Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Race to Splendor by Ciji Ware

A Race to SplendorThis has been a fun read. I love the heroine, Amelia. I was hooked from the very beginning when she marches into the middle of a poker game and demands her hotel back to when she is learning to drive and demands that her "instructor" goes and hides behind a tree to when she fires men from the job site and brandishes a weapon to defend herself. She's a wonderfully strong heroine.

It's 1906 and Amelia comes home to San Francisco from France with a degree in architecture only to discover that her drunken father has gambled away her inheritance, a fine hotel called the Bay View, away to a rogue, J.D. Amelia takes the rogue to court but it being 1906.... well.. she loses, of course. 

J.D. doesn't have long to gloat, however, as the hotel winds up ruined during the great earthquake and fire. Fate plays horrible tricks, however, and Amelia, now employed by famous architect Julia Morgan, is assigned the daunting task of rebuilding her former hotel... but not for herself.. for J.D.

What follows is a "race" between Amelia and Julia. Julia is rebuilding the Fairmont, another fine hotel and both women aim to have their assigned hotels built and open by the earthquake's anniversary. However, J.D. is an idiot. He doesn't listen. He constantly deals with shady characters, employs bad people, angers everyone, and  to make a long story short, his dealings cause lots of problems on the Bay View site... fire, blackmail, beatings....

And yet, the strong, independent Amelia falls for him anyway??? This is the what made no sense to me throughout the novel and why I gave the book a four instead of a five. Amelia, this guy stole your inheritance... he made you look incompetent.. took advantage of your father and grandfather... left you and your mother penniless and you want to bang him? Hmmmmm.

Fairmont Hotel (San Francisco).JPG
The Fairmont

I grew weary of J.D. and all his crap, his dealings with Kemp, his dad... all that stuff. I didn't like the man and even in the end when he "explained" himself, I didn't like him and I didn't like the decision Amelia made. It just didn't "fit" with the kind of woman I was envisioning her to be up to that point. 
I absolutely loved the writing style, however, and the look into who Julia Morgan may have been. I enjoyed the architecture and Amelia's spunk. Until the last quarter when I got tired of J.D's idiocy, I was enthralled. 

Four stars and I received this ARC from a friend

1 comment:

  1. Glad you liked it, I did as well even though things fell apart at the end. You must go to California and see that big house that Julia built. It is seriously awesome.