Wednesday, November 5, 2014

FLAWLESS - A Book Review




Flawless is the first novel of Jan Moran's Hostile Beauty Series.  It is set in the land of the fabulously rich and famous, where beauty is an industry unto itself.  In fact, Flawless is centered on one aspect of the beauty industry.  It is a peek behind those closely guarded and shuttered windows into the home of one of Beverly Hills most prominent families, the Valents.  They are the owners of the great Swiss based spas and skincare products that cater to the elite of America and Europe.   
Surprisingly, this grand family owned corporation has a very young Varena Valent at the helm, who has been there since she was eighteen years old when her parents were killed in a car wreck the summer after she graduated from high school.   Our young corporate executive is also responsible for the care of her young twin sisters and frail elderly grandmother. But even with that, Verena feels she has the perfect world.  All is well and her business is set to take off, as they plan a major expansion into new territories.
The story line for the book is all set and what could happen?  All is well coordinated and everything goes as plan. – until, everything starts falling apart.  But isn’t that how real life happens?  Nothing happens in “ones” in the world.  It always comes in “threes” and “sixes”.  Who can keep a level head and stay focused on everything they need to tend to when the world is fracturing and disintegrating around them?  Is it all sun and roses for the rich and famous?  Or are they like every other Joe out there and when they fall, they hit bottom?  Sometimes, we are surprised.  Jan surprised me with her storyline and the ending totally took me by surprise on several levels. 
Flawless is not a light summer at the beach read.  It smacks of authenticity, and of what the back boardrooms of industrial maneuvering is like.  With living breathing characters residing within the covers of this book, you feel the tension and the heat of what working at the high levels of a competitive industry can be like. 
I love the way Ms. Moran developed each of her characters.  She allowed them to grow with the story and to be a natural part of the scenery and then as their part became important, their character’s persona came forward like they belonged there and you already knew who they were and understood why they were there.  Wonderful job!
The villains were believable.  I have met people with personalities like this in industry.  Jan portrayed them wonderfully.  She gave you the power to not dislike them, but to despise them as they moved through the story line.  The wolves in sheep’s clothing never seem to be able to keep the lamb skin on straight. True to form, the villains in Flawless could not manage to hide behind their good guy exteriors, and the sliminess finally exerted itself for the world to see.  . 
My favorite scene came towards the front of the book when Verena met the Executive Chef at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  He realized she had not had dinner after making a speech at a banquet and lured her into the big hotel kitchen where he prepared her a personal dinner for one. I loved him from that first dinner in the kitchen at the hotel. My heart was lost.  
I would give the book a 5.0 rating.  Jan Moran did a first rate job of introducing a wonderful new series about life in the beauty industry.  

Get to know Jan Moran a little better when she joins us here on November 28th for an interview about her newest novel that will be debuted in March 2014, Scent of Triumph.


CURRENT AND SOON TO BE RELEASED NOVELS
BY JAN MORAN