As usual Katy Regnery works her magic, weaving the reader into the magically romantic and sexy world of Blueberry Lane. “The Bohemian and the Businessman” is the first book in the Story Sisters series in the Blueberry Lane Collection. The action in this novel occurs two year in the past, just prior to Jessica Winslow and Alex English’s wedding. If you are long-term followers of the Blueberry Lane Collection. Priscilla’s the artsy, “flibbertigibbet of the conservative Story family. Shane Olson’s the product of a Wisconsin cattle farm, wanting more. Earning a scholarship to an all-boys prep school then an all-male university, Shane’s sole ambition is owning his own company. The Hero and Heroine are polar opposites but they both want or need each other to attain certain goals. The only solution is a marriage of convenience. Priscilla’s free, travels, and is experienced; Shane’s goal-oriented, a workaholic, and not experienced.
As flighty and foolish as her family thinks she is Priscilla’s astute and sly. She sees an opportunity – seizes it, makes the pitch, and then sells it. Whether it’s flirting with a cute guy or years later creating a win/win situation with the very same man. However, Priscilla has secrets, some her sisters know and deeper ones that she shamefully carries with her. Shane is terribly single-minded but he has a big-heart that brings his romantic soul back to life. He’s the definition of “A Good Guy”. Since this book occurs in the past there’s a couple who aren’t together yet but already have had their novel. Margaret Story and her Hero, Cameron Winslow, appear while still single yet attracted. “The Bohemian and the Businessman” has a lively pace, really engaging characters, and an intriguing storyline. Priscilla and Shane are wonderfully charismatic characters that are irresistible.
Priscilla Story is back home after living in France. She’s told no one she’s pregnant by a man who works for a company who does business with her father. Unfortunately the Frenchman neglected to tell Priscilla that he was married. So Priscilla’s back in her childhood home living with her judgmental ultra-conservative father who already thinks she’s a screw up. Priscilla needs help in breaking the news to her father. Luckily her sister Margaret, the sister who accepts her the most, is coming for dinner. It’s going to be tricky getting her alone since she’s bringing her boyfriend and they have a “big announcement”.
Shane has worked at Story Imports for a while and has a stellar employee reputation. Recently he learned that he’s as high up the totem pole as he can get. The only way to move up is by marrying one of the Story Sisters. Margaret Story works at Story Imports, she’s of a similar temperament, they’ve similar ideal, and make a good match. So Shane starts dating Margaret and they have enjoyable dates, and good conversation but no spark. However, compatibility can surely grow into something more. On their way to dinner at Margaret’s father’s house Shane conveys his intentions. Even though Margaret seems to be incredibly distracted she agrees.
Dinner is disastrous. Priscilla greets her sister and Shane at the door and immediately Shane makes her feel better and laugh. Even though he seems to not remember her. Before dinner even begins Priscilla makes her excuses and flees upstairs. She can’t bear to listen to her father’s criticism and ridicule. While Margaret and Shane dine with Douglas Story he does disparage Priscilla. Shane does remember Priscilla; when she interned at Story Imports, she drove him crazy. Priscilla asked him a hundred silly questions and distracted him with her inappropriately low cut blouses. He hated and dreaded going to his boss’ office because she drove him to distraction. When she ran away with the French liquor distributor Shane was crushed and relieved. He was incredibly attracted to her but she didn’t fit into his country club dreams. When the time comes Shane proposes to Margaret and in horror she refuses.
Margaret was not expecting Shane to propose at all. She was not listening to the conversation in the car and Shane’s left in the Story dining room mortified. Priscilla was sitting on the staircase and watching and seeing everything. From the proposal, to Margaret’s accusing their father of using business to force Shane into it, to Shane’s humiliation. Priscilla meets Margaret before she leaves the house and wants to clarify a few things. She asks her sister if loves Shane, is she certain she won’t change her mind once her temper cools. Satisfied that Margaret has no interest she moves on to her newly hatching plan. When Shane exits the house Priscilla confronts him and makes a proposition. A marriage of convenience.
She knows that the only reason he was proposing to Margaret was for business reasons. Priscilla tells Shane she’s pregnant and needs a husband in order to receive the money in her trust fund. She’s afraid her father will kick her out and disown her. Once Shane gets his position and she gets access to her trust fund they can divorce. At first Shane is concerned about appearances, since he did kind of just break up with Margaret 5 minutes ago. Priscilla promises to dress appropriately, be on time, and not embarrass him. Once they talk out the details and Priscilla stresses the urgency for expedience Shane agrees.
When getting the marriage certificate, Shane’s shocked by not only how proper Priscilla looks but how beautiful she is. Shane invites Priscilla to lunch and after a few miscommunications they promise to be honest with each other. They’ll tell each other exactly what they’re so no misunderstandings. They’re quickie marriage is at the end of the week. Shane feels the need to buy Priscilla a wedding ring that fits her “flower child” style. He also thinks to get her a wedding bouquet that’s as colorful as she. Everything even before, during and after the wedding feels more. They’ve missed each other only after a few days. The ceremony’s vows aren’t the usual ones they are different and carry with them more weight and meaning. When it’s time to kiss the bride the kiss starts out soft and gentle and blazes into an inferno.
After the ceremony Shane wants to see if he can do a little better on the kiss. He does however the couple ends up verbally erupting hateful words against each other. They apologize but the moment is lost. It’s two weeks before they see each other again. Shane and Priscilla both are having strong feelings for each other but it’s two steps forward and one step back. But each day, every moment spent together they fall further and further in love with each other. Shane’s there for Priscilla for her doctor’s appointment and to him the baby’s his. He loses his composure, inhibitions, and more in the bedroom. Priscilla and Shane’s love grows stronger and stronger. Every day Shane spends with Douglas Story at Story Imports he dislikes the man and his company more and more. And with good reason.
Priscilla reconnects with a guy she flirted shamelessly with when she worked at her father’s office. He comes to her aid when she finds herself pregnant by another man. A true marriage of convenience grows into something complicated. Complicated describes this couple perfectly. They are polar opposites: he’s all business while she’s emotions, he plans and she plays it by ear. But they have the important things in common. They’re wildly attracted to each other, they have tremendous chemistry, and they’re ass over tea kettle in love. Shane’s turns out to be a romantic, he believes in family, and love. Priscilla understands exactly what Shane’s experienced, what it’s like to not fit in. His acceptance and trust allow her to finally feel secure and confident. The epilogue brings the reader to the Present Day and sets up Alice’s story. I’m definitely hooked on the Blueberry Lane collection!
I’m giving “The Bohemian and the Businessman” 5 Lightning Bolts and a Gale Warning
This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed