In Balancing Act, we follow Chloe at her New York fashion house internship that she won in Book #1 (Making the Cut). She lives in a dorm where one of her roommates gives her a hard time about not earning her way into the industry. But Chloe is so good at creating unique fashion, that her samples get chosen to be made into designs for fashion week. Her mentors even give her a gift bag at the end of her internship — and it contains a surprise that Chloe had only dreamed of.
I really liked the full color fashion sketches in the book. When Chloe described clothing she saw, the next page would have a drawing of that item. The book illustrated many kinds of clothing, and I especially liked seeing all the different ways a simple shirt could be designed.
I liked that the author made a few mean characters in the middle of all the happy friends, families, interns and mentors. The story seemed more realistic that way. Even though there were always those mean people trying to discourage Chloe, she focused on a good support system of people who encouraged her to go for her dreams.
Now that Chloe is done with her internship, I’m excited to read Book Three when she is back in her California hometown.
Carmen is getting through the grief of losing her husband, her friend Nancy is getting over her ex-husband’s cheating ways, and the ladies are hanging out in posh Chelsea … where men seem to be popping up wherever they go. Some are eligible, some pretend to be, and some pretend NOT to be — all for the sake of love… and money.
I loved the twists and turns in this romp through different levels of relationships. I enjoyed meeting the neighbors, the shelter folks, the gym rats, the long lost daughter… Mansell writes a fun cast of characters and dialogue that’s funny, tender, and believable.
I appreciate Mansell’s talent for spinning a tale that’s pretty crazy, but just real enough that it could be true. And as always, I’m happy when the characters are happy, and sighing with joy when they live happily ever after.
I like these Jessie Stanton novels. Jessie is a young woman who was burned by her no-good cheating ex husband, but made a new life for herself based on her love and talent for fashion merchandising.
This third installment is probably my favorite– mostly because it’s the most romantic! The love stories don’t necessarily take a front seat, because there’s a lot going on in Jessie’s life; but the romance doesn’t take a back seat either. Besides the ex husband, Bricker writes men who adore the women in their lives, who blow off steam by getting back to nature (surf’s up), and who serve others as a way of serving God.
Not a preachy novel by any means, Bricker uses upheaval in Jessie’s life to show how a faithful circle of support can make all the difference. Jessie’s girlfriends love her unconditionally and help her focus on her business. The God-fearing men who surround Jessie help her focus on her heart.
In the end, the good guys win in ways we don’t usually think about, and the heroine learns to lean on a new person for the really important things in life.