Ivy, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Martina Bexte
ince childhood Dory Lambert has harbored a crush and the unlikely hope that Chase McKay (the family chauffeur's son) would notice her rather than her blonde, '
' sister, Jill. But all Chase ever does is tolerate her idolizing him and persist in calling her '
'. One day, Dory catches teenagers Jill and Chase tearing at each others clothes and promptly tattles. Within days, Chase has been banished to '
attend college early
'. Jill is heartbroken but eventually moves on to other conquests, including the Lambert's distant and ambitious British relative, James Darwood. Dory too moves on with her life and does her father proud by showing a keen entrepreneurial skill that has Charles Lambert exclaiming proudly to his wife, '
Look here, Drucilla, we've raised a banker!
ory's talents come in handy when scandal rocks Lambert Bank and Trust Co.. Ten million dollars disappear via a wire transfer and Charles Lambert is charged with fraud. Dory and her aunt Ping are certain James is responsible - after being fired from the bank, he had sworn revenge. But he's disappeared without a trace. For the next ten years Dory, Jill and Aunt Ping work tirelessly to save their family estate, evade constant FBI scrutiny, and locate the shady James. So dire does their financial situation become that they turn their lavish home into a hotel that caters to upper crust clientele. When Chase (now a wealthy architect) shows up, hoping to convince his father to retire and return with him to New York, Dory's girlhood crush returns with a vengeance. Can she convince Chase that a sharp mind is much sexier than beauty? Or will Chase once again set his sights on Jill, the girl he couldn't have twenty years before?
hile Dory and her antics to save her family name are a delight, Chase turns out to be less worthy hero material. He spends most of the book '
' over bombshell Jill (despite her dislike for him) and insulting Dory. Though he does eventually figure out that he really loves Dory, this realization doesn't sink in until close to the end of the story. But, despite this disappointing romance between the two leads, the large and quirky cast of
is just eccentric enough - and their often convoluted plot to nail the despicable James just nutty enough - to keep readers flipping pages.
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