Annaliese Harper knows that one tiny mistake can jeopardize a career before it’s even begun. Letting your boss find the extensive collection of porn on your personal laptop is one way. Sleeping with him is another. Liese manages to do both.
As the new librarian at a prestigious small-town private high school, Liese is drawn to her sexy, charismatic principal, Ryder Whitehall—an attraction she refuses to acknowledge given their relationship and her recent liberation from a delusional ex-boyfriend.
Liese is certain Ryder’s flirtation is the product of her sex-deprived imagination—until he discovers her digital porn stash during working hours and demands a private meeting. Behind closed doors, their attraction explodes into a dangerous, passionate affair that not only threatens their jobs and reputations, but most of all, their hearts.
I am such a sucker for romance novels about the academe. Professors and students, TAs and students, and this one, the principal and the librarian. They can never really go wrong for me. I think the appeal of it is that characters from the academe are usually witty and smart, whether the story is dramatic or humorous. That being said, it is the exact reason I enjoyed reading The Librarian Principle.
The book is a quick and easy read, with a cover I really loved. I loved both characters, Annaliese Harper and Ryder Whitehall, including all the banter and sexual innuendo they shared, and the crazy situations which they went through. I am usually a masochist when it comes to character conflicts and while this book didn’t make me cry and despair to the heavens, it did give me enough reason to worry for them as they tried to figure out how to keep their relationship a secret while doing the routine of their daily work life.
Written with flirty and playful dialogue, Hunting’s narration was engaging and kept me laughing. She captures the reader’s attention, especially with so many laughable quotable quotes (“flicking the bean” or “The power of the cleavage should never be underestimated”) which I will probably take with me as I finish the book. (I sincerely hope to say all those lines to a friend in need one day). Her characters, specially Annaliese, is such an adorable, (porn) loving character. Smart, liberated and someone who knows what she wants. I also love how dedicated she is to her profession. Ryder Whitehall is just really, really hot, plus points for being a loving brother, a well accomplished principal and for giving me visions of a nice butt. Their friends (and frenemies) were also wonderful people, particularly Marissa and Blake, who provided the extra spice in the story. And I think its just great that Annaliese’s mom is a sex therapist. I’d like to think she gets all that freedom from her mom.
I think my only concern with the book is that I would have hoped for a little more background on Ryder’s family life. (Umm, maybe a second book, please?). But regardless, The Librarian Principle is a great read, with just the right amount of humor, tension and so many unforgettable lines, you’d want to read it more than twice.
“I’m sorry, sir.” Liese uncrossed her legs, smoothing her skirt over her thighs. He followed the movement with his eyes. She prayed he wasn’t propositioning her as a means to sink the final nail into the coffin of her career, but that the months of pretending the attraction between them didn’t exist had finally come to an end. “I’m not sure I understand.” God, she hoped they were done pretending.
“You’re an intelligent woman, Liese. I’m sure you can figure it out.”
She remained silent, trying to ascertain her position. Tucking her chin in, she looked up at him demurely. “So, to paraphrase,” she began in a conspiratorial whisper, “you’d like to have dinner with me so I can tell you about my masturbation habits? Would that be accurate, sir?”
Ryder’s eyes widened, evidently not expecting her to be quite so forthright. “When you put it that way—”
“It sounds inappropriate?”
“Everything that’s happened between us today has been inappropriate.”
Ryder raised his hand to cut her off. “Don’t misunderstand me. While I am very aware this is a dangerous path to take, I seem to have lost my ability to give a fuck. And after finding this—” He rose from the chair, gesturing to the laptop. “—I admit I would like to procure several of the other items available on this site. But I have to assume some may already be in your possession, rendering such purchases unnecessary. Again, we could discuss the items you do have as well, if you’d like.”
Liese blinked dumbly at him.
“Sorry, I ramble when I get excited. Of course, you already know that.” He leaned forward, his hands flat on the desk, the tick below his left eye belying his nervousness.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Liese replied. Her initial response was to jump at the opportunity, considering she’d been thinking about doing that very thing for ages. But the potential repercussions gave her pause. “Do you often proposition women this way?”
“Do you often doctor pornographic images of your superiors?” he shot back.
Liese rose from her chair, her eyes narrowed as she processed his body language. “Are you trying to blackmail me into fucking you?”
“Do you want to fuck me?”
The question sent a wave of heat through her body. “Do you want to fuck me?” she retorted, because she’d be damned if she was going to admit it first. The time she’d spent dissecting his every glance and touch had driven her insane. The connection between them wasn’t in her head, and he should be the one to confirm it.
“Yes, very much, actually.”