Degrees of Innocence is the first book in the Prestian series, and debut novel by Via Mari. It is a romantic suspense that’s full of action, danger, secrets, hidden agendas, humour, and some mystery.
Katerina Meilers (Kate) is a design consultant who has has been hired to help design a new state of the art medical facility in Chicago. As part of the planning process the whole team has been flown to Aruba where they will spend the week on a brainstorming and design forum. Kate has arrived a few days ahead of time to get things set up and ready for the coming week. An unusual crisis on her first night on the island introduces her to a very sexy and charming man who she can’t stop thinking about. They end up having dinner together the next night and exploring the island. The chemistry between them is electric. She thinks there may just be a chance at finding something special with him. So, imagine her surprise to find on Monday morning as the team assembles and introductions are made, to find the man of her dreams is the billionaire owner of the Corporation that has hired her for this project. She doesn’t date colleagues, let alone her boss- ever. But what happens when dangerous situations occur that seem to target Kate specifically? Has it got something to do with chase and his ‘business’? Or is it something more sinister?
This was a really great story that easily pulled me in and kept me engrossed the whole way through. I loved the chemistry between these two, Ms. Mari built the tension beautifully. The same with the suspense- she definitely had me guessing and trying to figure out what was happening. The only thing that thought could do with a little improvement is that the sex scenes, particularly the first 75%, seemed quite awkward- like the author felt quite uncomfortable about writing them. The language used in those scenes also didn’t match the rest of the book and seemed a little old fashioned. It did improve a towards the end, so maybe the author was gaining confidence. It seemed to be a bit of a teething problem which will hopefully get better over time…. I hope that is the case for the rest of the books in the series (which are all available now).
Also, there were some points in the story where the transitions seemed a little abrupt, clipped or stilted- but again I am putting that down to the author ‘finding her feet’. The story itself is really great and I will definitely be reading the rest of this series.
Thank you, Ms. Mari!