Review for And Then He Kissed Her, by Laura Lee Guhrke:
Oooh, this is one long, delicious seduction of a novel. And Then He Kissed Her is very sensual--alright, very sexual--but it's also beautiful, and even more than that. Emma Dove has been a secretary at Harry, Lord Marlowe's publishing house for five years. She is capable, compliant, humorless and boring; an all-around amazing secretary. Her only flaw is that she keeps asking Harry to publish her soporific book of etiquette. The 4th time he refuses her, Emma realizes that he's never read the manuscript, and begins to realize that she's wasted her 30 years of life denying herself. As Emma wakes up, Harry's world falls apart, and they begin to see each other in a new light.
Little happens in this book; it is all character development. I loved it. I came to understand Emma completely, and she was fully fleshed-out--proper and repressed, so lonely but in denial about it, and far too sensible for her own good. As the story progresses, her humor and independence emerge, and as Harry says, it's a beautiful thing to watch.
Harry's pretty wonderful himself: seriously charming and funny, very open and honest, and the perfect guy for Emma. He's a bit of a cynic and reprobate, having divorced his cheating wife and therefore been scorned by Society. He doesn't take women seriously and runs through them quickly. Emma helps him grow the same way he helps her, and he's endearing the whole way through (okay, most of the time).
Guhrke is a skilled writer. She moves Emma and Harry from thoroughly disinterested to irresistibly attracted in a process that is slow, enjoyable, and plausible at every step. Everything that happened needed to happen, and was done perfectly. She understands people and her characters, and develops the latter with real talent. This is romance at its best. A.