Only two obstacles block Shelby Donaldson’s path to success at her new job—her sizzling hot supervisor and his freezing cold attitude. Maybe her flirting got a little out of hand at first, but that’s no reason for Mr. Sighs-A-Lot to screw her over in her performance review.
Colin Montoya is not going to fall for Shelby’s sex-in-a-suit brand of temptation. He’s got her number and is not going to dial it, nor is he going to allow Shelby’s philandering brother to marry his baby sister.
After an explosive one-night stand goes awry, battle lines are drawn. But can the warring co-workers negotiate a cease-fire long enough to realize their romantic fortunes might just lie in each other?
Colin watched Shelby leave, baffled as usual by her flighty behavior. She was the most frustrating woman he had ever met, in more ways than one. Having to work with her for three weeks had stretched his tolerance to the limit. He was grateful to finally be rid of her, the signed performance review in his hot little hands. If only his body felt the same way about her as his head.
He rose from his chair and followed her out. He checked his watch. Nearly five-thirty. Since it was also a Friday, happy hour at the usual location awaited. Good thing, too, because he always felt like a stiff drink after an exchange with Shelby Donaldson.
Shelby sashayed around the corner to her cubicle. Colin couldn’t help but track her hips as they swayed. Exasperated with his unbidden reaction, he made a hard right into his own cubicle and collapsed into his chair. After lingering over a few last minute client details, he organized and stowed his work, then headed out.
At Roscoe's Sports Bar and Grill in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon, Colin zeroed in on the tiny table a couple of his buddies had staked out near the foosball tables. Pulling up a bar stool, he ordered a beer then dove into the order of nachos that claimed nearly the entire surface of the table. He and his friends caught up with each other, and he shared the reason for his tardiness.
"Isn’t that her over there?" His friend and colleague Allan pointed to a table of giggly women near the bar.
Colin turned and saw several women from his firm, including Shelby.
"Yeah." He spun back around, hoping she hadn’t spotted him.
"Which one is she?" his other friend, Christian, asked.
"She’s the one in the red sweater with long dark hair parted on the side, big hoop earrings with these stupid cats hanging from the bottom, sinister blood red talons for fingernails. You can't miss her if you look for the pall of obstinacy that surrounds her, sort of like Pigpen from Peanuts with his cloud of dirt."
"The one with the nice rack?"
"I hadn’t noticed." Colin feigned disinterest, struggling to keep all inflection from his voice.
“I guess you were too preoccupied with her pus – kitties.” Allen slapped him on the back, and both friends guffawed.
If Colin were being honest, he’d have to admit that not much about Shelby escaped his attention – hazel eyes that danced with amusement at the oddest things, a laugh that contrasted sharply with her delicate features in its bawdiness. And yes, she had a nice rack, as well as nice legs and a tight little body she obviously pampered. Every square inch of her was designed to distract and lure a man to his doom. Even her infectious laughter, which cut through the din of the bar, got to him. It always had, but that lethal package was marred by a personality made of piss and vinegar when she didn't get her way. Given the inappropriateness of dating a co-worker, especially a subordinate, he was almost grateful for the fatal flaw.
Colin escaped to the bathrooms to shut out the mirthful sounds. On his return, he met Shelby in the narrow hallway. They did the obstacle dance with each other before he stopped and stood to one side. As she nodded then passed, he got a whiff of her perfume, the same scent she wore every day. Over his shoulder, he watched her walk away before he continued back to his table, shaking his head. He absolutely hated how she turned him upside down.
Posted by Unknown on 14th Jun 2012
Right from the beginning I knew this was going to be a winner. Shaw swept me up into a
romantic world of love and war. The writing was excellent, the characters fantastic but what stole the show was the tension between Shelby and Colin. That fighting the attraction was so well done and made for such an engaging read.
I loved the dream sequences, they were titillating, super romantic and funny. The side characters such as Shelby’s brother was a great addition. The dynamics between them kept the flow going. I can’t say enough good things about this book.
All’s Fair in Love and War is one of the best contemporary romances I’ve read in a long time!
Posted by Unknown on 7th Jun 2012
Lila Shaw’s All’s Fair in Love and War takes romantic tension and bumps it into overdrive. This story features one classic misunderstanding after another one, clashing wills that strike sparks off one another, and a love/hate relationship that verges in combustion. And it delivers this high-temperature emotion in a way that will surely make you smile.
I’ve always maintained that all it takes to win me over is a little humor, and Ms. Shaw has gifted her readers with a wonderful dose of it in All’s Fair in Love and War. She writes with a good-natured and wry tone that is charming and utterly appealing. The squabbling between Shelby and Colin, our romantic duo, made me laugh even though they are completely nasty to each other. Of course they are perfect for each other, which we can clearly see in their unguarded moments, but there were many times that I was caught between laughter and the desire to put them in a “time out”... together.
The characters in this novel are quirky, fun, and as flawed as can be. Both the hero and the heroine have believable personalities and a mixture of both positive and negative character traits that encourages us to identify with them. Shelby has a happy, bubbly personality, but she tends to get distracted very easily and drift off in her own mind at inopportune moments. It’s understandable how this flightiness rubs tightly controlled Colin against the grain, even if it is a little hard to sympathize with him much, because he tends to be selfish and somewhat short-sighted. What redeemed Colin in my eyes was his admission to himself that he, too, suffers from “Walter Mitty” thinking at times.
The romantic misunderstandings in All’s Fair in Love and War seem to build on top of each other. I read this book eagerly anticipating the “moments of truth” between Shelby and Colin, but these moments are a little on the anticlimactic side. As soon as one issue is resolved, another inevitably slides into its place, and the cycle starts all over again. Truly, there seems to be no way that Colin and Shelby can possibly work out the issues between them.
I found the ending of Shelby and Colin’s story to be a bit of a surprise, and while it is quite sweet, I’m not completely sure that it worked for me. Regardless, I enjoyed this book. I found it amusing, very entertaining, and just the thing I needed to put a smile on my face. Ms. Shaw has done an excellent job with this book, and I would not hesitate to recommend All’s Fair in Love and War to someone looking for a romantic comedy.