A Reader Opines: Flawless by Jan Moran

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Flawless by Jan Moran
Published: August 2014 by Briarcliffe Press
Genre: Women’s Fiction | Contemporary | Romance
Series: A Hostile Beauty #1
My Rating: 2 of 5 stars

When an author asks me to review their book I’m always flattered. It also takes a bit of the fun out of reading because you really, really want to like the work in which you’ve been entrusted. Flawless is such a book and while I’d like to give it high marks, to remain honest I must say it was just okay.

Summary taken from Goodreads:
Verena Valent is at the helm of her family’s legendary Swiss skincare company, which caters to a glamorous clientele in the heart of Beverly Hills. After her parents are killed in an automobile accident, she becomes the sole provider for her younger twin sisters and her grandmother. Instead of attending college with her friends as planned, she rises to the challenge to guide and expand her family’s business. She is in the midst of a critical international expansion into Asia when her carefully organized life begins to unravel.
Verena is shaken to discover that her fiance, Derrick, who is a venture capitalist, might be behind a scheme to take over her growing company. While she struggles to save the business that means everything to her, she meets Lance, an executive chef at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She encounters this intriguing man again while on a business trip to Paris, and soon gains a new perspective on relationships.
When the unthinkable occurs and Verena’s world collapses, her friends rally around her, among them Scarlett Sandoval, a top intellectual property attorney; Dahlia DuBois, a perfumer from an esteemed line of French perfumers; and Fianna Fitzgerald, a fashion designer with her own trendy boutique.
Ultimately, Verena learns that truth, family, friendship, and love are the unshakable pillars of life. But will she get a second chance in business, or in love?

My knowledge base doesn’t include the beauty industry and I found the passion Verena feels for her family business refreshing. Moran includes details that enhance the dynamics of the trade. However, when it came to the financial and legal jargon my attention wanted to move on to something else. The story is solid, but the plot didn’t unfold organically. The characters didn’t live up to their potential. You like the protagonist, her friends and family and you dislike the antagonist and his minions.

Most people root for the underdog and Verena is certainly that. She had been thrust into the business at a young age, making all the right decisions until we, the reader, begin to bear witness to her life. It takes intelligence, strength and savvy to achieve the success she has. Knowing this made some of her decisions seem out of character, most of them actually.

On the surface, Flawless is detailed to the highest degree. Not only do we get a feel for the physical characteristics of the players and their surroundings, we get detailed descriptions of everything, including the hotel’s wallpaper. If the internalization of the characters had been more detailed it might have made the cause and effect more believable.

Upon reflection, Flawless resembles a puzzle that has been completed, but some of the pieces were forced into places they didn’t quite fit.

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