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Review: Love on my Mind by Tracey Livesay

Love on my Mind (Shades of Love series) by Tracey Livesay
Contemporary Romance released by Avon Impulse on July 12, 2016

Successful PR executive Chelsea Grant is one assignment away from making partner at her firm and nothing will stand in her way. Her big break? Turn a reclusive computer genius into a media darling in time for his new product launch. He may have been dubbed the “sexiest geek alive” but he has no patience for the press—and it shows. Piece of cake, right? Only problem is… his company doesn’t want him to know they hired her.

After a disastrous product launch two years ago, tech CEO Adam Bennett knows the success of his new device depends on the media’s support. When a twist of fate brings the beautiful PR specialist to his door, Adam hires Chelsea to help turn his image around. Their attraction is undeniable and the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep things professional.

But when Adam discovers Chelsea’s deception, will she risk everything for her career or is love the real thing on her mind?

I really enjoy a secrets story. If done well, it can add serious tension to the relationship. So when I read this blurb, I was excited. Plus, the book features an interracial couple with a POC heroine and, let’s be honest, we don’t see enough of that from the big publishers in romance.

Chelsea Grant is determined to be successful. She’s had a rough childhood with a small stint in the foster care system. She’s fought for everything she has and is on the cusp of getting the brass ring – partnership at a prestigious PR firm. She’s smart and dedicated and, even though she feels uncomfortable with the idea of lying to Adam, she also accepts it’s the only way to make partner.

In many ways, Adam was the stereotypical nerd. A reclusive, quiet introvert with few friends and an extremely love of computers and gaming. He also has a mild form of Asperger’s. He’s regimented about his routine, blunt to the point of near rudeness and has difficulty in social situations. At the same time, he’s loyal, a hard worker and has strong ethics. Adam also struggles with the ability to tell whether or not someone is lying. He’s been betrayed and hurt by people closest to him and, as a result, values honesty to an extreme. 

So we all know where this is going, right?

There were a lot of things to love about this book. First, the fact that the couple was interracial had very little focus when it came to their relationship. There is an extremely sweet and realistic moment when Adam makes Chelsea an avatar (swoon) because the video game they are about to play has few choices with her skin tone. But other than that it is simply about two people falling in love with their own baggage and lessons to be learned. Additionally, the reasons for the secret between the couple were solid and believable. I didn’t love the fact that Chelsea kept Adam in the dark but I bought into her reasons for doing so and therefore sympathized with her. The romance between the two sparks right from the beginning and I really enjoyed being along for the ride as they became closer.  

However, I do have a minor issue with the book. Adam has developed a product which will revolutionize the way we think about technology – think of the iPod. Chelsea drops in his life, manages to help him answer a couple of interview questions for a magazine and – without even googling her – Adam hires her to help him with the rest of the launch. Sorry, this isn’t going to happen. Corporate espionage is a real thing and, even though Chelsea signs a contract, there is no way Adam wouldn’t have done some research on her. This was somewhat addressed in the book but towards the end. I really felt like it should have been dealt with earlier on, especially since Chelsea is particularly vague about what she does for a living. 

Despite my quibble, this book was enjoyable. The romance was well done, the writing smooth and the characters interesting. I will definitely try this author again.

Grade: B

You can read an except of this book here or buy it here.