by Kathy Strobos
GENRE: women’s fiction with romance/romcom/chicklit
When a workaholic lawyer meets a fun-loving music marketing executive for opposites attract, friends-to-lovers adventures, which partnership will she choose?
Workaholic lawyer Audrey Willems is not going to take any chances with her bid to become a partner at her New York law firm—especially with only six months until the decision.
Until she bumps into Jake—her new neighbor.
Jake is a fun-loving music marketing executive who might just be The One.
He’s funny, caring, supportive—and able to kill water bugs in the bathroom.
But Jake will never date a woman married to her job. His father was a workaholic lawyer who never had time for family.
And she’s just got the case of a lifetime—the one she needs to win to make partner. Working 24/7 at the office may not even be enough hours to pull off a victory.
If only she had not met him now.
Audrey is determined to prove that she can juggle work and romance—even if managing court cases, candlelit dinners, and bike rides around Manhattan is a lot harder than it looks. She keeps canceling dates for yet another case crisis.
But when making partner is like a game of musical chairs and the last seat is a business-class alone, which partnership will she choose?
Welcome, Kathy! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Hi, I live in New York City with my husband and two children. I was a corporate lawyer before I quit to pursue my dream of writing full-time. I’ve lived in New York City all my life except for going away for college and for two semesters abroad at the Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Is Partner Pursuit a single title, or part of a series?
It is a part of a series called New York Friendship. They’re interconnected standalones. Each will feature a different couple, but the friends will appear again.
What were your inspirations for the story?
My life as a corporate lawyer who was single in New York City. One benefit to being single was that I had always had a lot of good stories about dates gone wrong. Someone recently walked up to me at a gathering and said I remember you and all your terrible dates. We probably hadn’t seen each other for 10 years.
Please share your setting for Partner Pursuit. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
The setting is New York City. I live here. I wanted to share my love for New York City in my novels.
When did the writing bug first bite?
When I was very little. I even submitted a piece to a magazine for publication, but it was rejected with a yellow rejection slip.
Who are your favorite authors, book/series?
My favorite author is Sophie Kinsella. I love Sophie Kinsella’s standalone series, like The Undomestic Goddess and You’ve Got My Number.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
That’s such a fun question. I would invite Sophie Kinsella, Hester Browne, Helen Fielding, Talia Hibbert, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Alisha Rai (I love her videos), my two critique partners Giulia Skye and Vicky Tiseros, and Park Ji-Eun who wrote the Korean dramas Crash Landing on You, My Love from Another Star and Legend of the Blue Sea. I became addicted to Korean dramas during the pandemic, starting with Crash Landing on You.
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I like to make miniatures and create little miniature scenes and then post it on my blog and on Instagram. I also like to bicycle on my stationary bicycle and watch k-dramas at the same time. (I’d prefer probably not to bike and just watch the k-dramas, but this way I exercise and can justify watching TV to my kids.)
What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?
Take writing classes and just write. Oops, that’s 2 things. But I find that even if the first draft is crap, once it’s on the page, I can see how to fix it.
Water bugs were at the top of the short list of things she hated about summer in New York. She grabbed the vacuum cleaner and rubber gloves from the closet. She pulled her socks up over her work pants so the bug couldn’t crawl up her legs. She pulled her hair into a ponytail and wrapped a scarf around her hair. She didn’t want it flying into her hair. She pulled on the rubber gloves.
She carried the vacuum cleaner across the bedroom to the sliding door and put it down. She wanted her weapon at hand should the bug escape into the bedroom. She went outside into her garden and peeked over the fence. The light was on. Jake was up. She slipped through the hole in the fence and, with the dim light peeking through the curtained windows, carefully followed the path to his sliding door. She banged loudly on the glass. Biscuit barked.
Jake, pulling back the curtain and opening the sliding door, looked shocked. Jake was bare-chested. All hard muscle. She flushed.
“Wow, is this like a 1960s cleaning visit fantasy?” he asked. “Not that I ever had that dream, but you know, I do like the James Bonds from that period—especially the headscarves. I’m not sure about the socks over the pants though.”
“Very funny. A giant water bug has invaded my bathroom, and I need you to kill it.”
“You look pretty equipped to do the job yourself.”
“Yes, well it’s up in a corner I can’t reach.”
“Okay. But I’m not particularly fond of them myself.”
“It’s tough being a boy,” she said.
“I thought you were one of those women who could do it all.”
“No one can do it all. And I especially can’t do water bugs.”
He grabbed his t-shirt from the couch and pulled it on. He started to put on his sandals and stopped. “Do I need to add the socks?”
“I’d recommend it unless you don’t mind if it crawls on your foot. You might want to put on long pants as well.”
“Too hot. But I’ll add the socks in case I try to step on it. I’d better get a heavy shoe as well. C’mon, Biscuit, we’re going to battle a bug.”
They walked back through the two gardens in the warm night air. Audrey opened the sliding door and picked up the vacuum cleaner, slinging the hose over her shoulder.
He said, “You know, it’s the vacuum cleaner slung over your shoulder that really adds that flair.”
“You’re just jealous because you’ve only got a shoe.”
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this book. I couldn’t decide what the genre was but I didn’t care. I fell in love with Audrey and her world. Let’s back up for sure. I’m NOT a lawyer nor did I ever want to be one. I’m in education which has its own set of problems. But goodness, I had no clue what an absolute cutthroat world that Audrey worked in. At first I was a bit put off by all the legal stuff but after finishing the book it all made sense.
Audrey is a great character. You can’t help but like her. Unfortunately, at times, I really wished she had more backbone when it came to the partner that completely rode her through the whole book. I realize that she had to endure some of it to make partner but then again, I would have told him off and walked. No job is worth that in my book. I loved her work friends, Winnie, Tim and yes, even Collette. I figured that Collette would be the red herring but she ended up being a somewhat friend to Audrey in the end. I never liked Tim as a potential romantic partner but as a friend, he’s a keeper. Winnie was gold to Audrey. Always there for her when she needed a sounding board.
Jake. Hmmm..Jake. He’s a dream and I could totally understand his side of the story. Growing up without a present father because the client always came first but at the first sign of trouble, he blew it. But he can kill a bug, so there’s that for him. The chemistry between Jake and Audrey is a slow burn and I appreciated that in the end. I had to remind myself that this is Audrey’s story and life. She had the most growth in the story and I liked how she progressed in the book. Again, I thought the legalease in the book was unnecessary in the beginning but to understand Audrey, it had to be in the book. It’s all she knew.
Overall, I truly enjoyed the book. It’s a long book and it actually took me several days to read it. I had to savor it, think about it and enjoy Audrey finally figuring out the work/life balance that she never knew she craved. She owed all that to Jake in the end. Great story and perfect ending. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kathy Strobos is a writer living in New York City with her husband and two children, amid a growing collection of books, toys and dollhouses. She grew up in New York City and graduated from Stuyvesant High School and Harvard-Radcliffe University magna cum laude. She previously worked as a lawyer. She left law to pursue her dream of writing fiction full-time and getting in shape. She is still working on getting in shape.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Kathy Strobos will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.