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Friday, May 29, 2009

Review - Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees by Tonya Lampley

Title: Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees

Author: Tonya Lampley

Publisher: Red Rose Publishing

Buy Three Hundred and Sixty Degress Here!

Rating: You Want to Read

Reviewed by: MarthaE

What happens when things seem to be too good to be true?

Alex, a workaholic corporate executive, bent on controlling and orchestrating every second of her life, is on the verge of having it all. Her dream job right is right at her fingertips, she is finally healing from the death of her father, and then the perfect man enters the picture.

Daniel seems too good to be true. Alex wants to trust him but feels she can't, after all, what man can be trusted? But Daniel chips away at her tough exterior, and as soon as she lets her guard down, her beliefs are confirmed. Daniel is not what he appears to be and he becomes the catalyst that sparks an unusual turn of events that causes her world to come crashing down.

Because of him, life as she knows it, turns three hundred and sixty degrees.

This was a very interesting, character driven story. Alex is a career woman who is very precise in her daily routines and in her work. She has been betrayed and disappointed in relationships in the past. Those past experiences and her drive to succeed have contributed to her being a control freak who finds it hard to be spontaneous and hard to trust men.

As a top producer for the investment management firm she works for, Alex is expecting to be promoted to the Assistant VP position. When she gives an important presentation to the company board she meets a new employee, Daniel. Although she is curious where Daniel came from and how he was hired with her not knowing about it, they are clearly attracted to each other. Daniel is very polite and persistent in his pursuit of Alex even though she is terribly wary. Unexpectedly, Daniel gets the promotion, creating distress for Alex and increasing her wariness of his attentions toward her.

The story centers on Alex’s conflicting emotions over the poor performance of the funds at work and her being drawn to this fine looking and very nice man whom she has difficulty trusting. About a third of the way into the book you discover that Daniel has a major secret that you know will only cause trauma further in the tale! Their relationship continues to develop on a rocky path with Daniel pursuing and Alex sharing reluctantly. The events that unfold are startling and painful for Alex, but they lead to a new and ultimately positive direction in her life.

I liked how the author exposed more of Alex’s nature and conflicts through her relationships with her close friend, Lauren (who has been dating a sexy, but rough character who Alex of course doesn’t trust to be good for Lauren - a good subplot), Alex’s mother, a fairly recent widow, a co-worker who Alex’s mentors and even Alex’s therapist. I found the story itself very appealing and I liked Alex’s determination and ultimate success. Unfortunately I felt the writing was a bit stiff and did not always flow easily. There were a couple of side tracks which were interesting but not properly followed up or smoothly connected. Still this was an enjoyable read.

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