AUTHOR: Demi Damson
RELEASE DATE: June 18, 2017
AVAILABLE @ Amazon
REVIEWER: Pistol Annie
(ARC received from author)
RATING: ***3 Stars***
Charlotte Nichols thinks romance is just a worthless fairy tale.
Jordan Lovett might be the city’s most eligible CEO but to Charlotte, he’s a route to revenge. His father stole her father’s company, and she won’t stop until the Lovett family is ruined. Jordan is just a spoiled playboy, and she’s happy to use him as her way in, even if that means pretending to be his date for the weekend.
Jordan Lovett knows that romance is just a path to heartbreak.
He’s had his share of gold diggers but when the latest one leaves him for his own father, he gives up on the fairer sex completely. Now he needs a woman on his arm to face his father’s engagement, and he’s not feeling choosy. His friend says he knows an escort to stand in as his public-facing girlfriend for the weekend and Jordan’s happy with that as a solution. When Charlotte walks into his life, he has no idea he’s just given the job to the wrong person.
Jordan traced a circle around the tattoo on her wrist. “What’s the R stand for?”
A trail of excitement followed the path of his finger. “Ruthless,” she whispered.
Jordan didn’t know that Charlotte wasn’t who she claimed to be. Charlotte didn’t know Jordan thought she was an escort. And neither of them knew that there was any risk of falling in love.
No cheating, no cliff-hangers! Just a little bit of steam and a whole lot of happily ever after.
With its sexy corporate magnate at the helm of a family-owned business and a strong-willed woman determined to succeed as a private investigator, neither of which is interested in a lasting relationship, this contemporary romance, along with a touch of mystery steeped in vengeance, has a great deal of potential, albeit predictable. The lead characters – Jordan Lovett and Charlotte Nichols – were likable as was the basic plot centered on Charlotte’s plan for revenge against Jordan’s father for his scheme years ago against her dad, who was Lovett’s former business partner in the company, that left Charlotte’s family financially in dire straits.
A case of mistaken identity places Charlotte in Jordan’s path easier and much sooner than she ever could have planned. But Jordan needs some personal assistance she never planned on either. It’s a classic example of that old adage, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” I must admit that this part of the story was quite entertaining. Most of what they know about each other is practically all untrue – a paid escort for the weekend, an interesting little tattoo paying homage to a dearly beloved companion who has met his demise, and an ex-girlfriend who now is engaged to dear old dad. You’ll have to read the book to find out the rest because I’m certainly not telling.
I never completely felt confident in the chemistry between Charlotte and Jordan. It happened, I read it, but the romance just wasn’t working for me. Love is more than just three simple words. I didn’t feel the “can’t live without you” and “you complete me” that fill in the spaces between the words. I think the insta-lust/everlasting love came about too quickly without taking the time to build a foundation. It just didn’t work for me.
Through the course of this story, the relationship between Charlotte and Jordan did show some growth and strength, even while they are hit from all sides with long hidden family secrets and the ongoing plan for ruthless revenge by Charlotte. That said, there were still unanswered questions both relative to Lovett Industries and unresolved personal issues between Jordan and his dad that left me shaking my head as I reached the end. And God help his father if he ended up married to Jordan’s ex! She was every man’s nightmare. And what about Charlotte’s business? I hear the word “Epilogue” in my ear.
Add in the rather lackluster finish for our couple’s predicted happily-ever-after, which took place over one long weekend where they go from meeting to pretending to be dating to engaged to a proposal of marriage with a striptease, a slap on the butt, with one lone proclamation of love. I don’t know about you, but I’m screaming “show me the love” with a side of additional proof, please. From the start, their relationship felt rushed, and the wrap-up was fast and furious with a whirlwind effect. I think true love demands more attention all the way around.
Secondary cast was made up of a variety of parents, work associates, and exes. They added to the substance of the ongoing storyline, along with a little fun and excitement. One particularly endearing and lively elderly character, Mrs. Butrey, who had been Jordan’s third grade school teacher, drew my attention immediately with her liveliness and snappy attitude as she threw curve balls at Jordan in the form of life lessons each time they met. It was almost as if she could read his thoughts and knew exactly what was going on in his head just by looking at his face or from his body language. I think that Jordan must have been teacher’s pet.
I know that a lot of readers don’t let problems with editing bother them and they read onward without hesitation, BUT I’m not one of those, and I feel duty bound to mention it. If you’ve read my reviews, you know I’m a stickler for a clean read. Call me a word nerd — but it’s a name I’ll gladly own. There are editing problems scattered throughout this manuscript. Simple mistakes that could be easily remedied by a good line-by-line proofread, e.g., misspelled words, dropped words, extra words in sentences.
This is Demi Damson’s debut novel. The book has appeal (that cover is mighty fine to look upon), but in my opinion, the story also has its share of flaws. At times, I felt the writing was choppy and disconnected, jumping rapidly from one event to another, while rambling in other instances. I can’t say that I loved this book, but I didn’t dislike it either. I definitely believe that it coulda/shoulda/woulda been a stronger story with some extra attention paid to details, building a more solid foundation for the relationship between Charlotte and Jordan, resolving those loose ends mentioned above, and a final line-by-line proofread.