A Perfect Man by Cecilia Dominic

A Perfect Man by Cecilia Dominic
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (242 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

How far will she go to find her perfect man? How far will he go to be one?When Karen Hardeman sets foot on the Foothills University campus, it’s her first step toward proving her abusive ex wrong. Just her luck, her first writing assignment in Intro to Romance sends her in search of the perfect hero—a quest she’s never managed to conquer.Worse, her professor forces her to collaborate with the most overconfident, annoying guy in the class.Seth Sayers is also at Foothills to find new direction—preferably one that takes him faraway from the family drama that’s followed him since his father’s death. He didn’t mean to humiliate Karen by rewriting her manuscript from the hero’s point of view. He blames the painkillers the ER doctor gave him after stitching up a wine-induced cut on his hand.As their collaboration progresses, Karen begins to trust Seth with her manuscript, then maybe a little piece of her heart. But Seth’s half-brother resurrects Seth’s suspicions about his father’s death. Until he finds the truth, he can’t be the hero in anyone’s life. Even his own.Warning: Some alcohol consumption. Okay, writer amounts of alcohol consumption.There are also some adult situations, but nothing too explicit. It is a romance-writing class,after all.

All the characters in A Perfect Man come with a heavy load of emotional baggage. Cecilia Dominic blends them together, much like one might take leftovers in the refrigerator to make a casserole. She mixes them, lets them heat up, bubble, and blend together to become an interesting creation.

Karen and Seth, the main characters, are both burdened down with badly damaged self-esteem. When their professor says they must collaborate to create a novella, they embark on a prickly path that threatens to do even more damage to their self-esteem.

Karen, still dealing with the aftermath of a relationship that stifled her, is now obliged to find ways to work with her professor who is a longtime friend of the narcissistic man Karen walked away from. In addition, she must work with Seth who hijacked her story. Even at coffee time, she adds more stress baggage to her emotional load. She becomes friends with two older women in the graduate program, who are struggling with their own load of emotions. Her upbeat, bubbly, psych major roommate gets her involved in a research project that brings Karen in contact with more narcissistic people, one of whom proves to be an alarming protagonist. In all the chaos, Karen must continue to deal with Seth and the characters in the developing novella.

Seth has as many, if not more, relating-to-people conflicts as Karen has. Some of his conflicts are of longer standing than hers. Consequently, the author of The Perfect Man has much to blend together. How she brings it all together, makes an unusual adventure in reading.

The writing style, with italic often used, is somewhat distracting for me. However, the overall taste of the story kept me wanting to keep reading to learn how there could possibly be a happy-ever-after come out of such a mix of characters and emotional chaos.

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