Friday, 11 January 2013

Review of Unmasking Maya by Libby Mercer

Morning everyone! Hope you've all had a good week. Today is review day, so if you're looking for something funny and light to read, you could do a lot worse than today's review - Unmasking Maya by Libby Mercer.

Here's the blurb!

Defamed, Disgraced and Displaced...Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She's offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?

Not so much.

She can't stand Derek Whitley - wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self.

As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?

And here's what I thought of it!

More chicklit than romance and that's a good thing!

Although this is a sweet romance, the whole feel was chicklit for me, which was great, as I don't read romance books. I loved the Silicon Valley side to it, which made me laugh, as I used to work for an IT company in Santa Ana, CA, even though I live in Scotland. The techno jargon had me realising Ms Mercer had either worked in IT (unlikely) or had thoroughly done her research (most likely!) Unmasking Maya cut through the stereotypes that everyone who works in IT is a geek and a nerd. I can confirm that Derek is no geek. Right from the start, he struck me as someone I would like to go out with, even though he was a workaholic (probably 'cos I am one myself!) The chemistry between the love interests was almost tangible from the get go. I particularly liked how I was reintroduced to San Francisco, my joint favourite city in the US, with NYC.
The gradual blossoming of the relationship was great to see unfold, although I found myself wanting to tell them to wake up and smell the coffee! Clearly they fancied each other. There was also quite a lot of comedy in the novel, even right from the beginning, when Maya's work is criticised and she introduces herself by another name, to avoid embarrassment, not realising it will have repercussions later. Like Maya, I, myself, many years ago, found myself falling for someone who hitherto had infuriated the hell out of me, so it was a wee bit like a trip down memory lane!
I also enjoyed the allusions to a dark secret in Maya's past and in fact there were two, which actually were interlinked and as a result had more impact. I kept wondering what it was, but the author kept this to herself until quite late on, finally revealing pieces to us, bit by bit.
Finally, I enjoyed the friendship between Maya and the techno geeks and the turning point at the company BBQ.

Very well written, with few errors, a real breath of fresh air.
My only complaint is I would have liked it to be longer, with some of the subplots being delved into more deeply. But it's aimed at the Romance market, which is generally shorter novels. It's just me - I like to get to know the characters as much as possible and I don't like to leave them!
What I would point out is that it's a short novel, around 50K words. I look forward to reading more by this author and have since bought her first novel, Fashioning A Romance.
I read this novel in 2 days, probably in 3-4 hours. It had me hooked.

You can buy Unmasking Maya via Amazon as below :- (UK) (US)

I'll be welcoming Libby back on Wed for a fun interview and don't forget to check in on Sunday (I've actually signed up on time to Six Sentence Sunday this week!) for an EXCLUSIVE and I hope a lovely surprise. 
have a great weekend

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