Reviewed by: Pete Barber
Approximate word count: 55,000-60,000 words
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store
Check out Libby's blog here.
After a being wrongly accused of betraying trade secrets by her previous long-term boyfriend, fashion designer Maya Kirkwood leaves New York and moves to San Francisco to start a new life. She is commissioned to design and install a series of fabric-inspired wall hangings for Derek Whitley, CEO of a Silicon Valley hi-tech company. The story follows their often bumpy journey toward romance.
I don’t read enough romance novels to make an informed comparison between this story and others in the genre. That said, I enjoyed Unmasking Maya. I’ve tried to examine why, because unlike sci-fi, thriller, or action, much of this story takes place inside Maya’s mind. In these other genre, ‘telling’ the story in this manner would be one-star-worthy, but I became involved with Maya’s internal workings as she shared her thoughts about Derek (handsome and smart, but too driven, and a workaholic), and her struggles with her own insecurities (he seems distant, hard to read, and can she ever trust again after her last relationship).
They get off to a poor start because he doesn’t much like her artwork, which is a tough pill to swallow as she’s trying to reinvent herself through her creations. And then there’s the repeated references to Daisy, which both intrigue her, and make her suspicious of Derek’s viability as a partner - maybe Daisy is another one-night-stand.
Derek and Maya are both likeable, the more so because they have interesting jobs. The author’s knowledge of fashion and of San Francisco help to imbue the story with realism, and the obstacles over which our heroine must of necessity stumble seem believable, as does the ending and the way they reach it.
Only one typo noted – Wow! Kudos, Ms. Mercer.
Rating: **** Four stars