Julia Mendoza is driven by the success of her business. Since her husband Carlos passed away at such a young age, her business By Design is her number one priority. In her late twenties she works too hard and doesn’t take time out for fun. Annoyance with a pesky ex-friend has her begging one of the local surfer’s with a cheeky smile in the grocery store to pretend he’s her boyfriend. Suddenly, life takes a sudden detour from her business plan; much to the delight of her boisterous Latin American family.
Christophe Augustine is groomed to take over his father’s successful chain of luxurious hotels. With a wealthy French-American background, Chris has been given privileges that not many have. He works hard, plays harder but seeks approval and recognition above all else. Family is a top priority for him as he fights for custody of his young brother. His parent’s divorce has not diminished his faith in romance. When a gorgeous Latino woman changes one boring morning into an interesting game of role play, though reluctant to help at first, he soon realises she’s not like the string of other women he’s known.
A romantic first date ending dramatically doesn’t stop Chris from wanting to know Julia more. And for Julia, she’s all for a bit of fun but when things get too serious she’s running the other way. Too alike, in some ways and complete opposites, in others ways, Julia and Chris fumble through fun moments, annoying confrontations, passionate times and heartbreaking revelations.
Love has no boundaries when soul-mates meet but when one is ready to love and the other one isn’t...
Reviewed by: Marcia C.
Review: It was interesting how Julia and Chris met in the beginning with Chris being shanghaied into a ploy. That instant spark between is a rare thing these days.
Although it did seem that they were trying too hard at times—he was too busy trying to come out like Mr. Perfect, and she was busy trying not to look like a fool in front of him, which was both endearing and ridiculously funny. Still, there was no denying the burgeoning passion between them, even though it may have been a little too intense from the start.
I liked how there was an emotional struggle with Julia. The guilt over her late husband played a major interference in her romance with Chris, which brought a challenge for them and pushed the plot forward. Her remembrance of Carlos and how they came to be was genuinely heartfelt. I was especially impressed that Chris was not afraid of Julia’s resistance and still continued to pursue her. Although I’m not sure about dating someone you work for. That would just complicate things—and it did!
This was a good illustration of the ups and downs of a relationship (probably the reason why some people avoid them.)
The fact that Julia was Latina was something I could relate to; however, I felt that her ethnicity was too muffled. A few Spanish curse words along with Mendoza for a last name didn’t quite make Julia “Latina enough” for me. The summary made a big point of saying that she was Latina, but I needed the story to actually show it (it’s the old “show, don’t tell” rule.) Honestly, I got more French than anything else. In the story, the author would simply state that Julia was speaking Spanish, but she wouldn’t actually speak it.
The author’s devotion to the craft was evident in the writing. I really love it when writers put the care and efforts in their work and it all shows in the end. I only wish more effort was put into the editing phase as there were some errors.