Title: Unmasking Maya
Author: Libby Mercer
My Rating: C+
My Rating: C+
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Derek and Maya
Release Date: December 2012
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild
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?
This book is about a girl who's had to reinvent herself. She used to work for one of the premier fashion design houses in NYC, but after a duplicitous boyfriend betrayed her, she's had to leave that life. She's now in San Francisco where she's developed a whole new identity and career. She's making a name for herself now as a fiber fine artist.
One of the things that I really adored about this book was the descriptions of Maya's art and how she assembles it. You often see books about artists, but this is one of the first where I really could visualize the whole process in my head. I loved that and wish that I could really see the piece that she created for Derek's office building.
Derek is the hero in this book. He hires Maya to create a huge art piece for the new addition to their business although he doesn't even like her art (I NEVER understood that aspect of the story). He comes across the page as cold and unfeeling, but Maya develops an interest in him anyway. In the book, we never see him as anything else until the very last of the book, so I really had a hard time understanding Maya's attraction to him... except for the obvious that she thought he was hot. The times when they supposedly connected on other levels were just described in the book so I never really got attached to them as a couple. The book is written entirely from her POV and I think I could have been convinced if we'd seen some things from his POV.
There are several other aspects to the story though that really did work for me. I loved the developing friendship with Lin. I wish the author had brought her and her husband into the story more. Their long-standing friendship with Derek could have been used to show more sides to him than we got to see, plus I just really loved her character. I also really adored the San Francisco setting. I've never been there, but I could visualize the different neighborhoods and it was fun to visit through the book.
Overall, this wasn't necessarily the book for me, but I enjoyed the author's voice and would definitely read another of her books.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.