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Ann Christopher

REVIEW:  Sweeter Than Revenge by Ann Christopher

REVIEW: Sweeter Than Revenge by Ann Christopher

Dear Ms. Christopher:

037386051×01mzzzzzzz.jpgThank you for sending us this book for review. I have to admit that when I first read that the heroine was a spoiled rich girl, I groaned. Paris Hilton, unfortunately, is like the poster child for spoiled rich girls and I couldn’t imagine enjoying a romance showcasing someone like her. However, I loved Maria Johnson and her growth from indolent rich girl to competent rich woman.

Maria has had nothing expected of her all her life other than to look good and smile pretty – both tasks she does extraordinarily well. Except her father has decided that he has to get tough and tells her that she won’t gain access to her trust as planned unless she starts working at his firm. She must start from the ground up.

While I at first applauded the father’s attempts at “tough love”, I was disturbed at the way in which he was complicit in her humiliation.

David Hunt had met and fell in love with Maria four years ago, but left her when she went and married someone else. He learned of her divorce and rushed back to Cincinnati in order to punish her for breaking his heart and enact a cruel revenge upon her. His plan is helped by her father’s desire to cut Maria off. David will be in charge of Maria because he is taking over Maria’s father’s PR firm. As her boss, he does everything he can to humiliate her in front of her co-workers and isolating her so that she is without money, friends, or a decent work environment.

Maria was really victimized by the men in her life: first her father, then her husband, and then her lover. All three treated her poorly to varying degrees and Maria was able to survive and thrive. Despite all the treatment, Maria learns that she has a knack for PR, manages to wrest the upper hand from David more than once, and eventually cuts ties with her father. Maria is a great heroine. She’s sweet natured, devoted to material things but very very genuine.

I liked her so much that I didn’t feel that she was done right by David. At the end of the story, I hadn’t felt like David was redeemed (and I think the father needed a swift kick to the nuts).   He (David, not the father) was terribly immature emotionally and his seemingly quick turn around when confronted with the “truth” of Maria’s supposed perfidy rang hollow. I would have been more satisfied at the end if Maria had walked away from all of them: her father, her lover and all their combined expectations of her. C+

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased in mass market or ebook format.

Dear Author

REVIEW: Just About Sex by Ann Christopher

Just About SexThe cute cover and good word of mouth encouraged me to pick up this book. This is my first Ann Christopher novel, and while not perfect, it won’t be my last. The main characters were appealing: the hero with his cluelessness about women and the heroine who struggles with her mother’s relationships influencing her own. Toward the latter third of the book, the plot careened perilously close to wall banging status but you managed to right the ship and close endearingly.

Sex therapist, Simone Beaupre, is at a high point in her career. She has got a successful practice, is just about to release her first self help book, and her weekly advice column is being considered for syndication. This road to success encounters a very large and angry obstacle in the form of Alex Greene. Alex is the topic of one of Simone’s latest column where a disgruntled ex girlfriend writes a letter of complaint about her lover’s small penis, thinly disguising the ex-lover as Alex G.

Alex demands a retraction and apology. Simone refuses. In retaliation, Alex sets up a blog calling Simone a quack and challenges her ability as a sex therapist. This negative publicity starts to concern the syndicators and may hamper Simone’s dreams of financial security.

Only when encouraged to sue Alex to get the blog taken down, Simone refuses because she has a big secret of her own that can’t come out. Simone is a virgin. Ordinarily I hate the virgin sex therapist theme, finding it trite and overused. It may still be trite but you managed to convince me that Simone had an exceedingly large and influential baggage in the form of her mother who has spent her life essentially being a high priced whore, moving from city to city, looking for a man to constantly take care of her. Simone’s childhood experiences makes her extra cautious and because of career and fear of relinquishing her independence, ridding herself of her virginity never came about.

The highlights of this book are the characterizations of both Simone and Alex. Simone is believable as the vulnerable daughter, competent therapist, and conflicted woman. Alex is full of one part masculine charm and one part masculine naivete. He believes he has always satisfied a woman, but when he starts revisiting his past, he realizes that sexual pleasure didn’t really always translate into emotional satisfaction. He feels quite badly about hurting the women in his past by his indifference. He goes about wooing Simone and shows himself to be an honorable man despite his questionable blogging activities.

In the latter third of the book, Simone’s hangups get to be a bit tiresome, particularly in the face of such a charmingly written male character. I was disappointed in how long this was carried on and felt that her neurosis was almost artificial toward the end. Fortunately, she came to her senses and the ending was endearing. B.

Best regards,

Jane