Marisa Tanner's most important client, multi-billion dollar family-owned Brannon Company, has been sued by nine of its employees for sexual harassment. Marisa is a pro at handling sexual harassment allegations, but will she be able to handle the CEO's prodigal son as well as she can handle the lawsuits?
Clients are off-limits and Marisa could lose her law license and livelihood, but Memphis playboy Trip keeps making strong plays for her. Their attraction is undeniable and chemistry electric. Can she have her career and Trip, too, or will she have to choose?
At the end of last year I was contacted by author Mae Wood with the question whether I was interested in reading and reviewing her debut novel ‘Risking Ruin’, which was released by Atacama books in November 2014. I straight away liked the sound of this contemporary romance/chick lit read and I love checking out the work of new authors. On her personal blog, Mae Wood introduces herself by explaining she decided she needed to give up the fear that she couldn’t write ‘great literature’ and instead write what she wants: ‘And I want romance. I want heroines who are brave. Brave enough to be themselves and brave enough to fall in love.’ That’s exactly what I look for in stories as well, so enough reason for me to sit down with ‘Risking Ruin’ and giving it a chance!
Marisa Tanner works as a successful lawyer in Memphis and her speciality is handling sexual harassment cases. One of her biggest clients, family-owned company Branco, suddenly finds itself dealing with several sexual harassment lawsuits at the same time which means Marisa has her work cut out for her. Branco’s general counsel is one of the accused and is forced to retire. As soon as Marisa meets his replacement, Trip Branson, sparks fly between the two of them. Yet, Trip is known as a playboy and Marisa knows she shouldn’t get involved with a client. When Trip makes clear he is definitely interested in Marisa, things start to get tricky and Marisa finds it more and more difficult to ignore the obvious chemistry between them. But is she willing to risk everything for a guy?
I really enjoyed this novel. The storyline is not a particularly original one (a professional develops feelings for a client, someone they shouldn't fall for) but it has been executed well and author Mae Wood has definitely given it her own twist. I instantly liked the characters, particularly main protagonist Marisa. She's the prototype of a strong, passionate and independent woman who has build a great career for herself, but as readers we also get to see her more vulnerable side. She is a bit distant, especially when it comes to men, which is all connected to when she discovered her ex-boyfriend cheating on her. I enjoyed seeing these different sides of Marisa and how she struggles to overcome these issues as the story progresses.
Other characters, such as handsome business man Trip and Marisa's best friend Erica, are also well-develooped and really added something to the story. The novel not only deals with a romance story, but also focuses on the sexual harassment lawsuits and how Marisa needs to find a way to solve things. I really enjoyed both these storylines and combined they made for a thoroughly enjoyable read. Overall, 'Risking Ruin' is an entertaining contemporary romance novel with great chemistry between the main characters. A promising debut!