Fashion mogul Ellis Renois has built her business from the ground up and her tenacity has made the Renois Company an undefeated champion on the fashion runways worldwide. Ellis is a very passionate woman and she has a fondness for intricate design and alluring women in equal measure. Creativity is Ellis’s forte, she lives and breathes for design. However, she has left crucial aspects of her life’s work in the hands of people she trusts and that can prove fatal to her as soul-piercing betrayals run amok around her.
Charlotte Hamner has worked hard and paid her dues in order to be able to provide for her daughter Sawyer. She has come a long way from being a financially struggling teenaged mother and she will do everything in her power to never again allow her heart to rule her head. Opportunity knocks and Charlotte is quick to grasp it with both hands, however, her upward mobility will be the by-product of petty jealousies, dangerous deceptions and her willingness to open her heart to love once more.
April: At first, I thought Ellis Renois was a shallow and self-centered successful woman but as I continued reading I had a change of heart about her. I really adore the many facets of Ellis’s personality, from her warm and caring side to her indifferent and take charge style. Ellis is a dynamic woman who has worked hard to build her business and she cares about the welfare of her staff. Ellis is a firm believer in loyalty, strong family ties and bonds with friends are very important to her.
Charlotte made a remarkable impression on me by the way she always pushes herself to do better in life and she relentlessly pursues her dreams despite all odds. Even though she is afraid of taking chances, Charlotte does not let fear hold her back from her pursuit of happiness and success. I also loved the fact that Charlotte’s main motivator is her daughter Sawyer and I love the close bond they both share.
Sawyer is such a sweet child and I felt like bundling her up in a warm and fuzzy blanket (I highly doubt Sawyer would let me do that). Her introverted personality endeared her to me and I fell for her from the first time she was mentioned in the story. She is very independent, talented and emotional. Despite her tender age she is a very mature and understanding child and I really enjoyed her interactions with Ellis and Charlotte.
The Writing Style
April: Ali Vali is a superb writer and she always manages to tie nuggets of wisdom within her stories. The free flowing dialogue between the main characters was flawless. The author introduces several characters, shares their experiences and what makes them tick without losing focus on the main idea and the key players of the story.
Tara: Beauty and the Boss is 100% a contemporary romance, and yet it also has a delightfully twisty intrigue happening as Ellis tries to figure out who is betraying her. While intrigue isn’t typically my thing, I found myself impatiently needing to know what happens and I switched from audiobook to ebook just so I could read at my own, faster pace.
Tara: So, although I stopped listening about 60% of the way through the audio version, I still really enjoyed it! I was just getting frustrated because I can take books in faster when I read them to myself than I can when I’m listening to the narration and I needed to know right away! AJ Ferraro did a fabulous job of capturing both Ellis and Charlotte. She also did a great job of differentiating all of the characters, including the men. This is the second book I’ve listened to with her as a narrator and I’d happily listen to more.
April: I enjoyed reading about the stages of design and what happens behind the scenes. Most people just see the finished product that is the long awaited garment but many people are unaware of the meticulous process that is involved in the fashion world. The designers, seamstresses and models give their all to the products and I loved reading about the various characters and their passion for creativity.
Tara: A lot of things worked for me. The main characters were well developed, the pacing was excellent, I adored the epilogue, and I truly wasn’t able to guess all of the twists.
April: I felt as though parts of the storyline were rushed and it could have been a bit longer. A few of the scenarios could have been expanded to give the story more depth and it would have helped me to fully understand and connect with a few of the secondary characters much better.
Tara: The villains could have been developed a little more so we could better understand what was motivating them.
April: This story took me on a wild corporate and fashion design adventure! If you love corporate intrigue and ice queens with a touch of heartwarming romance, then this story is definitely for you. I really enjoyed flow of the story and the way the characters interacted. As always, the passion between the women was undeniable in this story and I love the way the author brought these characters to life for me.
Tara: I’ve never read anything by Ali Vali before, and this won’t be the last book I read by her! If you’re looking for a interesting, sexy romance with all the feelings and an extra dose of intrigue, check out Beauty and the Boss (especially on audio!).
Excerpt from Beauty And The Boss by Ali Vali
“Is red your favorite color?” she asked, not believing that color, of all things, would be the reason she wouldn’t be considered.
“You mean you don’t know what my favorite color is? You researched enough to change my designs, but you skimped on something so crucial?” Ellis spoke in a tone that signaled she was done. In that one instant, every moment Charlotte had spent agonizing over this meeting seemed like such a waste. Ellis Renois was tall and incredibly good-looking, but she was kind of an asshole. “Maybe you should’ve considered that and a few other things, Mrs. Hamner.”
“It’s Ms. Hamner, and it shouldn’t matter what your favorite color is. Not everyone looks good in red.”
“Thank you for the lesson in fashion, Ms. Hamner. I don’t know how in the world I’ve gotten along without it this long.”
“Sawyer, get your things.” She zipped up her bag and waited for Sawyer to put her pencils away before leaving without another word. Maybe it wasn’t too late to hire on with someone else, even if all she did the entire summer was sew.
“You should’ve shaken her hand, Mama. She’s big on that,” Sawyer said as they rode the elevator down.
“You’re right. I’ll remember that for the next time,” she said, thinking Ellis was lucky she didn’t punch her in the throat for being such an ass.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781626399204
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
- Narrator: AJ Ferraro
Ali Vali Online
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Note: I received a free review copy of Beauty And The Boss by Ali Vali. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.