Punishing Phoebe by Kit Tunstall follows the misunderstood female versus the wronged man route. Phoebe is attracted to her boss, Luca, and they are very close to consummating their affection for one another. Luca's father thinks that Phoebe is a white trash nobody and needs to be removed from Luca's sphere immediately. As such, he offers her a check to disappear.
Phoebe takes the check and runs. Of course, she has a noble reason for taking the money. Luca does not know that reason, nor does he care. Phoebe has now been bought and paid for and by golly, she will pay her dues.
My beef is with Phoebe. Not once does she force Luca to listen. I thought one action that she took was absolutely ridiculous. Luca tells her that they are returning to New York and, regardless of what she needs to take care of, she leaves with him with a paltry argument. When Luca finds out just how wrong he was about Phoebe, not once does he really apologize.
Overall, this short story is a quick, easy read. There were aspects that I would have liked to have addressed, but due to the short length, there was not enough space to really delve into those issues.
Phoebe has been working for Luca only a short time, but their attraction is sizzling. Then Luca’s powerful father Salvatore discovers his son’s interest in Phoebe—and thinks her beneath him. Salvatore offers Phoebe money to disappear from Luca’s life, and desperation drives her to accept.
After discovering what his father has done, Luca pays him back and goes after Phoebe. Hurt and revenge drive him to demand repayment—in his bed. He refuses to listen to her reasons and her own pride doesn’t help the situation. Luca tries to convince himself the only thing he’s interested in now is her body.
Phoebe fervently wishes it was just amazing sex, instead of Love. Luca determinedly tries not to fall for a woman he can’t trust. Fate has other plans for them both.