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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Review: Intimate Distance

Intimate Distance
by Karla Brandenburg

The high profile ad campaign Jack and Julianne develop together propels them into the spotlight as the industry’s hottest couple. But can they withstand the glare?

JULIANNE DeANGELO’s life is on track: working toward a degree in marketing, she is also juggling a full-time job and planning her wedding. Driven to succeed, she joins an on-line marketing group where her mentor, JACK GUILDER, becomes her confidante. Their on-line relationship grows, increasing Julianne’s second thoughts when her fiancé comes home smelling of perfume. Adding insult to injury, Julianne spies her fiancé in a cozy tête-a-tote with her disloyal sister. Julianne cancels the wedding and throws herself into a marketing career with Jack, getting caught up in a web of deception. With their futures on the line, Julianne and Jack struggle to maintain the image they’ve created as a couple, but Julianne’s former fiancé isn’t giving up without a fight.

To start, I have to say that I did enjoy this book. It had a bit of a slow start as we got to know the main characters, but it was necessary to know the reasons behind certain aspects of the story. Once the explanations were out of the way it moved along well enough to grab my interest and keep it.

At first, I wasn’t sure that I would like Julianne very much, but I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I’m not really a fan of stories where it seems the heroine (or hero for that matter) are cheating, or going to cheat, on a “former” significant other. This was not one of those types of stories, despite first impressions. Julianne did a lot of soul searching, and I think that she realized fairly quickly that there was something wrong in her current relationship if she could think of turning to someone else. I think she would have come to her senses eventually if circumstances hadn’t pushed her there quicker. Julianne was created well, and I actually ended up liking her a lot.

Jack was kind of hard to decipher at first, as well. I wasn’t sure if he would warm up in person, or if the only time we would see the “real” Jack was when he was talking online with Julianne. This was something Julianne worried about throughout the story as well. When Jack started to thaw I was excited to see a sensitive, caring man who was also a strong presence to be reckoned with.

Now, let’s be straight here… there were a few bumps. Most that I’ve already addressed above. I didn’t see any editing issues, but once the story started to flow real well, I wouldn’t have noticed much anyway. The issues came in that some of the plot lines were a bit “tried and true” type plots. When Julianne’s fiancé shows himself to be a louse, giving Julianne a plausible and practically guilt-free out from her engagement, I was a bit disappointed. Part of me wanted her to come to the realization that affection based on dependence wasn’t a good basis for a relationship, all on her own. Then again, there’s a reason certain plot devices are “tried and true”, they work. Luckily, so did this.

Like I said before, I did like this book. It was a story that made me feel warm as I finished it, in the way a good book in a comfortable setting is meant to. Intimate Distance did not disappoint and I do look forward to trying out other stories by Karla Brandenburg.

Reviewed by Viscaria