by Angela Winters, contemporary (2000)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-150-2
Maya Woodson doesn't think Trajan Matthews a nice man at all, and he thinks she is way too bossy and uppity for her own good. The only reason they aren't at each other's throat is because she and her partner hired him to be the new publicist of Pharaoh Hotel Corporation and he is good at what he does.
Maya is thinking of going public with the Pharoah's stock, but things start to go down the drain when an elderly guest is murdered in the hotel. How rude. She decides to poke her nose where it doesn't belong, and Trajan is reluctantly pulled into the fun. The case reveals a lot of nasty secrets, foremost being the sinister reason behind the death of Maya's father long ago. Meanwhile, Trajan and Maya feel this urge to see each other naked.
The Business Of Love is fun. Trajan and Maya are two great characters, witty and funny even when they have baggages, and their chemistry is just divine. (And yes, both do wonder aloud that their attraction is causing them to really, really, really want to break professional work ethics.) Trajan is born poor and has worked his way up the food chain, but it is Maya who teaches him that money isn't everything, it's just most of everything. It's much more fun being filthy rich and in love than just being filthy rich, and boy, do I get that message loud and clear! (Okay, I'm cynical - sue me.)
And Maya is a great heroine. Her wit sparkles and she never lets anything get her down. There are times when her no-time, no-life nature seems contrived, but her overall personality just screams pizazz that she's okay with me.
And I do wonder if George, Trajan's friend and a PI, will get his own story one day. He sounds like a really nice if somewhat starchy guy who could use some loosening up by a fun lady.
The only drawback to The Business Of Love is the business/stock jargons that pepper and sometimes almost overpower a scene. I am clueless about the stock market, I must admit, since I never played the share game before, and the technical terms sometimes make me scratch my head. It's a minor irritant, but nonetheless still an irritant.
The Business Of Love is one of fun, witty dialogues, and characters that bounce with style and pizazz, and ain't that the truth.
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