Author: Stephanie Rowe
ISNB: 0-505-52700-6 (Dorchester)
Finished: 9 September 2007
Who: Paris Jackson
From the back: Run hard. Run fast. Just don’t try to run in heels. Especially if your name is Paris Jackson and you’re fashion-impaired. Designer labels and stilettos aren’t exactly Paris’s thing. Give her a pair of sneakers and she’s a happy woman. That’s why she’s spending nights designing running shoes for her start-up company, and why she doesn’t have time for: an ex-husband on a therapy quest, a best friend with a death wish, a mom obsessed with funerals and ex-cons, a boyfriend who’s changing all the rules, and a confusing attraction to the boss about to fire her from her day job. And now people are telling her the way to succeed is through high-fashion shoes. Those will only trip Paris up. Won’t they?
Comments: The back blurb is a fairly accurate description of the book. Once upon a time, Paris was an Olympic hopeful – a runner – until a tragic accident ended her career. She married Greg, who left her a month later. Since then Paris and her friends, Will and Jody, have been working on revolutionizing running shoes. As the book opens, we learn that all the major companies have turned down the untested Sfoam. Just as Paris is at the end of all reasonable ways to finance the research, Greg re-enters her life. When he learns that Paris needs financial backing, he offers to do it. He’s a venture capitalist. Paris is reluctant because she doesn’t trust him.
The book is written in first-person, and there are times when Paris annoyed me. But, given her history, her behavior is understandable. She’s got commitment issues, she’s lost one dream already, and she’s trying to make it on her own. The return of Greg has put a strain on her relationship with Will, her unofficial boyfriend. Paris has to decide whether she’s still in love with Greg – and still wants him in her life – or if her feelings for Will are deeper than just friendship. She also has to decide if she’s willing to create thousand-dollar pairs of shoes while perfecting Sfoam, or sell the product and lose her dream of creating the ultimate running shoe.
I enjoyed the book and it is something that I might re-read.