Saturday, July 09, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Designed for You by Jo Grafford

Designed For You by Jo Grafford

Designed For You by Jo Grafford
Released: April 19,2016
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 225
Format: ebook
Source: Author



Jillian Lang’s interior design company soars to a new level of success after hiring the world’s sexiest, most gorgeous office manager. Holland Sparks makes everything spike — her sales, her heartbeat, her temperature… 

When a pesky stalker suddenly moves his game from the cyber world to the real world, Holland becomes the one person she trusts implicitly. An anchor in the midst of her chaos. A man whose ruthless business instincts turn to devastating tenderness after hours. 

Until his own secrets start to unfold, leaving Jillian to wonder if her beautiful business partner is actually the one spinning the deadly web that’s fast closing around her.


I was first introduced to Jo Grafford when I read Trail of Crosses. I enjoyed it, as such when I was asked to read and provide an honest review for Designed for You I did not hesitate to accept. The fact that it fell in the romantic suspense genre sweetened the deal.



My views on this title are mixed. I will try to explain what I mean in the best possible way.  I thought the story line was good.  Designed for You introduced Jillian Lang and Holland Sparks. Jillian is an interior designer and the owner of Lang Interiors. She has been divorced for two years and is still trying to come to grips with her ex-husband’s betrayal. She is looking to hire an office manager to aid with the day to day operations of the business, leaving her time to focus on what she enjoys most, designing. 

Holland Sparks chose to answer Jillian’s ad for an office manager.  Although he appeared to possess all the qualities of her ideal candidate, she could not help but wonder about his reason for applying. Why would some who possessed such excellent qualifications and experience would want to work at a small and unknown business?  What she did not know was that Holland’s intentions were not has he purported them to be.

WHAT I LIKED
The story started out on a high. I was sucked into it from the first page. I liked the fact that it was discovered that there was someone stalking Jillian prior to Holland entering the movie. This had me wondering if the stalking had any connection to Holland’s mission or if it was an isolated situation. I enjoyed the dialogue between Jillian and Holland at their initial meeting and throughout the story. It was funny and entertaining. It was evident from the moment the two met that they had great chemistry.
The suspense was ok. There were events that I never saw coming. I also liked that the stalker’s identity was not revealed until near the end of the story.

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE
had a hard time connecting with the main characters. The secondary characters were fine. I enjoyed reading about them and in fact, I would love to read their stories.  The backstories for the main characters were lacking. It would have been good to have information about their past as this would have helped me to have a better understanding of what motivates them, i.e. why they do the things they do? It would have been good if more information was provided about the stalker. I was not impressed with him at all. I wish I was privy to what made him tick. 

I thought the romance lacked depth and authenticity. After Jillian and Holland met, the story fast forwarded two months later at which time I saw them acknowledging to themselves how they felt about each other. I wondered to myself at what point did they know how they felt as I was not privy to this information.  I am unable to state explicitly how well they got to know each other. It was implied but there was no evidence to support this implication.

Verdict:
The storyline is what saved this book for me. Although the story was fine, the fact that the characters and the romance were lacking took away some of the enjoyment for me. As a result, I gave this title three stars. Although this did not go as expected, I would still read more of this author’s work.





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