Co-workers, Jared Kincaid and Candy Appleton have been admiring one another from afar for months. Candy thinks that Jared doesn't like her, but after already experiencing one office romance gone bad, he's been hiding his lust by ignoring her when he can and being sarcastic when he can't. With their animosity getting in the way of completing a marketing project for an important client, their boss recommends an online counseling session to put their issues to rest and get the job done. They both reluctantly agree, only to discover that he accidentally signed them up for sensual couple's counseling. Candy decides to throw caution to the wind and tease Jared a little to see if he's interested in her. For Jared, all of Candy's luscious curves and the sexually-loaded questions they have to answer, are just too much. Next thing they know they're having no trouble getting along at all.
I didn't like Press Any Key quite as well as the first novella in the Bad Boys Online anthology in which it is found. For one thing, I think I simply didn't connect with the characters quite as well. Candy broke stereotype by having a brilliant mind for marketing, housed in a blond bombshell body which made it difficult for her to make friends. Men just want to ogle her, and women are jealous. She is also a divorcée who in the past has found men, including her ex, to be pretty selfish in bed, but for some reason which I never quite understood, she thought Jared would be different if only she could get him to notice her. I had mixed feelings about Jared. He certainly noticed Candy, but was disguising his lust with a prickly attitude. He had gotten himself fired from his last job for being caught dallying with the boss's secretary in the copy room, and didn't want that to happen again. This little fact was not endearing to me, and him doing it again with Candy even though she wanted it and was teasing him, brought his motives and self-control into question in my mind. Later on when they had an actual date, I liked him better, because he showed some sympathy, intuitiveness, and protectiveness toward Candy after she told him about her ex.
The progression of the relationship itself was a little more believable, because it only had them saying that they thought they might be, or could, fall in love with one another rather than outright declaring their love after only one day together. However, there just wasn't as much tender emotion, in my opinion. For both of them, it seemed like it was more about lust than love. Even though the love scenes were steamy and creative, I just didn't feel a deep connection between Jared and Candy that really made me buy into a permanent HEA. Still, Press Any Key was a generally fun novella and should be a worthwhile read for anyone who likes some good steam and isn't expecting too much.
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