I really thought Carla Kelly's "Beau Crusoe" was going to be the best and most original book I read this month, but "And Then He Kissed Her" is a strong contender. Somehow Laura Lee Guhrke has taken a handful of elements I dislike and turned them into something sublime. Her heroine is not an independent lady in the 'I don't need men, oh my goodness I'm in trouble, help me!' mold. She's a real person. She does her best at her job, works toward her goals, lets her mind wander when the boss' girlfriend rattles on, and lives her life. She's in the rut of office routine while dreaming of success as an author. She likes her apartment, she likes her cat, (and so do I, which was shocking enough) she's content. Until realizing how undervalued she is by her employer shakes her loose from her routine. Suddenly, like many of us have, she's reevalutating her choices and making new ones. She's not dissatisfied with herself, she doesn't doubt her capabilities, she realizes she needs to seek employment where she's valued, so she does. There's no grand plan to seduce the boss - she walks away without a backward glance. I love her. When he runs after her with promises of obscene salaries, she chooses self respect and her new employer. When he doubts her abilities, she ignores him. Making me love her even more, she's able to see her own work clearly. She's not spunky or overconfident, she's just assured. She's good at what she does and she knows it. If he never figures that out, it's fine with her. His loss. Did I mention I loved her? You will too.