This book was edited by Leonore H. Dvorkin
His world is power suits, power politics, and maximizing corporate potential. Hers is housecleaning and hope for a better future. What do they have in common? More than either of them knows. Soon they're sharing a heady mix of sex and ambition, and she's way beyond what he had planned. Some hard lessons are in store for them before she comes back to earth and he learns what matters most.
by Leonore H. Dvorkin
Chance Encounter, which could be described as a Cinderella story with a twist, is considerably more complex than the author's first book, Blocked. That is an entertaining novel about the pitfalls of online dating. See below for its description, the cover image, and buying links.
This second novel by Tony Medeiros has a lot in it about the working world of the narrator, Joseph Perry (JP), who makes a very good living as an Operations Specialist. His company, Boston Consulting House, analyzes why other companies are doing badly and what can be done to rescue them. This professional experience, plus his basic can-do mindset, lead him to dream big for Carolyn Laplante, the attractive and intriguing young housecleaner whom he happens to observe at a café one winter morning as she tries to drum up business. It takes him a while to find her again, as he never got her name or her business card, but find her he does. Things go from there, both professionally and personally—and finally, very personally indeed—as Carolyn rises in the world.
Of course it requires much more than the wave of a wand to transform Carolyn from someone who earns a very low income and looks it to a glamorous and self-confident executive running a thriving and diverse business. But together, JP and she accomplish what he always knew was possible for her and what she had scarcely dared to dream of.
In spite of various warnings from Joe at various points, Carolyn's overblown ambition becomes her downfall. They both have to suffer in different ways before she gets set on a more sustainable career path and Joe realizes that his own work is no longer bringing him self-respect or happiness—plus what he has to do to get those back.
A central theme of the book is the issue of image. In both of his novels thus far, Medeiros has his main characters move from being very concerned with image at the beginning, enthusiastically embracing the perks that a polished one can bring, to recognizing that it is character that matters in the end.
Secondary and cameo characters in Chance Encounter include JP's bosses, colleagues, friends, and parents, as well as a sleazy Massachusetts senator, Jack O'Brien, and his somewhat sycophantic aide, Steven. Sharply contrasted with the senator is James Zajac, whose honor and work ethic have never dimmed during his long rise from stock boy to president of C.T. Rubber. Zajac reminds JP of his own hardworking father, a retired engineer. All those characters are very well drawn, as are the author's descriptions of parts of Boston and the surroundings, both high-priced and rundown areas. There are fascinating descriptions of various luxurious places that most of us plebeians will never step foot in, such as the historic Hotel Viking, in Newport, Rhode Island.
There is a fascinating relationship between Joe and Peggy, the wife of his best friend, Tom; the three of them are old friends. It's almost brother/sister, but not quite, with some subtle, underlying sexual tension that never gets overtly expressed. Joe's mainly just a very good friend to her, and Peggy helps him out at times, too. Personally, I find this relationship one of the most interesting in the entire book, as well as quite believable.
For a romance novel, the actual sex scenes are relatively few and rather understated, not very graphic at all. As in Blocked, the author leaves a lot to the reader's imagination. So if you are looking for a cheap bodice-ripper, look elsewhere. But if you enjoy well-developed novels featuring diverse difficulties and happy endings, then this one is for you.
This book was edited by Leonore H. Dvorkin
Note: The image of the broken heart on a blue background is by the artist Prawny (Dawn Hudson), www.prawny.me.uk, and is used with permission.
A delicious debut novel about online dating
JIMMY is the handsome, married doctor whose specialty is deceit.
JENNIFER is the lonely divorcée who's reeled right in by the luxurious pampering he offers—along with plenty of adventurous sex.
DIANE is the unmarried friend who's always ready to give Jennifer advice, but whose own standards are absurdly high.
PETER is the disapproving doctor in Jimmy's medical practice who eventually delivers the other man's well-deserved comeuppance.
And JEFF? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out.
You won't be disappointed if you do.
Tony Medeiros has been a lifelong resident of Southeastern Massachusetts; he lives in a small New England coastal town south of Boston. He's been writing for years. Blocked is his first novel, with two others arriving soon.
Email Tony: firstname.lastname@example.org