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A Reluctant Enterprise by Gun Brooke
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A Reluctant Enterprise

by Gun Brooke

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Recently added byAussiewoman, jansnow, elizatanner, Lexxi

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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.

This is the fourth book that I have read by Gun Brooke. And the second, I believe, in that ‘secret’ ‘undisclosed’ series. Some authors have series that involve friends, close or distant (Galli’s friends might interact with each other, but more distantly than those in, say, Brayden’s friend series – who actually work together; Brooke’s unnamed, ‘hidden’ series involves friends slightly more distant than those in Galli’s series; though, to a certain extent, closer than in the unnamed series in Bradshaw’s series (she has several named series; but her characters can and do interact between series; then there’s Molly, who pops up in a bunch of books, but has no specific series of her own – the unnamed series I refer to here would be the one involving Molly).

Characters
There are two main characters and two points of views in this book.

Aeron DeForest is a 26 year old woman who has had a strained relationship with her family. This, in its way, is putting it politely. She doesn’t know who her father is, and never got along with her druggy party girl mother Maeve. Mostly because Maeve is/was a rotten mother. Was because Maeve has died at the young age of 43. Aeron prefers to live as a recluse, though does interact, on occasion, with others, including with her next door neighbors (one of whom happens to be a famous actress). Living as a recluse works for her, since (1) technically she doesn’t have to work because of her massive trust fund; (2) she’s a successful horror novelist. She’s judgmental, quick to become angry, and has a massive rejection phobia.

Sylvie Thorn is 40 and a native of Sweden. She has been in the US since she has been 25, running the Thorn Industries USA division. Though she also has her own business she’s been nursing along, a Swedish massage spa. Sylvie has an icy way to her, the way she stands, walks, and interacts with people, though on the inside she’s a ball of emotions. Super emotional. Also, her father abused her. And her mother did almost nothing to stop it. She still wants her father’s approval, and doesn’t put any blame on her mother for the abuse. While there might have been some super tight hand holding, the abuse I speak of is of the emotional kind. Daniel Thorn terrorized his daughter, to the point that she would lose control of her bowels while out in public and being gripped by him.

Plot
The plot is relatively simple and relatively goofy. Maeve, as noted above, has died. She’s worth billions. Somewhere around 25 billion. Her daughter, Aeron, will receive the vast majority of those billions, but only if she agrees to some stipulations. Mostly – Aeron would be tutored by Maeve’s business partner, Sylvie, and would then have to pass some kind of test. Doing so will give Aeron the billions; and if Sylvie agrees, she’ll get the spa business shares owned by Maeve’s estate. Aeron agrees but only because she wants to know more about her mother, the kind of things Sylvie would know since Sylvie does not seem like Maeve’s normal party girl friends. Sylvie agrees because she wants the shares so she can have more control of her business. So that she can make her spa side business successful and therefore show up her father who continually expects her to fail.

So the book consists of Sylvie and Aeron being forced to spend time together. Though the long and short of it seems to consist of Sylvie allowing Aeron to use one of her apartment rooms to store documents that Aeron would go through (and the documents would be stored there so that, if Aeron had any questions she could ask Sylvie; and the documents would be secure from the prying eyes/hands of reporters); visiting a spa and getting a massage; and heading off to visit Sylvie’s family in Sweden. Aeron does not seem to actually get taught anything business related, and while Sylvie is willing to answer questions, she seems mostly used to be nearby while Aeron reads some emotional documents (but never seems to ask any questions).

Oh, and there are flash backs throughout the book. Three kinds – Sylvie remembering how horrible her childhood was (which is how I know Sylvie peed on herself); Aeron remembering how horrible her childhood was; and Aeron’s reading of Maeve’s journal, which revealed how horrible Maeve’s life was.

Overall
I’m not sure how I might have felt about this book if not for the simple fact that I kind of despised both main characters from the beginning. From the first time I meet them. And neither grows on me. My feelings for the super rich whiny little twits, ‘my childhood was soo hard, and my parents were so mean!’, never improved.

That probably colors how I see the two as a couple. Therefore I’ll just note that I did not see their connection, romantically, as being that realistic, but then my thoughts are colored by my dislike of the two characters.

Overall I’d probably give this book a rating nearish 2.7 stars. If that.

June 10 2016
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  Lexxi | Jun 26, 2016 |
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