The Art of the Deal
Title : The Art of the Deal
Author : B.A. Stretke
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 200 pages (e-book)
Published : April 22, 2013
Sean Robbins’s life rarely goes according to plan, which leaves him suspicious and determined to make it on his own. But when he learns why he failed to win a coveted internship with Chicago’s leading lawyer, Coleman West, he soldiers on and takes a lesser position in West’s firm instead. It won’t stop him from snubbing Mr. West whenever he runs into him. Never mind that Mr. West is not only brilliant but gorgeous. Sean has his pride.
People assume Coleman West was handed everything he has on a silver platter. Not so—he fought and scraped his way to the top of Chicago’s elite. That hard work taught him to set high standards for those he chooses to work with… or date. So when he gets on an elevator and runs into the very man he dismissed as being beneath him, the instant chemistry surprises him.
Sean and Coleman could be happy together, but first they must overcome everything that stands in their way: backstabbing, jealousy, and their own pride and prejudices.
I can usually find something positive about a book to make me at least like it. I’ll be reaching to come up with anything I enjoyed about this book.
The book starts out with Sean receiving the highest grades for his course and therefore promised the best placing in his internship. He’s embarrassed when he doesn’t receive the honor of being Coleman West’s assistant. He’s informed, following the ceremony, that Coleman has rejected his application for internship at Mr. West’s company. His teacher finds a man in the company who will risk providing the internship Sean needs to complete his course. Someone Mr. West would never notice. Coleman is very powerful and has the power to make or break careers. His reputation is such that he is ruthless and cold and uses his influence to crush those who don’t please him or go against his wishes. For this reason Sean working in his company is a big risk for Sean and his mentor.
Sean basically becomes obsessed with Coleman’s rejection. He strongly dislikes him but he needs to complete the program. He avoids him and runs from him but that only seems to intrigue Coleman. Coleman sets out to find out who the beautiful man is and what in the world he could have done to make the man hate him. Whatever it is he isn’t going to let him get away.
To be honest the only character I liked in this book was a secondary character, Ed. I think most the characters in this book were clueless and over the top at some point. Sean didn’t realize Coleman wanted him sexually even after he kissed him? Really? It never crossed his mind that his boss holding his hand or keeping his hand on his lower back wasn’t a normal boss thing to do? His boss is an openly gay man. If a male boss did that to a female employee she would know his intentions or sue his ass for sexual harassment but that’s never brought up. He doesn’t even think that’s a possibility. Sean thinks Coleman is buttering him up to fire him. It was all so silly.
The wording and style of writing kept me totally detached from the couple. Things like at the end of a date, he would say “you were a nice companion, thank you.” Who says that? I had a nice time? Or we should do this again? It was all so stiff. Yes, Coleman was supposed to be a hard ass but he came off as brutish and clueless. Clueless because of his parent’s example he has chosen to never become attached to anyone. He has never had a relationship to know how he should behave in one. Sean thinks he’s flavor of the week after whining about not being Coleman’s “cream of the crop”. Coleman basically starts managing Sean’s life and never wants to leave his side but then conveniently forgets to call him for a week. It’s inconsistent and not at all believable. The reason for the application rejection was ridiculous. I won’t spoil but if I ever had to be in a room with someone that pompous my head would explode! Much less ruin someone’s life for it. Parts of this story felt like a parody of a romance instead a romance.
The childish baddie and her school yard bully brother were beyond ridiculous. The woman was about to become a lawyer but she just couldn’t stand for someone else to get attention so she had her brother beat people up for her? Real people do not act this way! A little OTT is fine but this book was full of it and none of it worked.
I’m just going to stop there but I could go on. Safe to say I did not enjoy this book. The epilogue was nice. I managed to settle into the end. To lay this story out you would think it sounds great but pretty much everything between didn’t work for me. 😦
Rated 2 stars by Whit