Julian Fong is the very successful CEO of Fong Investments. His life revolves around work and making sure that the company remains a success. Julian stepped in when his father had heart trouble and is now running things smoothly. Unfortunately for Julian, his brother, mom and grandmother believe he needs a break. He disagrees but is soon pressed out of the office into some sort of break. He heads to his favorite coffee place where he meets Courtney Kwan. He’s seen her around the coffee shop before but with nothing else taking up his attention, he really notices her. He appreciates the way she seems to truly find contentment in her coffee and relaxing. He wants that for himself.
Courtney is a bit unnerved when Julian approaches with a most unusual proposal: teach him how to relax. He will pay her $5,000 in fact if she helps. And right now, Courtney could use the money. She has a trip planned with her sister to NYC but right now, money is tight for her sister. This money could go a long way to helping with expenses and hopefully, will help in other ways as well. Courtney knows she is facing a long road ahead as another year of depression approaches.
Julian is pleased that Courtney is going to help him find the fun in life. Things start out friendly enough between them but the attraction they have been fighting quickly takes their friendship to something more, very quickly. Courtney is worried. Every five years she battles severe depression and she knows there is no way that Julian will be able to stick it out with her. Julian doesn’t want their relationship to end though and he is ready to help fight Courtney’s battles. But it’s not that easy for either of them. Will they find their footing in this new relationship?
I reviewed Grumpy Fake Boyfriend awhile back and quite enjoyed my experience with Naomi Kwan. I was excited to get to know her sister and how her story would develop. Courtney is a bit more reserved (much like myself) and hasn’t always had the family support she needed as she faces her mental health issues. Her sister has always been there for her though but unfortunately, Courtney doesn’t believe that anyone else will be. Julian is just getting to know Courtney but their relationship is developing quickly. Intimacy on many levels develops throughout the course of the story, both sexually and emotionally as Julian and Courtney share experiences and pieces of their past.
Everyone deals with depression in their own way. I have yet to find two people who handle depression in the exact same way (I am speaking from my own experiences here) so while I could relate to Courtney’s depression, it was also a new experience for me as a reader too. Her experiences felt as authentic as my own though and I appreciated the way Jackie Lau writes about depression. Yes, it is a heavy topic and it can be painful but I like seeing it addressed in romance books too because it doesn’t have to be an unhappy sentence all the time. Some days it is just small struggles and I feel like that was captured very well in this book.
Julian is very sexy and yeah, he kind of falls hard for Courtney. I don’t want to say insta-love but it has that flavor to it. He hasn’t had a lot of relationships either, due to lack of time, but he quickly finds himself content with Courtney and ready for the long haul. His brothers tease him about this and one of the highlights of the story are the interactions between Julian and his two brothers and frankly, Julian and his entirely family. Those scenes made me smile a lot!
Mr. Hotshot CEO showcases Jackie Lau’s range as a writer. It is quite different from the first book in the series but it stands on its own nicely. I connected with Courtney and her struggles resonated with me. This book has some deep layers but it also features plenty of laughter and love too. I also really enjoyed exploring Toronto and Chinatown through the eyes of these characters. I definitely would love to visit this city!
Mr. Hotshot CEO is available now!
ARC provided by author for review.
Tagged: Jackie Lau