WORTH THE SCANDAL by Karen Erickson
Worth the Scandal by Karen Erickson
Worth It, Book 1
Reviewed by Vanessa
Tessa Crawford, a sweet, vulnerable girl who rose from a very difficult childhood to become the assistant to Alexander Worth, CEO of Worth Luxury Goods. Tessa finds herself attracted to her boss, but knows that things can’t go anywhere as she is his employee and she is not his type! Alexander shares a deep attraction for Tessa as well, but something holds him back. However, the line blurs while they are together on a European business trip, and Tessa is counting on things changing when they return to the States. Yet when they return, she soon finds out that Alex didn’t trust her as much as she had hoped he did and, without trust, what kind of relationship can they hope to build? Fleeing from accusations of spying within the country, Tessa embarks on a new life without the man she loves. She never dreams their paths will cross again, as Alex never seemed to be involved emotionally …or was he? Soon, Alex realizes his mistakes in believing the worst, but can he put things right, or will he discover that Tessa could be just as calculating as he had once accused her of being?
Worth the Scandal was an engrossing, contemporary read that kept me involved in the story until the last page was turned. However, there were several things that bothered me about Worth the Scandal.
Tessa was very juvenile in some of her volatile reactions at varying points in Worth the Scandal. Some things seemed a bit contrived and didn’t always make sense other than ways to force these two together or back together. Alex continually talks about how trustworthy and wholesome Tessa appears to be, that she isn’t calculating and savvy enough to be a spy, that she is very loyal, and that she is too softhearted as well. All of that made his belief of her being the spy a bit dumbfounding! Alex even claimed that he would perform his own investigation and yet he doesn’t. Some of his thoughts in Worth the Scandal don’t always stay on track, but instead cavort about randomly with no rhyme or reason.
I never fully got the resolution for Alex’s lack of trust and allowing people close either. I kept waiting for that explanation, but all to no avail. There were a couple of incidents in Worth the Scandal where I felt that his lack of faith would have been better served, but the ball was dropped. For instance, the digging up of things by the press could have been taken into account and made his lack of trust of her more believable, or her being so softhearted and someone taking advantage of her. Yet these were left dangling in the wind.
Tessa doesn’t fully trust him and wonders if he will treat her differently at work, but it kept feeling more like she thought he should treat her differently when they returned to the office in Worth the Scandal. The whole spy thing felt more like a plot device and wasn’t fully resolved for me either. I wondered about the company the Worth brothers were running as well, given their comments about Tessa.
Worth the Scandal had Alex thinking that Tessa used him for information and this didn’t make any sense either given that he didn’t give her anything and he took from her! Also, she is his assistant. She would have access to everything as well. Alex never pursues things legally, either, in Worth the Scandal. Alex is thinking that he gave virginal Tessa his body, and I felt he was being a bit melodramatic given the fact that at one point he is thinking about another woman he was with before.
Flash forward a year and Alex is pretty remorseful and he actually does a good grovel in his thoughts. However, this doesn’t seem to see the light of day when the opportunity arises in Worth the Scandal. Instead, he sees how she really betrayed him and he wants to make her pay. I couldn’t believe that Alex would be airing his dirty laundry in a taxi either, especially since his younger brother gives the press enough to talk about already.
There was a character that just drops in out of the blue even though they were never really mentioned before in Worth the Scandal, and I wasn’t even sure what this character’s dream was. Tessa believes that Alex is a ruthless man towards the end, but I never saw evidence of that either. I think it is more a problem of her needing to grow up.
There was a huge glaring error in Worth the Scandal for me involving a peripheral character’s name that had suddenly changed. This threw me out of the story. Also Alex’s younger brother seems to age very quickly while Alex is away on the business trip, and I’m not talking emotionally aging either.