The title, Good Girl or Gold Digger?, caught my eye, and since it’s by Kate Hardy, into the cart it went. It’s not the standard HP descriptive title, a la The Billionaire’s Virgin Mistress Secretary, so I noticed it even more. How can you not want to know if she’s a good girl or a gold digger? Maybe she’ll turn out to be both.
Daisy Bell works with her Uncle Bill at a living museum. Their family used to create and build steam-powered amusement park rides, but that business folded. First Bill, and now Daisy, began to collect, repair, and run a fairground featuring the rides created by Bells. Daisy also serves as the chief mechanic of the park.
Upon arriving for work one morning, Daisy discovers that the park has been vandalized: rides defaced and damaged, and windows broken, along with evidence of a wild party. Bill learns that their insurance policy no longer covers vandalism and both he and Daisy know they lack the cash reserves to keep the park closed, pay workers, and make repairs. Their best shot at keeping the park going seems to be finding a hands-off sponsor/investor to help with expenses.
In London, Felix Gisbourne is making his PA a cup of coffee when he sees that she is crying over a newspaper article. Mina used to visit Bells as a child, and reading about the damage just gets to her. Felix muses over the photo of a glum Daisy and wonders what she looks like when she smiles, and instructs Mina to find the contact information for Bells. Felix is taken aback when he finds Daisy underneath a hunk of machinery, but he’s also charmed by her purple boots sporting white daisies. Daisy finds Felix a little too clean-shaven and full of ideas. She does accept his invitation to dinner, however, and wows him with her glam appearance and borrowed finery.
Daisy and Felix come with issues; it wouldn’t be a Harlequin Presents if they didn’t. Daisy’s family are all engineers of one kind or another, but she wanted to be a mechanic. Her ex-boyfriends didn’t have problems with Daisy the Mechanic until she became Daisy the Girlfriend, then it all turned into “Daisy, why can’t you wear a dress/makeup/heels more often?” leaving her to believe that no man really wants her as she is. She’s understandable leery when Felix puts the moves on her.
Felix has a type – tall, blonde, leggy – and the only time he went for a woman outside of that type – short, brunette, short – he overheard her telling her friends how dull she thought he was but that his money made up for it. Hurt and embarrassed, Felix simply told everyone that he got cold feet. Now a short brunette is in his life again, and he’s not so sure that dating her is the best thing to do, but he’s willing if she is.
Daisy and Felix aren’t all about the drama. They go out to dinner, see shows, and talk. They have cute habits – Daisy sings while working, Felix nicknames her “Boots”, and human frailties – Felix is very insecure about himself and how others see him. They also haven’t begun to let go of their baggage. Daisy freaks out when Felix buys her a dress, and Felix blows up when Daisy suggests that the fairground isn’t doing as well as they had hoped financially. Felix doesn’t attempt to crush Daisy’s family when she breaks up with him, and Daisy doesn’t have a secret baby while living in dire poverty. They talk it out, admit fault, and work it out they way we like to think that normal people do.