A young, widowed chief financial officer falls for her new company’s maintenance man, not realizing that he’s really the CEO, in Chalupnik’s debut romance.
Abby Sinclair watches a youth pastor pull apart two glued-together pieces of Styrofoam, leaving bits stuck together on each side: “this is what happened every time you had sex with someone; part of you stuck to that other person,” he says, adding that having premarital sex means that you’re “not a whole person anymore.” Abby is both a widow and a virgin, her husband having died in a terrible accident two hours after their wedding. She has a master’s degree and a doctorate in finance, and has recently secured her first position out of school—as CFO for a chain of luxury resorts. Here, Chalupnik exhibits naïveté about the executive suite: CFO isn’t an entry-level position, and they must consult closely with CEOs. Nevertheless, Abby vaults into her plum job without ever meeting the resorts’ chief executive and owner, Rob Stevenson. He’s a tall, handsome, “self-made billionaire”—in that he inherited great wealth and increased it. When Abby meets Rob by chance, she takes him to be from the maintenance department; he introduces himself as “Bob York.” Rob knows that there’s something different about Abby, and that “he could never take advantage of her.” But the author then has “Bob” take advantage of her ignorance as he continues the pretense. Abby repeatedly finds luxury “breathtaking,” but still considers herself “really just a simple girl.” When an embezzlement investigation endangers Abby, Rob finally reveals his identity, offers protection, and introduces her to family. His playboy reputation, it turns out, is just a cover; in fact, he’s still a virgin. Chalupnik shows him to be thoughtful about prayer (“he hated when people used God as some Genie” to grant wishes), which is a strength of the book, as it gives a bit more dimension to his character. A misunderstanding delays the growing romance, but Abby’s pure faith works wonders: Rob stops drinking and “cussing”; he and his father are reconciled. Abby is rewarded for her purity with enormous wealth, a handsome young husband, and a honeymoon that’s worth the wait.
Purity-movement Christians will best appreciate this wish-fulfillment tale.