Author: Janet Evanovich
First published in 1990 by Loveswept
Single mom Lizabeth Kane isn't exactly carpenter material -- she's never picked up a hammer in her life. But she desperately needs the construction job that builder Matt Hallahan is offering. And even though he knows trouble is ahead, Matt can't refuse Lizbeth's irresistible smile.
Matt Hallahan isn't exactly relationship material -- he has always been too busy working on other people's houses to make a home of his own. And even though she knows better, Lizabeth can't stop thinking about the rugged carpenter.
Is the relationship Matt and Lizabeth are building solid -- or more like a house of cards?
I have read a few of this author's early books and for the most part, I have enjoyed them. I have mixed feelings about Smitten. It was written in the early 90s and I think updated for the 2000s. The premise is that Lizabeth is recently divorced with 2 small boys. She needs to find a job so she doesn't lose her house. The problem is that her degree in History isn't doing her much good. On a whim, she applies for a job as a carpenter. Matt hires her for two reasons. He feels sorry for her and he lusts after her. Yeah, a great reason to hire someone. Within a day, they are making out on the job site. That was weird and a little creepy.
What I didn't like about it was the way Lizabeth's job changed. She is hired to be a laborer in Matt's construction site. He first puts her to work painting trim. Over time she eventually transitions into the office working as their office manager. I was disappointed in that. Why couldn't she have become skilled as a builder or something else on the site? Why turn her into the obvious stereotypical role as a secretary? For me, it really dated the story. I think fans will like this story. If you can ignore the stereotypical gender roles, I think you will enjoy it was well.
For the most part, I liked the story. I thought it had a lot of humor in it. There are several characters and situations that reminded me of the Stephanie Plum series. Plenty of the scenes made me laugh. I also loved Matt. He was a sweet character and great for Lizabeth and her boys.