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    A Rare Beauty!

    Luis Villalobos' career is on the fast track. He's studied, worked all hours, and sacrificed for his goals. His ambition knows no bounds as the author Guilie Castillo Oriard tells us, but 'his intelligence does.' I love that line, anyway, what has Luis done that could torpedo his objectives? To make Managing Director he'd allowed himself to be lured away from a job with a prestigious law firm in Mexico to the tiny island of Curacao, a place so foreign to Luis he's already planning his exit long before his two-year commitment is up. Luis isn't ready for island life in this tropical nowhere's land, or for the big black dog that shows up on his doorstep, and despite his mistake while under the influence, he's full of integrity. So much so, integrity, and not his drunken choice may well end the career he'd planned for so diligently. I loved the story, but especially the characters. Guilie's own description of Curacao describes her book best. "Curacao's is a prickly kind of beauty. Rough around the edges, camouflaged in the humdrum, the unremarkable, even the unappealing. It’s a rare beauty, sudden and abrupt; the beauty of a cactus flowering in the wild, blooms of impossible grace hidden in thorns and the tromp l’oeil of shadow in the blazing sun." You wonder why you should care about this ambitious man and his career problems. Luis is rough around the edges, camouflaged - sharp, cocky, and yet a bit unremarkable in that you judge him for his failure in the first pages, certain you've seen his kind, know his mind. However, there is something about Luis that makes you journey further into the story to find the truth, and therein lies the skill of this writer. I can't wait to read more by Guilie Castillo Oriard. Her writing is impeccable, her storytelling magical, and the reason I love reading.
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