by LJ Greene
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Who can you trust?
Ally Michels is fresh out of her MBA program at Cal and has landed her dream job at hot, up-and-coming video game developer, Jet Stream Studios, all thanks to her uncle, Jet’s largest venture capital investor. She’s feeling pretty good about her future until an inadvertent blurt in a company meeting brings down upon her the dangerous attention of Jet’s co-founder and chief developer, Marcus Abby.
Beautiful, brilliant, and vicious, Marcus is every bit the arrogant, deceitful founder her uncle warned her about. But in the power-fueled world of venture capital investing, things aren’t always what they seem. When Ally finds herself caught up in a play for corporate control, she must work with Marcus to save the company and an ideal she believes in, while navigating perilous family loyalties and fighting to hold onto her own integrity.
For Ally, there’s just one rule: never, ever trust Marcus Abby. Because the one man she needs to stop a high-stakes plot is the one man who has every reason to want her gone.
SIDE EFFECTS is an adult contemporary, twisty, underhanded, certainly unscrupulous . . . romance.
For the first time, I struck a blow. I could see it in his face for just a moment before the reaction was quickly shuttered.
As usual, he turned the tables with another question. “What are you going to do?”
“What am I going to do?”
His response was a hard stare.
And then it dawned on me—the murderous look in the board meeting when I started to speak up about the game wasn’t about me. I was partially right that he didn’t want me to defend him; he didn’t want them to know what I’d seen. He was worried about that. Was still worried about it. That’s why he’d sought me out.
I probably should have gone to Julian. After all, I loved this job, this company. I wanted to see it succeed and to contribute to that success over many years. These charades Marcus was playing—whatever they were—could threaten everything. There was good reason to think the things they were saying about him were true. And he certainly had no love for me.
So maybe it was just bizarre empathy for someone who probably struggled as I did to fit in in a world that told us we had to be an athlete or a supermodel or a jokester to be considered enough. Or maybe it was because we were the same age, both fighting to be taken seriously despite the obvious handicap of our youth. Or maybe I just respected him and what he’d accomplished, even if I didn’t like him.
It must have been that. Some Midwest sense of fairness that said a man should be judged on the full merits of his work.
I was certain of one thing if nothing else. “It’s not my place to tell them, and I won’t.”
Marcus studied my face, hard, as though this answer was somehow suspect. But the long, searching look wasn’t quite laced with the usual hostility. It felt surprisingly . . . unguarded.
“Marcus, what are you doing?”
But that question was one bridge too far. I saw the moment he shut down, his expression closing to something significantly more restrained. His usual.
So fine, whatever was going on here, whatever repercussions may come to him, this was a situation he had brought upon himself, and he had no one else to blame for it.
“Never mind,” I said into the silence. “You don’t trust me.”
Who knew that the world of video gaming was cutthroat. Or just plain interesting. I don’t “game” but my son does so I do know about it and follow it…somewhat. So going into this book, I had an idea but trust me…throw any ideas that you have and just enjoy the ride that Ms. Greene puts you on. Goodness, gracious this book is a ride. I thought that I could read some and put it down for a bit and get back to it. Yep, I stayed up to finish because I just had to know what was going to happen in the end with Marcus and Ally.
Ally and Marcus are two people that shouldn’t be together but somehow are. The enemies to lovers trope is here but I never got the feeling that they truly hated each other. They respected each other in the workplace but Marcus just didn’t understand how real relationships work. We get his back story and it’s not pretty but I got it finally on his why with Ally. It made perfect sense in the end. The epilogue is delightful. Trust me, it will all come together and it will make your heart sing.
I really liked Ally. She had a lot going on with her with her uncle, work, and loser of a boyfriend. Marcus even gets in the act with the loser boyfriend at some point early on and I loved it. Ms. Greene does an excellent job with that aspect of the plot. Well done and its not dragged out. One other thing about Ally that I really liked is that she is loyal. You would think that she would be wishy washy but again, again job from Ms. Greene in terms of who Ally is loyal to.
The workplace is/can be a toxic, unforgiving place. The politics can be brutal at times. I worked in corporate offices for over 35 years and she nails it. It’s not for the weak at times.
I really enjoyed Marcus and Ally. I learned a thing or two about the gaming world and how the workplace can be cutthroat and ruthless. Don’t let the cover fool you. Good times are ahead for you.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
LJ Greene is a self-professed obsessive multi-tasker who writes boring stuff by day and lets her inner romantic fly by night. This California native is married to the most amazing man and has two beautiful children, now old enough to read her books but still not interested because of the ew, gross factor. She’s an avid reader of all genres with an embarrassingly large ebook collection, and a weird penchant for reading the acknowledgments at the end of a novel. She’s also a music lover with no apparent musical talent, a travel enthusiast, and a cheese connoisseur.
The book will be $0.99.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
LJ Greene will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.