A romance about a determined young woman and her life’s goals.
Meissner’s first foray into romantic fiction and her second “esoteric” novel tells the story of the young, determined Amber Breddgeforth, a successful student (graduating summa cum laude) who continues to pursue her master of business administration degree at the University of Texas in El Paso. During her studies, Amber meets the dashing professional Armand Rambulet at an educational conference. Armand, struck by Amber’s beauty, immediately begins a long-distance whirlwind courtship that leads to marriage and, conveniently, Amber taking a place in Armand’s family business, Rambulet and Associates, Inc. While romance novels aren’t characteristically known for innovative plotting, the relationship between Armand and Amber is too convenient. With lightning quick speed, Meissner has her protagonists go through the process of courtship and straight into marriage without much fuss. Although Amber protests, claiming she wants to continue to establish herself as a businesswoman, her soon-to-be husband conveniently owns a family business where they need someone with her knowledge in crisis management. Readers might be willing to ignore how easily Amber’s future falls into place, but they will struggle with the juxtaposition of the Amber who the reader is told is an independent woman, and the actual reality of Amber’s situation. While she completes her master’s degree, Amber does so without conflict with Armand, as Armand is willing to do anything for her. Some troubles arise with extended family members, but ultimately those conflicts are resolved without much strife. The lack of conflict in Amber’s life keeps her from feeling like a fully developed character; the reader doesn’t discover Amber’s drive or motivations, but instead is informed by an omniscient narrator of Amber’s likes and dislikes. The only time Amber’s voice comes through is on strange topics such as her belief in UFOs and the dishonesty of the government.
Meissner attempts to create a believable, determined protagonist, but the lack of conflict and convenient plot devices keep Amber’s tale from resonating.