Campbell Clark is tired of the grind, working endless hours at a stodgy law firm just to make partner. So, she pitches an audacious idea to her former law school besties, Abby and Grace: what if they opened their own law firm so they could stop answering to self-important, middle-aged white dudes? And what if they offered something different for forward-thinking clients who want more than what the typical, boring firms offer?
If they’re going to make a name for themselves, they need to start attracting the right kinds of clients, and fast. Luckily, Campbell’s brother knows Braxton Keith, CEO of the hottest social media startup going, and also knows that Brax isn’t happy with his current representation. Campbell makes the pitch and it looks like they’ll win over his business, but there’s a catch—the company’s board isn’t quite ready to change legal representation yet, so Campbell and crew will work on a case with their existing counsel.
Wynne Garrity has been steadily working her ass off to make partner and the light is at the end of the tunnel. All she has to do is make sure Braxton Keith doesn’t take his business away from the firm where she’s been slaving away for five years. Wynne remembers Campbell and her friends as the popular girls from back when they were all at law school together, but she’s surprised to learn there’s much more to Campbell than an incredibly pretty face and a flashy new office space.
Only one firm can win, so Wynne and Campbell know they need to shelve their attraction. But can they?
I liked both Wynne and Campbell a lot. They’re brilliant, driven, and super hot. I also liked that they have a bit of history because they went to the same law school, even if they didn’t really interact back then. That connection leads to some interesting exchanges while they’re getting to know each other, helping each see that there’s more to the other than meets the eye.
While Practice Makes Perfect moves between Wynne and Campbell’s perspectives, Wynne is the one who has to do the most changing and growing. Campbell has already gone through a major priority shift before the books starts, which is what spurs her towards opening the firm with Grace and Abby, so instead we get to follow Wynne through her journey and see how Campbell influences it. Since the series revolves around Campbell, Abby, and Grace finding love, and Wynne is a love interest instead of being part of that group, I thought this was an interesting choice. It worked well, though, and helped confirm that the friends made the right choice in starting their business together.
The Writing Style
This was an easy one to get into and I enjoyed it. It’s a contemporary romance rather than a romantic suspense like most of Taite’s other books. My only complaint is that the pacing felt a little off for the romance, since there’s a “we can’t do this” conversation that is overturned minutes later, when they make plans to go on a date. I don’t really understand how the leap happened, especially for Wynne. It jarred me out of the story and if that conversation hadn’t happened, or if more space happened between that and their date so there was more time for their attraction to build and spill over, it would have made their relationship development more seamless.
I like Paige McKinney just fine as a narrator, but there was little differentiation between the characters in this one. Thankfully there were enough cues that it didn’t really matter and I was able to keep track of who was saying what. Also, I find her pace to be a bit slower compared to some of the other narrators I’ve been listening to lately, which left me especially impatient in the last hour. I sped the playback up to 1.5x and was much happier with the pace.
Campbell and Wynne were my favourite parts of this story for sure.
Like I mentioned above in the writing style section, I either needed that one conversation removed or there needed to be more added so the relationship development was smoother.
Also, this book could have seriously benefitted from an epilogue, given where things end. I’m very glad there are two more books coming in the series, so I can see Campbell and Wynne get more settled in their relationship.
Practice Makes Perfect is a fun start to a promising new series, with characters I enjoyed getting to know. I can’t wait to read Abby and Grace’s stories so I can spend more time with all of these wonderful women.
Excerpt from Practice Makes Perfect by Carsen Taite
Campbell walked over to the receptionist. “Hi, Prairie, Mr. Keith asked us to wait. He said there was a suite down the hall.”
Prairie looked puzzled for a moment, and then she nodded. “Oh, you mean Brax. Sure, come this way. The rest of the group is already there.”
It was Campbell’s turn to be puzzled, but she waved to Abby and Grace and followed Prairie down the hall. When they reached the door to the suite, she heard voices coming from the other side, and she instantly knew who “the rest of the group” was. Wynne looked up and met her eyes as she walked into the room, and Campbell spent a moment trying to figure out the emotion she saw reflected back at her. Anger with a touch of envy? In the spirit of healthy competition, Campbell strode over to where Wynne was standing and stuck out her hand. “Good luck.”
Wynne stared at Campbell’s hand like she viewed the gesture as some kind of trick. Campbell smiled. “Don’t worry. I don’t bite.”
“Good to know.” Wynne finally clasped her hand in a firm shake. “You were great in there. You literally had them eating out of your hand.”
Campbell laughed. “Donuts, the great persuader.”
“Let me guess, you’re a no carb kind of girl.”
“I eat plenty of carbs, but donuts are a gateway drug.”
Campbell assumed a serious expression and nodded. “I’m familiar with this phenomenon. After donuts, it’s cake, then ice cream. A slippery slope of sweetness.”
“Exactly.” Wynne patted her stomach. “Next thing you know you’re late to work because you can’t fit in your clothes.”
“You don’t strike me as someone who’s ever late to work.”
“See? Avoiding donuts has its upside.”
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 978-1635553574
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
Narrator: Paige McKinney
Carsen Taite Online
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