Source: Provided by the author for review
Grade rate: B
After today, Gabrielle March’s quiet life in Georgia will never be the same. Modern day fairy godmother, matriarch Elizabeth Hastings, summons the young writer/producer to her lavish Massachusetts estate to share two astounding revelations. Gabrielle’s late father was an impostor of sorts, a victim of a deviously executed fraud that stripped him of his wealth and business. As his only heir, Gabrielle is to receive compensation in the seven figures and a seat on the board of an international company. Suddenly every dream she’s ever had becomes a possibility?and every insecurity she’s battled, bubbles to the surface.
Pierce Hastings, son of Gabrielle’s benefactor, grudgingly agrees to take her under his wing and acclimate her to Atlantic-Hastings International in New York City. Spending time with her is a eye opener for the sophisticated divorced bachelor. Gabrielle’s unabashed pleasure in seeing and trying new things draws him in. Her complete lack of guile, unvarnished honesty and quirky sense of humor are like a drug to him?and he’s quickly becoming addicted. But conflict looms on the horizon because Gabrielle sees their vast differences as a mine field littered with disaster that she could never survive.
Blown away with Gabrielle’s talent in writing and producing videos, Pierce encourages her to buy into a production company partnership. When the deal is set, Gabrielle’s doubts and insecurities eat away at her confidence and threaten to sabotage not only her career but a future with Pierce. With his control issues firmly in hand, Pierce forces himself to the sidelines to let Gabrielle make her own choices and, hopefully, become the woman he knows she can be.
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Maybe too Good to Be True is a very good romance-mystery and I enjoyed reading it.
Gabrielle is, (as stated above) a little insecure about herself. She is very talented (and has tangible proof!), but still doubts that she can be happy. I believe her upbringing had a lot to do about that and I'm glad that she consciously fought to overcome it. Gabrielle is loving, loyal, unspoiled and very smart lady. Finding Elizabeth and therefore, some truths about her father couldn't happen to a better person.
Pierce is a handsome devil! Actually, now that I'm writing about him and his qualities, I realized that he is a lot like Gabrielle. Although he was raised with all the privileges possible, he is also a very simple person, and cherishes family and an easy lifestyle (except for flying planes and helicopters :)
The overall characterization is very good, all of the characters were distinct and well fleshed out. I particularly enjoyed Elizabeth (and I'm very partial to this name!), Millie, James and Max.
The story is told in the third person, with alternating points of view, which I always enjoy. The plot was great and also simple. As I mentioned at the beginning the story is a romance with a mystery aspect that relates to Gabrielle's father and I had my suspicions about the culprit. The writing is very good, with easy to read language and a bit lyrical.
Overall, Maybe too Good to Be True was an amazing read, full of great characters (and a few dogs) and romance.
“Newspapers were never very favorable to my father,” he explained. “To the best of my knowledge, a newspaper reporter has never been invited to this house.” He wouldn’t tell her that his father referred to them as a pack of ill-bred, bloodthirsty hounds. Edward Hastings refused to return calls or grant interviews to any newspaper.
“Are you insinuating that I’m here under false pretenses?”
From beneath his sunglasses, Pierce looked directly into her fiery green eyes. "No, not at all Miss March. I was merely stating a fact.”
“The fact is, Mr. Hastings, it is not a reporter’s job to be favorable. They are in the business of finding and reporting the truth.”
"Nobly put, Miss March.” The woman certainly didn’t pull any punches.
“I hope this will put you at ease, Mr. Hastings. I own the newspaper. It’s been several years since I single-handedly set out to ruin anyone.”
Sarcasm, even with a lovely Southern accent, was still sarcasm.
"I see.” Pierce sounded duly impressed. “That’s certainly an accomplishment for such a young …” He froze when her eyes narrowed. What the hell was wrong with him? He careened from one blunder to the next.
"Tell me, is it my age or the fact that I’m a woman that bothers you?” Her face was considerably more colorful than the rest of her and he knew it had nothing to do with the heat.
Pierce was no chauvinist and certainly had no prejudice against successful females. After all, he’d been married to a talented trial attorney. Hadn’t he put his wife through law school? Hadn’t he supported Glenna in every way until she made partner in her firm and then announced that she’d changed her mind about having children and, by the way, she didn’t want to be his wife anymore either.
"I didn't mean that you weren't responsible.” His eyes returned to the very entertaining Miss March who had just snapped up the ball and was ready to run with it.
"What would someone like you know about responsibility anyway? You've probably never put in an honest day’s work in your entire over-privileged life. Flying around the world trying to stay one step ahead of reality. One of these days you’re going to have to come down to earth and see what it’s like in the real world.”
Where did the woman get her information? She’d obviously pegged him as some sort of wealthy derelict. Fired up, she was something. Misinformed maybe, but she had balls of steel. "For a newspaper woman, you’re lacking in your facts, Miss...."
Frenzied barking drew Pierce's attention skyward. Just as he looked up a huge black creature soared through the air, plunging down on top of him, upending his float and catapulting him to the bottom of the pool.
Max exuberantly dog paddled to his mistress and was rewarded with an affectionate pat on his broad head. "Perfect timing, Max." Gabrielle smiled and broke into laughter.
"What did you do, signal him to attack?” Pierce sputtered, trying to locate his five hundred dollar sunglasses.
"Don't be silly.” She laughed. "It's just Max's way of thanking you for the afternoon snack."
Max offered up a cheerful bark. The behemoth black dog actually looked pleased with himself. He was a retriever for God’s sake; he should be down there looking for Pierce’s glasses.
About the Author
In one media or another, Christy McKee has written her entire life. In middle school, she started a neighborhood newspaper in her hometown in Ohio. Stories about whose poodle just had puppies or where the Millers spent their vacation were pretty boring—at least to her— so she embellished with a few bits of overheard gossip which got her into big time trouble with the neighbors. Amid a flurry of apologies issued by her parents, Christy’s news operation folded overnight and she was shipped off to a nearby summer camp. Clearly she was not cut out to be a newspaper woman.
Christy’s degree in Radio-TV-Film opened a world of creative possibilities. She enjoyed her work as a reporter and news anchor in Missouri and Ohio, but after a few years she gave in to her creative itch and moved into production. Although not as glamorous as being “on air” it satisfied her growing passion to create a story and characters—even if those characters only existed inside a 30 second TV commercial. It was a short time fix for someone who craved a more diversified range of opportunities. Christy took a brave leap—sacrificing a regular paycheck— to work as a full time freelancer, writing/producing everything from travel brochures to radio commercials. It wasn’t enough— she wanted to create her own fictional world and fill it with unforgettable characters. Finally three years ago, Christy beat back self-doubt and embraced the risk and exhilaration of writing and never looked back.
After four incarnations and a year under the bed, Christy’s debut novel Maybe Too Good to Be True was released in August, 2012. She lives in Ohio with her family and her two “Lab” assistants, Gracie and Lambeau.
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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Innovative Online Book Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Innovative Online Book Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*