Thursday, January 19, 2023

Review: Temporary Secretary

Temporary Secretary Temporary Secretary by Joan Ellis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the novel's first sentence we learn that Audrey Owens is tall, slim, and bosomy. She's 19, and unlike the blonde in Paul Rader's cover painting, she's a redhead. Before too many pages we learn that she's only been in New York City for four weeks after having moved there from Coalsville. A recent graduate from secretarial school she is working for a temp agency because she wants jobs where she can meet men. Audrey has a Plan, which is to use, in her words, her "man-bait" body to snag a husband with a Class A future. Audrey is hired out to Carlyle Cosmetics, run by the "dominating" Sara Carlyle, who has a lesbian reputation. Audrey is assigned to VP, and Sara's fixer, Bob Dixon. Audrey wastes no time and gives it up to Bob on his office carpet the first day of her assignment. Next she beds her boss at the temp agency. Followed by a chemist at the cosmetics company. Soon she's juggling relationships with all three of these potential husbands. Not so fast, as Sara asks Audrey to bring her steno pad over to Sara's Park Avenue apartment for some private dictation. What's a girl with a Plan to do? No spoilers from me. This is a smoothly written office romance by one of Midwood's top sleaze authors, Julie Ellis. Ellis authored a massive number of sleaze novels in the 1960s under several pseudonyms before going on to a mainstream career writing gothic, plantation, and historical romances from 1970 until her death in 2006. Her main pseudonym for the sleaze books was Joan Ellis, under whose byline she wrote 46 books just for Midwood. I have most of those in my collection and enjoyed this one so will read and review some more.

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