In this novel set in Australia and China, a young woman with “stunning” looks and a winning personality finds romance and success on the heels of a darker time in her life.
When readers meet Rachel Anderson, 25, she is starting a fresh life after leaving an abusive relationship with Owen, who has a history of disappearing with no explanation of where or why he is going. She quickly finds an apartment in a new town and lands a job with a large finance company on Australia’s Gold Coast. Her new boss offers her the opportunity to learn Chinese so that she might represent their interests in China.
When Rachel isn’t working, she’s surfing or spending time with her family, including her equally attractive younger sister, Tonia, with whom she is close. Life seems to be treating Rachel well, but it’s complicated by the fact that her boss is falling in love with her while her affection for him is platonic. When a romantic interest does enter her life, it is with someone close to her boss.
This is a largely upbeat story with a fair share of beautiful people and an abundance of wealth. Unfortunately, with the exception of one unexpected twist at the end offering answers to the mystery of Owen, everything is too wonderful. Even when there are problems, they are generally easily resolved and the parties walk away friends. There is little plot beyond who falls in love with whom, and the pages are riddled with technical errors, including switching from past to present tense, often within a sentence. There is also an inexplicable, inconsistent use of bold italic fonts for characters’ thoughts, place names and titles.
These are nice people living extremely comfortable – but not particularly realistic – lives, a fact that is likely to limit the book’s audience. Strive to Succeed will most likely to appeal to readers who enjoy happy endings and reading about the finer things in life.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.