Book Title: The Reluctant Socialite
Indie Author: L. M. Halloran
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance (adult content)
Length: 277 page full-length novel
Althea “Thea” Sands is somewhat of a tortured soul, trying to find her place in a world she doesn’t feel connected to. Born to wealth and raised in wealth, her family is what the rich call “New Money,” which Thea herself disinherited from when she was 18. A strained relationship with her catty, socialite mother and a near-nonexistent relationship with her father, Thea lives a somewhat reclusive life with a few close friends including roommate and best friend, Lillian (also an heiress of sorts). On the inside, Thea is a bit of a neurotic, obsessing over the way she conducts herself around others. This is a mastered skill from the years of etiquette training, most of which was imparted on her by a family friend, Margaret. A “lifetime of carefully constructed armor,” she calls it.
It’s been a couple of years since Thea’s brutal break-up with former fiance, the now (not then) Grammy winning musician, Damien Young. Thea is mostly over him and has made a name for herself as a talented young interior designer for an architectural firm in California. Luck strikes in more ways than one when billionaire restaurateur (old money), Alexander “Alex” Hughes, hires the firm to design the newest of his line of restaurants after attending Lillian’s art display one night and purchasing a life-sized portrait of Thea depicting the intricate tattoo covering her entire, naked back.
As the author writes, “fate is determined to put us on a collision course. Dominant, demanding, and disarmingly kind, Alex is an emotional hurricane I can’t outrun. All I can do is try.” And with Alex residing in Boston, Thea knows there is an expiration date on this love affair so try, she does!
The writing of this book was exquisite. Considering it was self-published, this book had the quality right up there with any professionally published writing I have seen, and I’ve read quite a few books!
The story of this book was also exceptionally interesting to me. Thea’s character was very relatable, probably because I find myself to be a little on the neurotic side inside my head a lot of the time, too. There were also lots of parts of this book that made my heart just ache, and parts where I thought to myself that I would be quite literally angry if things didn’t start getting a little happier. But even then, it was all very realistic, and I think we all know that conflict is what makes a story good. This book had plenty.
I do feel like the main characters were really well-developed and complex in this book, especially Thea’s character. I also liked how it was not too mushy-gushy with the lovey-dovey feelings, which tends to make a story unrealistic for me or making the character seem naive.
What could use some work:
Quite frankly, the only thing this book could really use is a sequel.
I will say that when I initially began reading the first chapter of this book, I felt like it was a little on the choppy side, and maybe even a little awkward as far as how the wording was put together right at the very beginning. At that point, there were a lot of things introduced that had not been explained yet, and these were all explained well as I got further in. Because of this, I almost decided against reading the whole book. Thank goodness I persisted! The book was amazing.
There were a few, very minor wording errors here and there, but these were easy to overlook as I could tell what the word either should have been or where the word should have been placed. I would say I may have saw 2 or 3 of these total, and they were not distracting enough to detract from the story.
Overall, I think this book will probably be added to my favorites list. It was a great read, and I definitely recommend it.