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Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: Trust by Design by Stacey Joy Netzel

Format: .mobi (provided by author in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: May 1, 2014

Cinderella and Prince Charming...brought together by chance, or design?

Interior Designer Gina Allen is flat broke thanks to a shady assistant who didn’t pay the taxes. Now she has no choice but to accept a job from the very rich, very handsome CEO Dean Daley—even though he’s accused her of conspiring to steal his software designs.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer—that’s why Dean hires his rival’s ex-girlfriend. If he can use her to prove Jack is behind the spiraling downfall of his company, he might be able to turn things around before losing everything.

Dean, however, doesn’t count on Gina being everything he never expected, or his heart being in more danger than his business. Will the trust they’ve built be enough to keep them together—or will an unexpected betrayal tear them apart…and possibly cost them their lives?

I may have let out a loud “Woo hoo!” when I got Trust by Design to review. That’s a maybe. I will not admit to this without proper motivation. Or blackmail.

What I will admit to is having a thing for author Stacy Joy Netzel’s writing style. Whether it’s a romantic suspense or contemporary romance, she has a particular formula that just works for me as a reader.

Can you imagine being forced to work for someone who wrongly accused you of stealing something of theirs? Worse, being attracted to said person? That's the situation that Gina Allen finds herself in after being the victim of a shady assistant and a conniving ex-boyfriend.

Dean Daley's company is in danger of failing. After several projects are leaked to his rival, Jack, Dean decides to hire Jack's ex-girlfriend in an attempt to prove that Jack is behind the leaks and sneaky business dealings. Neither Gina nor Dean have any reason to trust each other yet, spending so much time working in the same space is bound to present opportunities to get to know one another.

I definitely have to say that I love how smart Gina is and how self sufficient she can be. She takes a bad situation and makes the best of it and despite how attracted she is to Dean, she proceeds with caution. I love a heroine who can still think even when there's a sexy beast of a man in the vicinity. She’s pretty daring too. I won’t spoil it but I really liked the way she and Dean first meet because she’s the one in charge and catches him off guard. With Dean, I loved the subtlety of his personality. No chest beating, break down the door and make demands attitude for this guy and yet there’s no doubt that he’s all male.

As far as villains go, I really loved hating on Jack. The best kinds of villains are the sneaky ones. The ones that aren’t obvious about their intentions and who are excellent at hiding their true character until it’s too late. That’s Jack for you. Charming as sin and deadly as a snake. He really gave Dean and Gina a hard time simply because they just couldn’t prove he was guilty of theft. He's unpredictable and I found myself wondering just how far he would go to get what he wanted.

There was a real give and take between Dean and Gina that made Trust by Design so fun. Author Stacey Joy Netzel stopped just short of making Dean a perfect man, what he lacked is what Gina excelled in and vice versa. Together, when they stopped fighting with each other, they were a great team. I loved their bantering which was layered with sexual tension and general frustration with each other. They were a fun pair.

Final Verdict: Trust by Design is yet another example of Netzel’s style of balancing a romance with a little bit of everything: humor, chemistry, fun and passion. If you haven’t picked up one of her books yet, now is the time to do so.

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  1. Hey, Adria--thank you so much for the awesome review! I'm glad you enjoyed Dean and Gina's story. :) I'd written this story years ago, then completely rewrote it this spring because Dean was a favorite hero of mine that just had to be shared. Thank you again!

  2. I'm so glad you did Stacey because I developed a bit of a crush on him!


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