Wednesday, April 24, 2013

SMART MOVE by Melanie Jacobson

The spark was undeniable the night Sandy Burke met the devastatingly handsome Jake. Conversation flowed easily, so after they parted, she waited eagerly for his call. It never came. A high-powered career woman at the ripe old age of twenty-seven, Sandy feels she has had her heart broken one too many times, and now the redheaded trendsetter is facing a major quarter-life crisis. After some introspection, Sandy determines that helping others may be the key to helping herself. When she's presented with a job offer in Washington DC as the director of New Horizons, a nonprofit organization benefiting women in poverty, it seems providential.

But now that she's moved, two major obstacles threaten the success of her first assignment: The first is her mother and her constant fog of less-than-helpful New Age advice. Secondly, plans to build another New Horizons outreach center have come to a screeching halt, thanks to the interference of a pesky lawyer and his attempts to reverse zoning approval for the building project.

After weeks of verbal sparring over the phone, Sandy is in for a shock when she comes face-to-face with her foe. The smooth voice at the other end of the line is a heart-wrenching blast from the past. In this twist of fate, Sandy sees the perfect opportunity to ensure the success of the outreach center — and to enact a little payback on this man she thought she'd left behind. And so the battle of wits begins. Will Sandy's "flirt-to-convert" plot sway her nemesis' determination to block the center, or will his charming and undeniably attractive ways convince the sassy redhead to give love a second chance?

First line:
"Sandy tapped the toe of her high-heeled boot as she considered its sharp point and where it would do the most damage to Jake Manning."

Sandy Burke has her heart in the right place. She wants to help women who need a hand up and she's passionate about saving the place she works that helps those women.
Jake Manning is a lawyer with a good, honest work ethic. He's been hired to stop the place where Sandy works from building an annex.
Unbeknownst to either party, they met, and connected a year ago. But now they are on opposite sides of a good fight.
Ms. Jacobson is a good writer and does a good job at keeping romantic tension in the story. This is a good, clean story that I was able to read in one sitting.
I have to admit though that I was annoyed with Sandy's character. While she was passionate about her side, she never listened to Jake's side. She'd rant and rave about evil corporations and how if Jake liked her he'd back off. Jake tried to explain his side several times but she always cut him off or walk away. It got old. I felt sorry for Jake and wondered WHY! he kept coming back to her. I know he felt a strong connection but why?
Finally, they called a truce and dated (against their better judgement) and something happened at court where Sandy decided she hated Jake...again. Then finally, in the last few pages of the book, Sandy really listened to Jake and they resolved their differences. I couldn't help wonder if they married what their relationship would be. Would Sandy ever listen to Jake? Would he feel he had to constantly defend himself? Not a great start I think.
And don't even get me started on how she treated her mother. Once again, Sandy didn't listen, only judged. They did make amends towards to the end, which was good!

Rating: PG
S: No
V: No
L: No

Sandy's real name was Sand Dollar
Clean, romantic book
Book cover

Sandy not changing until the very end
Relationship issues

3 1/2 STARS

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