Reader Reviews

 
image CORPORATE AFFAIR
BY STEPHANIE JAMES, 1982
CATEGORY ROMANCE
SILHOUETTE DESIRE #1
Currently out of print

Reviewed by: Danyelle Warden

Rand Alistair appears to be an artistic fisherman who runs a little gallery in a small Colorado town that majors in ski tourism – at least at first glance. Kalinda Brady intends to crush her ex-fiancé’s plans for an intimate reunion by cruelly throwing his emotions back in his face. However, Rand interferes in her plans when he convinces her she doesn’t need that kind of petty revenge. After what Kalinda views as a one-night-stand, Kalinda leaves for Denver to return to running her business. Rand had a great deal more in mind than a meaningless fling.

Kalinda is astonished when her ex-fiancé calls her declaring his intent to force a hostile takeover of her company – the company Kalinda single-handedly salvaged after her father’s untimely death and her fiancé’s abandonment. Kalinda goes through with the dinner party she had planned with the intent to notify her company the following day of the pending disaster. Rand shows up unexpectedly and informs Kalinda that he is here to save her from the pending drama. Kalinda’s company is appalled at first when they think that Rand is taking them over with her permission, but when the threat is explained and Rand takes a proactive stance for the company’s success, Kalinda’s employees rally. The couple defeat Kalinda’s ex-fiancé and would-be corporate shark as they realize the depth of their own feelings. Kalinda and Rand decide to plan for a long-term future and marriage after sorting out the confusing circumstances of their meeting and subsequent courtship.

This book appeared in the early 80’s, and with that in mind, there are many dated components. HIV hadn’t yet appeared, so safe sex was not the issue it has become in recent years. Kalinda is no innocent virgin, but she abides be her own set of values and ethics. Kalinda also enjoys the culinary arts and is an accomplished cook. However, Kalinda is precisely what she appears, a successful, young businesswoman struggling in a predominantly male environ. Rand is not at all what he initially appears to be, though. Rand has left the business world because he did not like what he saw in himself. This happens in other books to JAK heroes – self-realization, distaste for single-minded, selfish success, and uncertainty regarding new direction. Kalinda fears that she is the catalyst that brings Rand back to the corporate world, which she is. But, Kalinda fears that Rand will no longer need her once he retains his position within the corporate environment. Rand’s agenda includes the corporate world only because Kalinda intends to resides there.

Several familiar themes appear in this novel: deceiving appearances (Gift of Gold, Gift of Fire, Crystal Flame, Scandal, and Rendezvous, to name just a few), gourmet cooking (Double Dealing, Deep Waters and many more), trust (any JAK book you happen to pick up), and misconstrued attraction (Silver Linings, Golden Change, etc. etc.). These issues combine to create an enjoyable read under 200 pages. This flagship of the Silhouette Desire line serves as one of JAK’s earliest corporate settings. Corporate Affair is still pretty easy to locate and is worth the effort.

Danyelle Warden


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