Feature book: Insecure
Insecure by Ainslie Paton
Jacinta (Cinta) is a CEO in waiting in a bank pulled into the big time by her stepfather. She works long hours, has a complete grasp of her company and the business environment, and has long-term plans to change the social consciousness of the bank. She drives a fast, expensive car, lives in a vast, completely luxurious apartment and wears a seemingly uptight corporate uniform of severe business suits. She has also ruthlessly cast aside her artistic skills and not painted for years, something she has previously enjoyed. Her stepfather is the current CEO of the bank, a thoroughly unpleasant man, poor father and genuinely unlikeable human.
Mace is an incredibly gifted, self-taught code writer. He works an easy-to-him tech support job to make a living while developing with his best friend, Dillon, some software that will revolutionise online personal data security. Mace also looks after his grandmother, Buster, who brought him up after the death of his mother. She is now in care and he visits her each day, bringing her favourite foods, washing her clothes the way she likes and spending time with her because he enjoys her company. He doesn’t see it as a burden; he loves her. Mace doesn’t get on well with his boss at the bank and is a bit of a maverick, but he is always requested for tech work because he quickly and easily fixes any level of computer problem.
The opening pages of the book paint Jacinta as a direct, powerful woman, asking a man to have sex with her. Mace appears to be a tongue-tied but physically good-looking junior tech whiz, who is out to have a good time. Once they get past their differences in communication, they are scorching together. They both view their initial encounter as short term, but with outside elements forcing them into close proximity, they find a mutual attraction. Their life goals, insecurities and external pressures pull them apart, but they reconnect and form a solid relationship. Their dynamic ends up more as a partnership than the power imbalance initially seen by the reader. Mace is a solid, well-rounded alpha as is Cinta, which makes for good reading.
Putting off reading this book because of the blurb about a female high flyer and a computer geek was a huge mistake! This story about timing, opportunities and dreams was gripping. Mace is almost an antihero. He is inarticulate, except in eloquent heartfelt emotional bites and when explaining his software. He’s also a maverick, and at times, hot-headed to his own detriment. Cinta is an interesting mix of ball busting, female, almost CEO and achingly sweet woman who needs comfort and someone she can trust. She is emotionally stable (apart from a spectacular tantrum), not high maintenance and understanding of the requirements for a startup tech company. Altogether the story is engrossing, the pace swift, the romance epic and a page turning read. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Gina
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.