Marcus LaPierre’s new novel follows four characters whose destinies converge after the death of wealthy businessman James Hardich.
Hardich’s son, Xavier, entitled and untalented but eager to follow in his father’s footsteps, assumes responsibility for running his father’s software business. The man in charge of Enigma’s developers, Richard, struggles to weather the leadership changes.
When Richard meets Augusta, Xavier’s rebellious and mercurial sister, the attraction between them is instant. Augusta, however, already has a family-approved boyfriend, a fast-talking financial adviser named Derek.
Meanwhile, Natalie, an up-and-coming online marketing expert, forges a relationship with David, whom she has just recently come to know as her estranged father. David has a longstanding relationship with the Hardich family, and despite his distrust of Xavier, he agrees to connect Natalie with Enigma.
Over the next few years, Xavier, Richard, Natalie and David navigate career ups and downs and star-crossed romances, culminating in an impassioned battle for control of Enigma.
Multiple points of view in a novel often become a liability, but these four main characters’ engaging personalities and distinct perspectives give readers a stake in each of their journeys. Likewise, the multi-faceted, propulsive plot makes the novel difficult to put down in its final chapters.
The Equity of Love, however, is not without flaws. Augusta, who takes up nearly as much space as the four point-of-view characters, comes off as shallow and irritating (despite Richard’s insistence that she’s complex and fascinating). Some characters suggest that mental health problems are behind some of Augusta’s worst behavior, but this isn’t fully explored; doing so might lend better texture to her character.
The narrative could also use some tightening. For instance, readers would be unlikely to miss descriptions of famous Paris landmarks or Richard and Augusta impressing each other with quotations from well-known poets.
The Equity of Love is solidly appealing despite such issues. Attention to the weaknesses, however, would help it reach a wider audience.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.