Roesel’s debut novel packs drama and romance into an alternately intense and lighthearted story about what it’s like to work for a top-rated news station while maintaining friendships and a love life in the cutthroat world.
Charlene “Charley” Thomas was just fired from her news job in Los Angeles, but she scored the news director position at Miami’s WCAR, working for Jonathan Lefton, the ruthless “Velvet Ax.” Roesel introduces a cast of workplace colleagues completely oblivious to anything but a taste for success; they interact like broken glass in reverse, disarrayed shards reforming for each broadcast. To temper the soulless, goal-driven demeanors, there’s love—not to mention lust—rising off the page like steam from Florida pavement after the rain. The passion doesn’t get too graphic, though, despite the title, even if it’s sometimes misplaced or displayed in bouts of anger. Female corporate life is held under a magnifying glass in this fast-paced novel about the balance of work, whirlwind romance and friendship. Disappointingly, some drama doesn’t go anywhere, as when Nancy accuses Oz, Charley’s boyfriend, of slipping a server his number while Charley’s sick in the restroom. Nancy’s reaction demonstrates a fierce loyalty to Charley, although that quickly fizzles to nothing as well. Stops and starts will keep the reader guessing about what’s relevant and what’s next, but Charley’s character doesn’t evolve much over the course of the book. Somehow she isn’t too flawed to begin with, even though everyone else is.
A light, quick read overflowing with drama, kept afloat by a powerful female protagonist.