From Tyree (The Last Street Novel, 2007, etc.), a Horatio Alger update with bling.
For 28-year-old Ivan David, the eureka moment occurs after he is relegated to the “nobody” line at a crowded nightclub. Suddenly realizing that his well-regarded work for a respected San Diego accounting firm will never land him the kind of money and cachet he craves, he decides to go into business for himself as a party promoter. He first tastes small-scale success holding African-American networking mixers at a local soul-food restaurant. Then he catches the eye of fellow promoter Lucina Gallo, an Italian/Brazilian beauty with the class and connections that Ivan lacks, who admires his ambition. The physical attraction is mutual, but they resist acting on it, settling for a remarkably lucrative partnership. Under Lucina’s influence Ivan’s life changes in every way, right down to the diamond earring she attaches as part of the sexy makeover she gives him. Quickly branching out into high-profile, celebrity-studded parties, Ivan also dabbles in real estate and the Web. He manages to negotiate a salary from his former firm by bringing them big-money athletes as clients. In no time, it seems, he becomes a major player in the local scene, attracting his share of golddiggers and envy. But apart from a weakness for some of the young ladies in Lucina’s party-girl entourage, methodical Ivan is all work, all the time. His rise from pencil pusher to Bentley-driving VIP is so dizzying, if somewhat implausible, that even sophisticated Lucina begins to question his motives. In fact, his hubris causes them to grow apart, prompting Ivan to ponder which matters more: Love or money? Or can he possibly have both?
Ivan is a hardworking protagonist, but the single-minded outward focus that makes him a natural businessman also makes him a less-than-compelling hero.