Feature book: Finished Business
Finished Business by Priscilla Brown
Gina (Georgina) Jones owns and runs an English language school in Thailand called Elite Language School. She lives what she calls her Bangkok lifestyle, having a great time with lots of friends but not really going anywhere. She puts her school in the hands of her good friend Ray and accepts a job in Melbourne as associate director of an international business college. She’s got a plan to find a man and start a serious relationship, but she hasn’t told her new boss, Lee Wylde, that they know each other from school in Canberra.
Lee is the director of the Southlands International Business College in Melbourne. He’s badly in need of an associate director to carry some of the load so he can deal with the expanding business. He’s a nice guy but his employees see him as stand-offish, and because he’s a workaholic, he expects everyone else to work to his standards. He is single, plays saxophone in a group and is renovating his house. He’s also a neat freak.
Gina and Lee have a history. They were sweet on each other in high school, but a series of dramas in their final year saw them moving from friends to almost lovers to avoiding each other. Lee is taken aback when he goes to meet his new associate director, Gina, and finds his high school swim team nemesis instead. He’s straightlaced, neat and punctual; she’s adventurous, artistic, eclectic and often running late (usually because she’s stopped to fix something business related). They were at loggerheads and in competition in high school and years in different places and adulthood haven’t changed their ability to get under each other’s skin. They both have lots of emotional baggage and secrets dating back to that last year of high school.
I liked Gina. Apart from having an awesome name, she was a nice balance of work and personal life. She’s competent work-wise and one of those people whom others feel they can talk to, so she understands the human side of business. I’m still not sure whether I liked Lee or not. Usually a snarly personality is catnip for me, but even after his history comes out at the very end of the book and he does things like foot rubs, I wasn’t getting the vibe from him. But book Gina was happy with him so that’s what counts.
This quick and easy contemporary story has a quirky female lead, adversarial relationships and funny first date stories set against a background of business management.
Reviewed by Gina
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.