Getting Dirty With the CEO
Considering its title, I expected Getting Dirty with the CEO to be more of a category romance that used tropes like the Billionaire Playboy or the Office Romance; so I was surprised to discover it is a calm and realistic romance featuring two mature, relatable adult characters who embark on a straightforward, adult relationship. While the plot is not complex and it’s not a particularly exciting story, Getting Dirty with the CEO is an enjoyable, even-keeled romance. It is the third book in Ms. Sosa’s The Suits Undone series, but they are all stand-alones and do not need to be read in order.
Architect Daniel Vargas and publicist Mimi Pennington met through mutual friends in their hometown of Washington, D.C., and they are instantly intrigued by and attracted to each other. Daniel would like to pursue Mimi and get to know her, but she believes Daniel is an arrogant playboy and wants them to remain casual acquaintances. Mimi has a case of Judging-The-Book-By-Its-Cover Syndrome as she labels Daniel based on her brief initial impressions. She admits to herself that she desires him physically but refuses to consider he might be more than he appears. Mimi has a sassy personality with a dry sense of humor that she uses to throw witty jabs at Daniel to flirt with and antagonize him, which also allows her to keep him at a distance.
Mimi’s resolve is tested when she and Daniel are in Puerto Rico for their friends’ wedding. The party atmosphere and alcohol reduces inhibitions, and Mimi wants to indulge a night of steamy sex with Daniel while still vowing that she doesn’t want to date him. Daniel surprises Mimi (and me) when he turns down her offer to jump in the sack, because he believes a one night stand would ruin any chance of a their having a relationship. He wants more than just sex with Mimi and explains this to her, but it still feels like a rejection and bruises her feelings.
When they return to D.C., Daniel tries to pursue Mimi, but the possibility of bridging her defensives is diminished further when Mimi’s public relations firm has the opportunity to work with Daniel’s architecture firm. Mimi has a rule to never mix business with pleasure, because she believes it will adversely affect her career, but Daniel does not agree and tries to convince her to give him a chance even as they enter a working relationship. Daniel is hitting roadblocks everywhere, but he’s determined to start something with Mimi, which makes him pretty sexy.
Daniel’s actions thus far – especially considering his decision to pass on a fling – should dispel Mimi’s belief that he is a womanizer. His ego is healthy but does not seem out of control. He appears to be a really nice man who is interested in relationship with a mature, independent and successful woman. Mimi is not willing to acknowledge that she might be wrong about Daniel or that change her stance on having a relationship with someone she works with. She’s stubborn in her thinking, but her desire for Daniel makes it difficult for her to resist him.
Mimi’s persistent refusal to see the real Daniel and her constant ruminating on whether to date him or not become a little annoying, but her behavior is believable. We all have friends that we want to shake in order to get them to snap out of it – whatever the ‘it’ might be. Mimi needs a little shaking, but her dynamic personality and jocularity make her an entertaining character. The couple’s feelings and problems feel genuine, and they both act like normal adults. There are no big misunderstandings, crazy mysteries or overblown plot devices here, so if you are looking for a pleasant romance about regular, everyday life and people, Getting Dirty with the CEO might hit the spot.
Every year I experience a wave of sadness when I realize I am too old to attend summer camp. I used to be a CFO, but I can never escape accounting because someone always needs a number cruncher. I am a Texan happily living in California.