Review

Review: The Billionaire’s Wake-Up-Call Girl by Annika Martin (2018)

Heat Factor: Please pass the fan

Character Chemistry: Fixation has its perks

Plot: Absolutely ridiculous

Overall: I had so much fun


Let’s get down to business. 

Q: What, exactly, is a wake-up-call girl?

A: A woman who telephones a client to provide a wake-up-call service.

Q: Who, exactly, needs a wake-up call when there are modern technologies that provide this service?

A: Anti-social chemist billionaire CEOs, apparently. 

Q: Who, exactly, provides this wake-up-call service?

A: There are service providers, but when asshole CEOs ensure that none of the real providers want to take him on as a client, it becomes the responsibility of the company’s new hire who is desperately trying to keep her job.

Q: Why would a new hire be trying desperately to keep her job?

A: So many reasons! The primary one is that her con man ex took all her money and ran up debts with unscrupulous loan sharks in her name, so her business had to close and she had to take what would have been a fun job but it’s in a soul-sucking company, and she really needs that 30-day bonus. 

Q: Okay, but how hard is it to last 30 days at a company?

A: Pretty hard when your direct supervisor, who is totally stealing your ideas, is out to get you.

Q: But why is the supervisor out to get her?

A: Well, the culture of the company is terrible. Also the supervisor is jealous that she hasn’t captured the CEO’s attention.

Q: But how does the wake-up-call girl thing come into play?

A: When lazy supervisors fob off tasks on their staff, and the fighting-for-their-job staff aren’t able to come through, they might take matters into their own hands and provide the service themselves.

Q: How could this possibly go wrong?

A: So many ways!


Lizzie Cooper is working at Vossameer for a fat check so she can pay off her ex’s loan shark creditors before heading home to North Dakota to regroup before reopening her cookie business, which she had to close thanks to aforementioned terrible ex. Her business was a small business, but it was thriving, and her employees were happy to be there. She may not have had management training, but she knew what needed to happen to get people on board with her mission. That’s why Vossameer is such a shock.

The employees here are fearful, as though they’re expecting to be fired at any moment, or maybe beheaded. The environment is sleek gray marble and steel, like an elegant and slightly futuristic prison. No outside decorations are allowed, not even in the deepest recesses of your cubicle. 

And

I’d brought a giant tub of home-baked frosted cookies to share my second day, and people nearly fell out of their chairs. It turns out we can’t bring treats to share. Ever.

This is a workplace, not a potluck, Sasha said.

And

Everyone here is obsessed with Mr. Drummond. They seem to regard him the way the ancients regarded the gods that controlled the weather and plagues. Angry and vengeful, yet glorious. Never to be spoken ill of. 

Also, nobody talks about Mr. Drummond without using the word “amazing” at least once. Maybe that’s in the employee manual somewhere.

Charming. 

Mr. Drummond is the CEO, of course, and he has control issues. He says he wants people who are on board with the company’s mission, but the culture he’s created means what he’s got are a bunch of sycophants bowing and scraping for him, regardless of whether or not that’s best for the company. He’s an absolutely terrible manager, and I didn’t understand how he was so successful if he didn’t understand the value of, like, anything other than chemistry. Also, I could not get over the fact that he’s the CEO but he’s still spending his days primarily doing chemistry. What?

When Lizzie argues with him a little bit during a presentation, his attention is arrested, leading to her jealous supervisor, Sasha, issuing a write-up. (I just can’t with how this business is run. It’s so bad.) If Lizzie gets another write-up she’ll be let go, and she’ll have to kiss that bonus goodbye, meaning she’ll have nothing to give the scary loan shark. So she and her friend work to give her an appearance and personality makeover that will help her fly under the radar for the next week or so until she’s hit her 30 day mark and has the bonus in hand.

Unfortunately, Mr. Drummond’s wake-up-call service has quit and his assistant is out of the office, so he asks the ridiculous Sasha to find him a new wake-up-call service. He thinks Sasha’s going to do it, and Sasha doesn’t tell him anything different, but she fobs it off on Lizzie, who tries everything to find a new service. She thinks she may have succeeded, but just to be sure, she asks to receive a call at her own line 20 minutes before Mr. Drummond’s call is due. When it doesn’t come, she freaks out, because this is yet another reason for Sasha to fire her. 

When her roommate suggests she just do the call herself, Lizzie balks, but when Mia makes like she’s doing the wake-up call, Lizzie can’t resist a little roleplaying herself and unburdens herself with a fantastically foul-mouthed tell-off to the man who’s been responsible for her added stress and misery for the past month. It’s awesome.

“Wake up, motherfucker,” I say. “It’s time to rise and shine, okay?”

Mia raises her hand like she wants the phone back, but it’s my turn.

I spin around. “It’s another day, full of promise and possibility, another opportunity for you to step over whatever people you step over on your way to whereever the hell you go at this weirdly stupid hour.”

Something soars in me.

I continue–with gusto, “Time to start your day of being a complete and utter asshole, a man who thinks he’s all that and totally isn’t. And you need a wake-up call because you’re sooooo special. Because for whatever reason, you’re too much of an asshole to work an alarm clock like ninety-nine-point-nine-nine-nine percent of people are able to do.” 

It continues, and eventually Theo Drummond speaks, bringing Lizzie to the realization that Mia wasn’t role-playing and the call was live. Of course, because no one ever challenges Theo and he can’t let go of a puzzle, he doesn’t complain about the wake-up call to Sasha. Instead, he decides to figure out what’s going on and just what kind of wake-up call service has been engaged on his behalf. Lizzie has to outsmart him, but the fact that he won’t let this go causes trouble for her with Sasha. 

Theo is totally fixated on the woman he knows as Operator Seven, and he wants her. He introduces the phone sex (please do try to let go of the sexual harrassment issues inherent with that), and he demands to meet her in person. When she specifically asks him to stop poking around he says he will…but he just can’t let it go. To the point that he has his sister hack the fake company Lizzie set up. Of course, just as he’s developing a fun relationship with Seven, he causes the ultimate trouble for Lizzie, and the worst happens for her. It’s an absolute trainwreck, not only for Lizzie but also for Theo, and I very much enjoyed rubbernecking as it came to pass. 

Again, though, Theo wants what he wants, and he’s tenacious as hell. Boundaries? What boundaries? He continues to pursue Lizzie, until finally it seems like they’re building something meaningful for both of them. But can this control freak listen when Lizzie tells him what she really needs from him? (Hint: It’s not amazing orgasms.) 

This book does include two of my less favored romance tricks: 

  1. The non-communication misunderstanding
  2. The runaway

But Martin doesn’t cling to either of them overly long–just long enough to stress me out about how these chuckleheads are behaving. I actually rather enjoyed both in this book.

This book is full of foul language–but it totally works in context, and I can’t imagine the book being half as fun without it. It also involves casual sex because these consenting adults want each other but are having a hard time talking relationship, what with Lizzie planning to move back to North Dakota. And it gets a little kinky, because even though neither has engaged in any sort of kink with anyone else, for some reason they get super into a little spanky hanky panky with each other. It’s probably because Lizzie started their romance with “Wake up, motherfucker.” I mean, how could a little dominant-submissive not be fun when they like to talk to each other with those sassy mouths? 

This book is definitely not for everyone. I bet it’s not for Ingrid, for example. But I devoured it with glee. 


Buy Now: Amazon | Bookshop


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