Rachel wrote in with this request for help, and while it's a longshot, I figured there was a chance someone here might know – or know of about 40 books that fit this description!
I don't remember my first romance novel – I've no doubt it was a Harlequin of the mid to late 80s (and belonged to my mom who had a crap ton of them). I do remember the first romance I ever read after moving Egypt (that has bearing on the why I no longer remember the title or author of this book – I was 13, jet-lagged, scared, stressed, and excited so I did what any good teen would do. I read a book.)
It was a paperback of average Harlequin Presents length though it didn't appear to be Harlequin (possibly Mills & Boon cover or some other publisher I wasn't familiar with). I think I would recognize the cover if I saw it but I can't describe it other than there was a woman and a man…possibly in a passionate clinch. Really narrows it down, huh?
Oh. And the title could've had something about butterflies.
So what I remember is the heroine works for a super hunky, super rich man (he probably owned half the known world). I mean, this guy is so uber attractive in every single way he can't keep a secretary because they all fall desperately in love with him. Or the beautiful ones do. Or something. Anyway, he doesn't want Gorgeous Blonde Girls working as his secretary. He has specifically requested a dowdy/plain woman to work for him.
Now I'm not sure if this is something the heroine learns from a friend who works at the hero's office or if she is a temp or what. It was a long time ago. The whole workplace thing just went right over my head.
In order to get/keep the job, heroine dies her blonde (of course) hair brown (because we all know brunettes are not gorgeous or prone to falling in love with super awesome [in his own mind at least] men) (I was kinda insulted being a natural brunette and all but whatever). She wears prescriptionless eyeglasses (of course) and shapeless professional attire (baggy business suits in grays and dark blues and beige).
I remember she goes home after work to her apartment (probably a flat since I believe it takes place in England) and is removing her “disguise” when she either had to go back to the office for some sort of secretarial emergency or her boss shows up on her doorstep (nothing creepy about that, right?) with some sort of office/world domination emergency. She has to hastily put her disguise back in place. I also remember there is a scene that focuses on her retouching the dull brown dye job.
Obviously something happens and her amazing gorgeousness is revealed and there is likely some drama or something and ultimately they live happily ever after. Somehow that part of the book just didn't stick. What stuck was her having to pretend to be dowdy (a brunette who wears glasses, of course) to get/keep this job. I don't remember it being the best book ever or anything. I just wish I could remember the title and author. Because the “disguise” aspect of the book just haunts me. I don't even know. Oh. I read it in 1994 (that's the year we moved to Egypt). It would've been March/April of 1994. I don't know if anybody else read this or will remember it but I thought why not appeal to the Smart Bitches here.
Yeah, us brunette chicks, we never score hot guys. *sigh* Anyone remember this book? It's making me think of the manga “Midnight Secretary” but Kaya wears glasses, and doesn't dye her hair, if I recall. Do you recognize this plot?