Review: Destiny by Design, Wylie Kinson


I curled up with Wylie Kinson’s Destiny by Design last night. Her book was voted the best ebook of the spring.

I like to get all my biases out in the open right away: I’m not a huge fan (anymore) of regular contemporaries. What’s a regular contemporary? Oh, you know, no fur, no fangs, no planets or “lands” or swords. I’m also a wee burnt out on quick hot trysts. Actually, really burnt out.

That out of the way, I was pleasantly surprised when I got pulled into this book. Something like “Ugly Betty” without the ugliness, this book moves quickly, convincingly, and pleasantly. I think Wylie’s writing is great–I was able to “forget” about the writing, if you know what I mean, which is hard for another author.

So, Ellis Strathmore is a quirky woman, a talented designer with a flair for unusual behavior. She’s part of a contest, akin to an architectural charette, and she’s drawn the short straw–the office–to decorate/design. More bad news–her former boss and adversary, the wiley Cynthia Trevors is up to some very nasty tricks. Mean bitch. The good news? The head of the construction company on the project is hot. Simon Callon is funny, hot, and digs Ellis. It doesn’t take very long for Ellis to get Simon to drop his tool belt, so to speak. So this book, while not an endless parade of strung together erotic sequences, does have very hot scenes, and they are convincing. Well done.

Either Ms. Kinson knows something about the design business, or she did her homework. The backdrop for the plot is really well done. The plot was smooth, not particularly original or earthshattering, but it works. I was reading a blog today about gay sidekicks. Hey, I like them. I don’t find them so cliched as some might, and Remi is particularly well suited to this design world.

Finally, the main characters. I liked them very much. I wanted to know a bit more about Ellis (she is intriguing, and very, very likeable). I wanted to know a lot more about Simon. What makes these two exceptional professionals available, open to a relationship, etc.? A little more of their inner thought processes might have been nice. But hey, I tend to overdo that stuff, armchair shrink that I am. The conflict is really external–the villian. Not a lot of angsty handwringing and self-doubt, which makes the main players a little one-dimensional.

But who needs angst? Sometimes you want a fun read with good looking characters in a cool (and really different) setting. All in all, this book is a very tidy package for contemporary romance readers.

The real draw? Wylie Kinson’s smooth writing. No “huh” moments, no awkward anything. Nice, straightforward, pull you along through the story so you must read the end writing. If I want the couple to end up together, then I know I’m reading a winner. I’m grateful this book was recommended to me!

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