Sunday, November 11, 2018

Love and Dreams (The Summer Sisters #2), by Jean Oram (author), Vanessa Moyen (narrator)

Oram Productions, July 2018

Maya Summer, the second of the Summer sisters, is a business school graduate with brains, drive, ambition, and maybe not such a good grasp of the importance of human connections. She thinks her family is too sentimental about the island cottage that's been in the family for generations. However, they are committed to keeping it, and she sees a possible way to both help pay the back taxes on it, and advance her own goal of landing the perfect job to launch her business career in Toronto.

Rent out the cottage as an "executive retreat," along with her own services as a summer assistant.

When Connor MacKenzie, business powerhouse, the "King of Toronto," giver of TED Talks on business, and Maya's own personal business idol, books two weeks on the island, Maya thinks her dream has come true and she's on her way.

Too bad Connor is there unwillingly, under pressure from his doctor and an ultimatum from his most trusted assistant at his company, CME. They have told him he needs rest, relaxation, recovery from the damage he's done to himself with his nonstop drive to rule the business world. He's at risk, his doctor says, of heart attack, stroke, and potentially a premature death. Stella, his assistant, points out his memory lapses, walking into doors and other objects, and other signs that he's just not all there. He knows, of course, that they must be wrong. He is young, strong, manly, the King of Toronto, a driving force of the business world. It's just the economy that's stressing him some, and he'll get through it. A few days will be all the rest he needs, and then he'll be back in Toronto.

Maya has a lot to learn about business and about people. In quite different ways, so does Connor. His needed education includes getting to know his own needs and wants--to recognize what's really going on not just with his health, but with his company.

Maya needs to learn that she needs to slow down, "waste time" in what she thinks of as useless chitchat, to build the connections she needs to get anyone to have the confidence in her to pay attention to her ideas.

It was harder for me to warm up to Maya and Connor than to Hailey and Finian in the previous book, but I'm glad I did. Hailey and Finian had "oldest sibling" issues that were more familiar to me. Maya and Connor are very different, and for me, less immediately appealing and accessible. It was worth giving them the time, though, because as their story and their personalities played out, I grew to like them quite a bit, and they have a really entertaining romance.

Recommended.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.