Token by Beverley Kendall
Published by Graydon House ISBN 9781525899973
Trade paperback, $17.99, 368 pages
I truly enjoy a novel that does a deep dive into a person's career and Beverley Kendall's Token does that extremely well.
As the story opens, Kennedy is working a temp job as a receptionist for a fashion company. She is bored just sitting there day after day until the day she is summoned to the boss' office. The head of HR informs her that they have a very important client coming in that day, Sahara, an iconic singer/actress (think Beyonce or Whitney Houston) who is getting into the fashion business, and the company would like Kennedy to be at the meeting.
The reason they want Kennedy at the meeting is to show Sahara that they are a diverse company. (They are not- Kennedy says "the company is about as diverse as the US Olympic equestrian team.") The company is willing to give Kennedy $10,000 today and hire her permanently. She negotiates a big sign-on bonus and a huge raise, enough to pay off her student loans.
Sahara likes Kennedy immediately, and the company gets Sahara's account. Kennedy's best friend Aurora is thrilled for her, and together they come up with an idea to start their own company named Token, one that provides other companies with programs to address diversity issues. They also help high-profile people clear up any PR messes they find themselves in.
The company is an immediate success, and Kennedy is thrilled to be working hard at a job she enjoys. When Aurora's brother (and Kennedy's first boyfriend) Nate unexpectantly finds himself in need of Token's services, Kennedy makes a PR blunder that puts her in a difficult position.
Token drew me in from page one. The scenes of Kennedy in the HR director's office where she realizes she has the upper hand start this terrific novel off with a bang. The characters are well-drawn, and I found the setting of the story in a PR firm that deals with diversity unique and timely.
While Nate hopes that their pretend romance for the media will stir up old feelings, Kennedy wants their relationship to be all business. Will Nate convince a relationship-wary Kennedy that he is the man for her? You'll have to read for youself- and I recommend you do.
Thanks to Harlequin for putting me on their Winter 2023 Rom-Com Blog Tour.
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