Dear Ms. Christopher:
Thank 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+