Dear Ms. Bunkley:
I was really intrigued by how this story began. The heroine, Riana, and hero, Andre, met in an Small Business Administration class in Houston. Riana planned to return to San Antonio and didn’t want to continue a long distance relationship. Andre took her denials to be that she didn’t want to be with someone who was as poor as he was and that he couldn’t provide for her in the “way she deserved.”
Fast forward four years and Andre is an up and coming architect/builder and Riana owns her own up and coming head hunter firm. Riana is contracted to find an architect for a major developer who has a contract to build a concept federal prison for women and juveniles. Riana presents several candidates to the developer the developer picks Andre. Riana has to deliver Andre or lose the biggest contract of her business.
One thing that was frustrating was that the build up of the first few chapters pointed to a different type of conflict than was presented. In fact, there was little conflict until the last third of the story but there was a lot of meandering to get there. For example, Andre’s one employee is Lester. Lester is introduced as a gay sidekick.
This book has a lot of detail and generally, I am not a big fan of learning things about people that have no effect on the plot. I.e., what was the point that I knew Lester was gay? If it was revealed during the course of his interacting with the other characters, it would be one thing, but it was told to me in the first scene introducing Lester. I was told that he was gay, had an engineering degree from Rice, was able to remember almost every voice that called before, and that his live in partner was Todd. Lester’s sexual orientation had no impact on the story and his relationship with Todd was never an issue. It wasn’t a source of conflict nor was Lester given any secondary plot line.
The elements of the story were interesting. Andre as a reformed juvenile delinquent who was making his way in the world as an innovative architect and Riana as a poor girl who dreamed all her life, not of the Barbie wedding, but of the boardroom. It wasn’t until the latter third that the real conflict in the story came to a head, bringing emotion and suspense (as to how things would turn out and not in the gun chasing suspense).
The conflict was Andre’s past coming to put their business relationship in jeopardy and other issues were brought up such as Andre’s and Riana’s failure t be honest with one another late, thus rendering alot of the preceding chapters more filler than foreshadowing. However, most of the story is told via internal introspection and internal monologue which distanced me from the book and made the pace of the story very slow. C-