December 3, 2014

REVIEW: Owning Violet (The Fowler Sisters #1)

Owning Violet (The Fowler Sisters #1), by Monica Murphy
Published December 2, 2014
Publisher: Bantam
Format: e-book, provided by the author
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) I’ve moved through life doing what’s expected of me. I’m the middle daughter, the dutiful daughter. The one who braved a vicious attack and survived. The one who devoted herself to her family’s business empire. The one who met an ambitious man and fell in love. We were going to run Fleur Cosmetics together, Zachary and I.

Until he got a promotion and left me in the dust. Maybe it’s for the best, between his disloyalty and his wandering eye. But another man was waiting for me. Wanting me. He too has an overwhelming thirst for success, just like Zachary—perhaps even more so. He’s also ruthless. And mysterious. I know nothing about Ryder McKay beyond that he makes me feel things I’ve never felt before.

One stolen moment, a kiss, a touch . . . and I’m hooked. Ryder’s like a powerful drug, and I’m an addict who doesn’t want to be cured. He tells me his intentions aren’t pure, and I believe him. For once, I don’t care. I’m willing to risk everything just to be with him. Including my heart. My soul.

My everything.

Monica Murphy, author of the hit new adult One Week Girlfriend series and the adult Billionaire Bachelor series is back with this brand new, super racy series about three heiresses to a cosmetics company and the men who make them better.  

Violet is the middle sister. The "good" sister. She is the sister who never gets into trouble, who will marry a man because she should not because she wants to, and who works hard all the time so that she's adequately prepared to take over for her father when he's ready to turn over the family cosmetics business to her. But, when the man who she was supposed to marry throws her a curve, and the dangerous and gorgeous Ryder steps in, Violet decides that safe is boring. And, she doesn't want to be safe anymore.

I love the concept of a cosmetics company set to be inherited by three sisters named after flowers - Rose, Violet and Lily. I also love that each sister is so completely different. Rose is the fun sister, Violet is the good sister, and Lily is the wicked sister. Although Violet's story is the first to be told, all three sisters were in her book, and I have a feeling all three sisters' stories will intersect in some way. 

I loved seeing the change in Violet as we go through Owning Violet. The person she was in the beginning was one that frustrated me in big ways, especially when it came to her relationship with Zachary. She put up with the douchebag because she thought it was what she had to do. She was resigned to a life as a trophy wife to a womanizing asshole, and that was just so sad. She had no backbone and no guts when it came to him. You'd think she'd be that way at work too, but when it came to her position in her father's company, she was smart and confident. It was very contradictory. 

As it turns out, the shark she is in the boardroom is closer to the real Violet. Once Ryder enters her life and shows her what she's been missing, a feisty, sexy, take-charge kind of Violet shows up. Good thing, too, because when she starts discovering some of the secrets that the people she cares about have been keeping from her, she needs those big girl panties firmly in place. 

First, there's Ryder. The man is beautiful and wild and nothing like the guy Violet always saw herself with. He had a rough life that has shaped him into the hardened, guilt-ridden man he is now. He doesn't feel worthy of love or any of the good things in life. He's driven to be the best at his job, confident that if he climbs high enough up the corporate ladder, it will absolve him and give him the freedom he craves so very badly. And, his old flame Pilar holds his freedom in the palm of her hand. 

Pilar is absolutely ruthless. She has designs on the cosmetics company and will stop at nothing to take it for herself. So, she uses Ryder and their past together to manipulate him into doing what she wants him to do. It's always worked in the past. But, that was before he got to know Violet. What started out as a nasty plan between Ryder and Pilar changed somewhere along the way. The plan changed as Ryder and Violet changed each other. 

Shades of the old Violet still show up here and there. Ryder wasn't always very nice to her, and Violet always forgave him. And, I think she let him off waaaaaay too easy when she discovered his and Pilar's original plan. But, Ryder and Violet were so good together, all that didn't really matter so much. Owning Violet was told in dual POV, which was great because Ryder was just such a complex guy. It really was good to get inside his head.  

There were a few loose ends left at the end of Owning Violet, and they were significant enough for me to be confident that there's more coming on that story line in the other sisters' books. Rose's story is next, and I can't wait to see what's in store for her. I hope there's some more Ryder and Violet in it, because I'm not quite ready to let them go yet.

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