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High-Powered, Hot-Blooded

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,101 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Mr. December: Duncan Patrick, CEO Scrooge

His Objective: Lose the "bah humbug" attitude

His Plan: Find the right (temporary) mistress

A powerful businessman, Duncan didn't like ultimatums, unless he was making them. But the board demanded his public image change. When he encountered sweet kindergarten teacher Annie McCoy, he knew she'd make him look like a perfect angel, thou
Paperback, Man of the Month, 192 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Silhouette (first published January 1st 2009)
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At the beginning of each New Year, I find myself reading the Christmas stories I didn't have time to read during the holidays season. Maybe it's my way of prolonging the holiday spirit just a little bit longer.

High-Powered, Hot Blooded is a quick, sweet and heartwarming Christmas story. It's full of heart-and-soul and encompasses what all good romance stories are made of. I only wish the ending had included an epilogue. I'm not sure why authors never seem to include them whe
Dec 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of good Christmas romances and sweet heroines
***4 1/2 stars***

This is a wonderful Christmas romance with a hard hearted CEO who is softened by a sweet Kindergarden teacher who teaches him the importance of love and caring. Very sweet and heartwarming story just in time for the holidays! Plus there is a nice prominent Christmas theme and a wonderful ending. Highly recommended!
5 stars – Contemporary/Holiday Romance

I loved this simple, charming, and heartwarming holiday romance about an ex-boxer and self-made shipping mogul, billionaire CEO who’s cold, ruthless ways get a Scrooge-like makeover when he falls for an innocent, sweet, do-gooder Kindergarten teacher who defrosts his icy heart and shatters all of his cynical defenses. I highly recommend this delightful, touching story to anyone who loves a good contemporary, holiday romance! 5 stars!
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Cheesy and romantic story. Very well written as well. I only wish it had an epilogue. Heroine not a virgin plus no epilogue so minus two stars! SL is a great author though if you are looking for an enjoyable read you should read this you will not be disappointed.
Dec 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reread 11/24/12. I re-read this one every year!

This is a perfect Christmas read!
It has:
1. A "scrooge" type hero that is desperately in need of a Christmas transformation
2. A "do good" heroine that sets out to show this man about what's important in life
3. A very quick read (it's a perfect one-sitting book)
4. A really sweet and satisfying ending
5. A safe "formula" that the Silhouette Desire line is known for

Around the holiday times, I find myself too busy to read ****gasp****, but too busy NOT to

4 Solid Stars!! A little bit of Pretty Women, a little bit of Scrooge, a little bit of heat and a whole lot of sweet…made this the perfect holiday read!

Thanks for rec Crista, it was wonderful, just like you said it would be!! Check out her great review!
Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Duncan Patrick has been voted the meanest CEO for a couple years in a row. I wonder how bad you have to be to get that calling? Anyway, the only way to get his board members of his back is to find someone to boost his image. And who better than a kindergarten teacher?

Annie would do anything to save her brother even if it meant playing a part of Duncan's devoted girlfriend. But the biggest problem is when the acting becomes reality and she starts falling for Duncan. Beneath that Scrooge mask ther
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: july-2018
Ya'll this was a traditional harlequin novel following the Grinch hero and an angel heroine. I loved how Annie made Duncan a better person and how Duncan still fought her every step of the way MUAHAHAHAH so much love from friendship and as lovers. The only problem was that it was slightly dated lol. Annie didn't think it was socially acceptable to move in with someone she wasn't married to. Lol
Paula Legate
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-suspence
This was a really sweet book. It was amazing to see how much Duncan changed throughout the story. Duncan was named the meanest CEO in newspapers, and magazines. His board of directors wanted him to do something, anything to change his reputation.

Annie was a kindergarten teacher. On her salary she was supporting her twin college cousins. She was also supporting a foreign exchange student. Her brother needed help. He had a gambling problem. He stole money from the company he worked for. Just so h
Lisa Filipe
May 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I swear I cry everytime I read this book, it doesn't even have to be Christmas time. Duncan is a hard headed CEO who has a crappy reputation. He gets lucky when the sister of an ex employee agrees to pretend date him to help with his image in return for her to be able to keep her house. They both fall for another and its Christmas Magic. I especially love the tree scene, he is such a great guy who needed just the right person to remind him.
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lovely heartwarming romance. Another good one by Susan Mallery.
Mistress   ~ ♠ Mistral's Kiss ♠ ~ (Mist)
Duncan (a cross between Scrooge Mcduck and Richard Gear in Pretty Woman) is pretty firmly on the naughty list in the business world and all the bad press is affecting business. He takes advantage of Annie's situation and gets her to pose as his girlfriend to get his board of directors off his back. The resulting romance was funny and sweet and pushed enough buttons to give me a light dose of warm fuzzies.
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: category
I highly recommend this book to everyone who is looking for a great read at Christmas time.
Laura Friche
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Tô é morta. Cinquenta tons de cinza antes de cinquenta tons existir. Pelo menos os textos são mais completos, apesar da história ser looookaaaa! Vale a pena pra passar o tempo, o que é justamente o que eu quero agora. Vou ler mais uns mil desses. Fim muahahahah
Fanny Roswita Ria
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
akhirnya, gw berhasil melakukan niat untuk aktif kembali di goodreads. Ini review pertama di tahun 2013, padahal sudah banyak novel yang gw baca cuman belum sempet ngapa-ngapain..hehehehe

waktu beli novel gw sama sekali ga ada ekspektasi apa2,selain halaman yang tidak terlalu tebal&sinopsis yang biasa2 saja jd gw pikir pasti isinya yah kayak harlequin akhir2 ini yg diterbitkan oleh gramedia,semua flat&ga bikin gw semangat utk bacanya

gw ga bakal memuat sinopsisnya jd gw kasih link aja buat
Willow Brook
Dec 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Fun and very readable Christmas romance. For being as super sweet as Annie was (this is my first Mallery so not sure if that is typical of her heroines), she did not get on my nerves. She was just a really nice person. Duncan starts out all tough and cold, but quickly gets in touch with his better self as he spends time with Annie. My only quibble is the conflict at the end seemed fairly absurd as far as Annie's reasons for breaking up with Duncan. Oh and what is with the names on category roman ...more
The perfect fantasy. Mega rich guy hires a kindergarten teacher to go out with him to make him seem nicer. He falls in love with her and why wouldn't he? She's perfect. Sweet and loving. She teaches him to let the inner nice guy out and her reward is a hunky rich guy loving only her and sweeping her away to a life of ease. Exactly what my teenaged self wanted those many years ago. A sweet little read.
Aug 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: romance, dnf
I get that in author's understanding Annie is the best heroine but I absolutely detest heroines that are naïve and TSTL. Annie was one, with no fight in her, a complete doormat, incapable to stand for herself and just let everyone walk all over her.

DNF-ed the moment (view spoiler)
The end of July probably isn't the best time to read a Christmas story, but when I picked this up I had no clue what it was about, and the Christmasy element isn't overpowering so it only felt a little disorienting.

Annie is a kindergarten teacher who makes a deal with Duncan, a ruthless businessman, in order to save her brother from prison. Duncan has been burned in the past and has indeed turned ruthless, burying all the kindness he's capable of deep inside, until Annie enters his life.

At first
Sue Lauzon
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was a quick enjoyable read that altered slightly from the typical Harlequin plot line (near the end). The story follows Duncan Patrick and Annie McCoy when Annie is confronted by Duncan about her brother stealing money from his company. The board of directors from Duncan's company think he needs to clean up his image in the public spotlight so it doesn't have a negative effect on the company so they tell him to find a girlfriend. In order to help her brother and save him from going to ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun and sexy, what starts as a business arrangement becomes so much more. Duncan is a ruthless CEO who has been hurt too many times to believe in love. Annie is the stereotypical kindergarten teacher--romantic and kind and giving. She supports her cousins and her brother--even though the brother brings her nothing but pain. But Annie will do anything for family. So she strikes a deal with Duncan to keep her brother out of jail. Duncan thinks he's just getting good press but can't help but feel h ...more
The story felt too unreal for my taste. About half way I got bored but I can predict the ending as a HEA for the teacher and CEO.
Jeannine Jennette
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good love story

Well done. Good story of two people who should not. Be together but make it work. Christmas story different than most

Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Petite romance de Noël. L'histoire n'est pas follement originale mais c'est mignon et agréable à lire.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: harlequin, romance
Ceritanya simpel,romantis dan happy end
Annie and Duncan. Deliciously predictable harlequin style plot. There was one moment near the end when Annie had a TSTL but other than that it was a fun listen/read. I could see the moment coming a mile away and kinda had an 'oh cr*p' moment hoping the author wouldn't go there. (view spoiler) ...more
Tonya Warner
Duncan Patrick is the meanest CEO in the country. His take no prisoners approach to business has earned him a vile reputation. His board of directors want a change, and they want him to become NICE. To find a nice, steady woman to date and deflect the bad image he portrays.

When he goes to confront Tim McCoy about embezzling from his company, he is ensnared in the nice sweet temptation of his sister, Annie McCoy. Having Annie agreeing to be his date for the holiday season, he agrees to wipe out
Nounoubl Lambert
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3
Belle petite romance qui se lit d'un trait. Un beau moment de lecture
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
★★☆☆☆ {2.5}

A powerful businessman, Duncan didn't like ultimatums, unless he was making them. But the board demanded his public image change. When he encountered sweet kindergarten teacher Annie McCoy, he knew she'd make him look like a perfect angel, though it would take some devilish manipulation.

Once he had Annie playing his pretend mistress, Duncan needed to make her his real-life lover. Could a grouchy CEO cultivate the charm necessary to win the woman he'd almost destroyed?

£!M€¥ CHEN
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: susan-mallery, 707
Memang benar pemberitaan Media sngt powerfull...berita yg gk bnr bs dianggap bnr oleh org2...awal crtnya di sini ttg Duncan yg gk bgitu bersahabat dgn Media, sehingga pemberitaan di Media selalu menyudutkan dia..akhirnya dia diksh ultimatum oleh para pemegang saham utk mencari pacar yg baik dlm arti cwek yg bnr2 disukai org2...kebetulan Annie, seorg guru TK,yg gk pny duit, dan membiayai 2org adik sepupu, trus adiknya yg penjudi menilep uang prsh si Duncan ini...jadilah dibuat kesepakatan si Anni ...more
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship, romance. She's best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Bel ...more
“It’s not all about hitting. There’s an art to it. A talent. You need power but also smarts. When to hit and where. You have to outthink your opponent. It’s not all about size. Determination and experience play a part.”

“Like in business,” she said.

“The skill set translates.”

She wrinkled her nose. “Doesn’t it hurt when you get hit?”

“Some. But boxing is what I knew. Without it, I would have just been some kid on the streets.”

“You’re saying hitting people kept you from being bad?”

“Something like that. Put down your glass.”

She set it on the desk. He did the same, then stepped in front of her.

“Hit me,” he said.

She tucked both hands behind her back. “I couldn’t.”

The amusement was back. “Do you actually think you can hurt me?”

She eyed his broad chest. “Probably not. And I might hurt myself.”

He shrugged out of his suit jacket, then unfastened his tie. In one of those easy, sexy gestures, he pulled it free of his collar and tossed it over a chair.

“Raise your hands and make a fist,” he said. “Thumbs out.”

Feeling a little foolish, she did as he requested. He stood in front of her again, this time angled, his left side toward her.

“Hit me,” he said. “Put your weight behind it. You can’t hurt me.”

“Are you challenging me?”

He grinned. “Think you can take me?”

Not on her best day, but she was willing to make the effort. She punched him in the arm. Not hard, but not lightly.

He frowned. “Anytime now.”


“Try again. This time hit me like you mean it or I’ll call you a girl.”

“I am a girl.”

She punched harder this time and felt the impact back to her shoulder. Duncan didn’t even blink.

“Maybe I’d do better at tennis,” she murmured.

“It’s all about knowing what to do.” He moved behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. “You want to bend your knees and keep your chin down. As you start the punch, think about a corkscrew.” He demonstrated in slow motion.

“That will give you power,” he said. “It’s a jab. A good jab can make a boxer’s career. Lean into the punch.”

She was sure his words were making sense, but it was difficult to think with him standing so close. She was aware of his body just inches from hers, of the strength and heat he radiated. The need to simply relax into his arms was powerful.

Still, she did her best to pay attention, and when he stepped in front of her again so she could demonstrate, she did her best to remember what he’d said.

This time, she felt the impact all the way up her arm. There was a jarring sensation, but also the knowledge that she’d hit a lot harder.

“Did I bruise you?” she asked, almost hoping he would say yes, or at least rub his arm.

“No, but that was better. Did you feel the difference?”

“Yes, but I still wouldn’t want to be a boxer.”

“Probably for the best. You’d get your nose broken.”

She dropped her arms to her sides. “I wouldn’t want that.” She leaned closer. “Have you had your nose broken?”

“A couple of times.”

She peered at his handsome face. “I can’t tell.”

“I was lucky.”

She put her hand on his chin to turn his head. He looked away, giving her a view of his profile. There was a small bump on his nose. Nothing she would have noticed.

“You couldn’t just play tennis?” she asked.

He laughed, then captured her hand in his and faced her. They were standing close together, his fingers rubbing hers. She shivered slightly, but not from cold. His eyes darkened as he seemed to loom over her. His gaze dropped to her mouth. He swallowed.


The word was more breath than sound. She heard the wanting in his voice and felt an answering hunger burning inside her. There were a thousand reasons she should run and not a single reason to stay. She knew that she was the one at risk, knew that he wasn’t looking for anything permanent. But the temptation was too great. Being around Duncan was the best part of her day.”
“He reached for her and she went willingly into his arms. He kissed her deeply, feeling the waves of shivers washing through her. Even as his mouth claimed hers, his hands were everywhere. Tracing the length of her spine, squeezing the curve of her butt, sliding up her hips to her waist.

There was a confidence to Duncan, a sureness that allowed her to relax. His strength made her want to surrender, because being around him was inherently safe.
<...>''Don’t make me hit you. I have a great jab.”

“You have a sad excuse for a jab. It would be like being attacked by a butterfly.''

“I was calm and rational,” she told him.

“You were a girl. Admit it.”

“I could hit you right now.”

“You could and no one would notice. Especially not me.”
More quotes…