Sunday, May 17, 2015

GUEST REVIEW: The Talented Mr. Maxwell by Julia Harlow

Dorrie Applegate just stumbled into a career-launching opportunity. The small-town Kentucky girl landed a gem of a position at Omni Publishing in New York City. Her first major assignment—writing a biography of one of the most sought-after male models in the world.

Grant Maxwell is at the apex of his career. Unfortunately the end of his run looms before him. At thirty-four, scores of younger, hungrier models nip at his heels, vying for his spot at the pinnacle of the fashion realm. And he has no earthly idea what to do next.

In the midst of an unlikely and tumultuous love affair with Grant, Dorrie is suddenly forced into making an agonizing decision. It’s a decision that shatters Grant’s heart.

Step onto the volatile runway of fashion modeling packed to the hilt with clashing egos, impossibly gorgeous men, backstabbing, and biting jealousy. And caught in the snare of the dramatic intrigue?

3 Stars

This was my first time reading Julia Harlow and I did like the premise for this story. Young, aspiring writer, Dorrie Applegate, is assigned to write the biography for Grant Maxwell, the hottest male model on the planet. These two meet and then ensues a turbulent relationship in a world with jealousy, obsession, heartbreak and intrigue.

The story is told in third person POV, which works well as we get glimpses into the minds of other characters as there are other side stories that intertwine with the MCs. I really enjoyed the heat and chemistry between Dorrie and Grant even though it was totally insta-love.


Where I struggled was that it wasn’t consistent. At times, it was more tell than show for some really poignant parts in the story.

Grant was sexy, hot and very likable. He was a very honest and genuine character that totally didn't fit the model persona. It was easy to see why Dorrie would fall for him (aside from the uber hotness!).


I really liked Dorrie. She was an intelligent, straight shooter that let's no one walk over her. It’s because of these character traits that I had a really hard time with something Dorrie did when she was cornered. And also, Dorrie was smarter than what went down so again, I was a bit disappointed...


Without giving anything away, Dorrie is put in a nasty situation and makes a horrific decision that to me felt off for the character. Fortunately, I felt some vindication for my thoughts on Dorrie in the aftermath. We get to truly experience what her actions cost her as she plummets into despair, which was very realistic and not overdone.


This was where Ms. Harlow excelled in “showing” not “telling” what Dorrie’s actions cost her and for me, I was able to forgive Dorrie and also understand how Grant could too. There’s also a lot more going on the sidelines that I felt added to the story and kept me interested. There was some revenge and backstabbing, which I felt could have been heightened and added further intrigue and suspense had Ms. Harlow kept some or all of the details for reveal much later in the tale. What I mean is that we were privy to who was doing what and when as the story unfolded and IMO, (I like a litte angst)...


I would have felt MORE if I’d had to guess who it was or the “why” behind it.


Overall, I liked this tale. I would read another Julia Harlow novel. She has all the right ingredients for a fantastic story and something tells me that if she continues to hone her craft, her stories are going to get even sexier, more intriguing and more dynamic.

This is a standalone and I would recommend this book to those that like a romance with a hot sexy hero and strong, beautiful heroine who have obstacles to overcome.

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