OWNING VIOLET- Monica Murphy
The Fowler Sisters , Book 1
Bantam Books
ISBN: 978-0-553-29326-2
December 2014
Erotic Contemporary Romance

New York City - The Present

Violet Fowler is the middle, reliable Fowler sister. Her older sister Lily has disgraced the company. Rose, the youngest, isn't interested in the company. Their grandmother started Fleur Cosmetics and Fragrance. Currently their father runs the company. Her grandmother told Violet she could become the CEO if she had self-confidence. That is the problem. Since an event in her past, Violet constantly doubts herself. Still, she is a manager-at-large and currently working on developing a new line of cosmetics. Tonight Zachary has taken her to dinner, and she expects a marriage proposal. That doesn't happen. Instead, he tells her he is taking a temporary position with the company to start up a London office. While reeling from her disappointment, Violet sees Ryder McKay dining with Pilar, two other managers at Fleur. Ryder is devilishly handsome, and Violet has heard rumors of how devilish Ryder really is. She begins to think that Ryder is exactly what she needs to recover from Zachary's deceit and two-timing.

That night in the restaurant, Ryder McKay declares to Pilar (a very immoral woman) that he plans to seduce Violet. Pilar can help by doing the same with Zachary. He hates the man. If he can get to Violet, he might move up in the company, or at least make sure Zachary doesn't. Pilar develops a plan unaware Ryder's plan differs.

While the situations are dramatic, the sex hot, and the characters interesting, a lack of background makes it hard to believe. Pilar found Ryder as a homeless nineteen-year-old and shaped him. He owes her, and she believes she owns him. He got his GED, but the story never says how he developed the expertise to become the manager of product packaging for an elite New York cosmetic company, other than Pilar suggested him. And what is Pilar's position, and how does she hold so much power? So, in some instances I doubted the characters' powerful positions in the company while their motivations were always very clear. This is still a good read full of edgy situations, company politics and maneuvering, and overall family dysfunction. The title OWNING VIOLET is very provocative, but throughout the story the personal growth of Violet and Ryder leads the reader to a different sense on the word owning.

Robin Lee