving mother and father. Her mother is deceased, and her father is an aging rancher. Jessie has taken some of the money left to her by her mother to explore this world of fashion. She is also looking for her biological mother.
The storyline involves Jessie hiding as much as she can and Cade deciding to date her, partly because he is attracted, and partly to see what she is hiding. Cade recognizes that dating an intern is not a good idea, but he rationalizes it away. He also soon has the hots for her and is even more intrigued as he gets to know her. Jessie, on the other hand, has always thought Cade was cute, but is vulnerable about her secret. This vulnerability wars with her genuinely strong personality, her real ambition and talent in the fashion business and her understanding that interns don’t date their bosses. How they handle all this is fun, energetic and often quite unique in category writing. St. Claire is one of the best and it shows in her characters, their actions and their humor while falling in love.
I truly enjoyed this tale. It was fun watching the back and forth foreplay and social interactions that these two had in their dance towards a happy ever after. Cade was charming, sexy and a really nice guy. Jessie (other than the silliness with the glasses disguise) was a truly nice person just hoping for a good outcome on the big risk she was taking searching for a woman who she didn’t know and wasn’t sure wanted to be found.
Finola was slightly underplayed in this tale. If I had not read previous installments, I would not have had the emotional involvement in the reunion and the triumph she felt that she had thwarted her father in this one area.
The Intern Affair works and works well on all levels. It is one of the more enjoyable of the Elliott series that I have read. Enjoy.