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The Corner Office Kindle Edition
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Review by Leigh Holland.
The Corner Office is about how modern women don’t take care of ourselves and our needs the way we should. All too often, we allow our ambition and need to compete in work spaces traditionally dominated by men to run our lives. Ambition and hard work are positive values, but not if they come at the expense of everything else. If we want to have it all, we have to create balance.
Tara Johnson is a single woman trying to rise in a male-dominated office. She tries to set an example for the women in her workplace, that they can have it all and succeed. While the women perceive her as a cold, hard ice queen, they also admire her dedication and drive. Tara realizes she’s a hypocrite- she only has her work, yet here she is telling them they can have it all. By the time Tara goes against her own advice and has an affair with Aidan, her “bad boy” employee, she’s accepted there’s something missing from her otherwise accomplished life. As Tara competes with the handsome Richard for a promotion, sparks flare between them as well. Should Tara risk her promotion for personal romantic happiness? Which man is the right man for her?
I had difficulty relating to the main character at various points of the book. Tara’s mother, who requires a nurse due to gaps in her memory, is looking forward to a concert. Tara spends time planning it and is looking forward to it herself. Her mother will probably wonder why her husband isn’t there and might forget all about it afterwards, but Tara considers it important to do this with her mom. When she learns of a business trip happening at the same time, she must choose between possibly being out of the loop on the job and losing the promotion, or going ahead with plans with her mother. She chooses to take the business trip. As the women ask questions about how to be wives and mothers to their small kids while putting in twelve hour days at the office, Tara tows the company line, suggesting they get nannies or take work home with them. She tells them to never have an affair with a fellow employee while she is having an affair with someone under her command.
The sex is steamy, especially since it’s “taboo” in their workplace. The romantic relationship develops in the last half of the book. The challenges in the corporate workplace facing parents are real. It’s interesting how Tara tries to mold the women into versions of her idea of success, yet in the end, she is influenced to make changes in her own life. The writing is good. The pacing was steady. I enjoyed watching her transform into a more laid back, relaxed, happier working woman, even if I couldn’t always agree with her choices along the way.
I was lucky enough to read a very early version of The Corner office, and back then, I fell in love with Tara, Aidan… and Richard! 🙂 This isn’t your usual enemies-to-lovers romance, as others have pointed. Katerina Baker give flesh and depth to the corporate world. It’s not just billionaires vaguely doing nondescript business: there’re stakes, characters are fully developed, and The Corner Office builds its suspense masterfully, as Tara spirals down and things get way out of control in and out of the office…
Easy 5 stars!
First off, I didn't like the characters. Any of them. I didn't like Richard, I won't even get into Aidan and I kind of hated Tara with the fire of a thousand suns. I couldn't find even one redeeming quality about her that I could connect with. She's super wishy-washy and if that's how she was intended, that's one thing. It's another thing entirely when the author didn't intend for her to be full of hot air ... which I think is actually the case. This chick is all of woman's equality. Which is all good! But you can't be for women's equality and then knowingly get sexually harassed for over a decade by a coworker. It just doesn't make sense. Why have your character be contradictory like that? I mean if you want for women to be equal in the workplace, why would you sit by and just put up with this dude telling you to go have a threesome with him? There are tons and tons and tons of things that Richard said that Tara just brushed off and it just doesn't fit.
Speaking of Richard ... the reason that Tara and Richard don't get along is the most flimsy and non-existent reason I've ever heard of. And that's because you're not really given a reason. You're told these little snippets of situations that if Tara would just take half a second to get over herself, wouldn't even matter. Aside from the sexual harassment, it's like playground stuff ... equivalent to hair pulling and pinching in elementary school. It just showed the immaturity in both of these "executives".
Then there was this one part about how tattoos are taboo and basically it is said that if you want to have an important job and not have to ask people if they want fries with that, you can't have tattoos. There was this long winded story about a CEO (or some other acronym) that flew to another country in shame just to get his tattoos removed. Really? That is not the case out here in the real world and that story was absolutely ridiculous and not accurate to how things actually work.
I really didn't have time to really dive into this book. The reason is because I was wading through all of the ridiculously long inner monologues from Tara that the book just dragged. It would have taken me another 500 pages just to get interested with the way this story was going. It was rough for me. More than rough. Not a fan.
* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *
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First of all, Early-In-The-Book-Aiden was HOT. A therapist would have a field day with this one, but I really liked his edgy possessive...Read more
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