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Yvonne and Sandy met as teens while working in a public library in a Toronto suburb. Writing books together was the last thing on our minds at that point. In fact, our animated discussions in the book stacks about boys, clothes, beauty products, friends and family, soon led the evil head librarian to schedule us on separate shifts.
While attending the University of Toronto, our conversational topics expanded somewhat and we managed to complete Bachelor of Arts degrees—Yvonne's in Criminology and Political Science and Sandy's in English Literature. Yvonne promptly launched into a series of unsuitable jobs, while Sandy delayed the inevitable by getting a second degree in journalism.
Flash forward a decade or so to find Yvonne on the camera crew of a variety of films and TV series, and Sandy working in corporate communications. We still talked about boys, clothes, beauty products, friends and family, but despite our best efforts, we had come to the age of reason and it was time to share what we'd learned.
At the urging of Yvonne's niece, we wrote a book for teens called Totally Me: The Teenage Girl's Survival Guide. When we ran out of good advice, we turned to writing fiction—first for adults, with Speechless, and then for teens, with Introducing Vivien Leigh Reid: Daughter of the Diva. After the Diva series came The Black Sheep, Girl V. Boy, Love, Inc. and Trade Secrets.
Ten books later, we’re still discussing our top five subjects, and our fascination over what makes relationships tick is stronger than ever.
on Dec. 18, 2011 :
"I like people, especially male people."
I can completely identify with this sentence. Kali, Syd and Zahra had formed Love, Inc. with four goals: matchmaking, revenge taking and mentoring those in need...oh and making some cash flow as well. While their business was put on hold and (to their parents) thought to be dead for good, the girls can't seem to stay away.
While each of the girls is singularly important, the main focus is really on Kali; who as the matchmaker, can't seem to keep a relationship. Caleb is great and she's been going out with him longer than she has with anyone else but it's those little things that keep adding up and sooner or later there's going to be one last straw that breaks the camels back. How far is she willing to go to keep her relationship for the sake of her Love, Inc. front?
Kali is also a singer/songwriter! How cool is that?! And she's ambitious as all get out even though everyone around her (minus the besties of course) have nothing but doubts; sound familiar to anyone's real life?
Love, Inc. is losing clients quickly and the one they had picked up is the snob to end all snobs, constantly harassing and causing headaches for the girls. Even though Kali is only friends with Luke she can't stand to see him hooked up with Hollis. He's so much better than her, but if he wants to oogle her and spend time with her - so be it. While the hook up seems to be making all parties happy, Hollis is only better to Kali and the crew to their faces. Behind everyone elses backs she's an evil evil girl. Hollis takes every chance to rub any and every failure Kali can suffer into her face - to the point of getting in her head before her first performance at open mic night.
When Kali gets played by a jerk who uses her own flirting and pick up methods without any intention of a long term relationship, the girls look deeper into the situation. Someone has set up "Catch of The Day" a rip off of Love, Inc. At least now they know where all of their clients are going.
The hard part? Shutting them down is going to risk everything all three of the girls have, including their hearts.
When I reviewed Girl vs Boy it was because it sounded cute and Ashley from Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing said to read it...this is a serious recommendation to me! When I received a notification that I would be able to review Trade Secrets it looked right up my alley! It SO is!
Trade Secrets is a fun and inspiring story that makes you want to grab your girl friends and go out for a night of fun and flirting. It's a quick read and honestly, there are so many cute boys that you won't want to stop turning pages because you'll want to know more about them and more importantly, to see if they end up where you want them! Let's discuss a couple of the boys briefly. Jesse is HOT and he knows it but he's not all arrogant, he's just flirty and brings it on strong. Luke is a sweetheart, caring and understanding but has some serious judgment lapses from time to time. Brody doesn't really do it for me but I think that's because I identify with Kali really strongly and since Brody is her brother....yeah, I can't do it! lol!
I've heard a lot of people complain about jumping into series because they feel overwhelmed if they missed the first book, be honest - how many shelves do you save for TBR's? While Trade Secrets is indeed a sequel to Love, Inc. believe me when I say that you will want to read Love, Inc. but it isn't necessary. Trade Secrets is a fantastic book, written well with characters that come alive. I for one, will be buying Love, Inc. and reading it even though I'm a little out of order!
Speaking of the writing, I opened with a sentence from Trade Secrets and I want to share this one with you too, after reading it tell me you don't want to know more who this is about?!
"No matter what words he actually uses, it sounds like he's asking you to take off your clothes. And somehow, that doesn't seem unreasonable, even here in the kitchen of the Maternity Ward."
The girls are a blast and if Covergirl was smart they'd tap into this series and push it hard with it's own brand of lip glosses for fans of the books, I know I've already bought a new shade because well...if it works for Kali, I'm willing to give it a shot, too!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)