The Brutal Truth is one of my absolute favorite books and Felicity Simmons one of my favorite supporting characters. In The Awkward Truth, Felicity is front and center, as she was always mean to be and I couldn’t be happier that Lee Winter has given us this gift.
Felicity is in training to take over as COO for Bartell Corp once her boss and mentor moves permanently to Sydney to helm her fashion magazine. Felicity is thrilled all of her hard work has paid off but is still clueless as to the other reason Elena is moving to Australia. Elena gives Felicity the assignment to investigate Living Ruff charity to determine how they could be in danger of closing, when the donation Elena made should have sustained them for quite some time.
Felicity isn’t thrilled to venture to the Bronx, The unsafe, unclean, not nice Bronx but when Elena speaks, Felicity jumps. When Felicity arrives she encounters Dr. Sandy Cooper. Cooper, as she’s known, is a veterinarian who cares for the animals of the homeless. Felicity’s story is she needs to make sure the charity is above reproach because Bartell Corp is thinking of making a donation. Felicity at first thinks Cooper is a vagrant looking to steal drugs from the company van. Not the best first impression but it’s Felicity and tact has never really been her best attribute.
Once they move past the vagrant faux pas, Felicity shadows Cooper on her calls. Felicity’s interactions with the homeless at first are cringe-worthy. Even when she tries to be friendly, it backfires. Cooper really does think this woman can’t even pretend to be a real person and completely lacks empathy. The more time they spend together, Cooper sees cracks in Felicity’s well constructed walls. She’s not the heartless woman she projects, she actually loves animals, has compassion that she has worked so hard to hide and is filled with insecurities. And Felicity, who was attracted to the “Amazonian goddess” pretty much from the moment they met, finds herself even more drawn to Cooper for her kindness.
There is really no writer I love more than Lee Winter. She is the absolute best, not just at ice queens, but at witty banter. Felicity never means to be hilarious but when ones filter is removed you never know what will come out. Felicity so intrigued me when I read The Brutal Truth because you just know that someone with that much snark has to have some deep-seeded insecurities. Lee Winter gives us insight into what made Felicity focus solely on career success and shut herself off from human interaction. Her new position, this assignment and Cooper are all catalysts to the changes Felicity never knew she needed to make.
While this is definitely a romance with a mystery to solve, it’s also story of a woman finding her humanity and letting her vulnerability show. There’s nothing scarier for Felicity than to expose her feelings, whether that’s to another person or to a sweet, unassuming animal. She’s so tightly wound but bring a woman with nice thighs and an even nicer heart around her and she’s a goner. Felicity is just a treasure and Cooper is her perfect match. A woman who works with animals and looks at the homeless and sees them, not past them, that’s a woman to fall in love with.
The conversations Felicity has with Elena are spectacular and I love seeing Elena not only mentor her professionally, but also help her to realize she needs to be more empathetic. Felicity still not clueing in to the nature of Elena’s relationship with Maddie just makes me laugh. And in the same way Maddie’s kindness helped to soften Elena, Cooper does the same for Felicity.
The Awkward Truth is fantastic but I would expect nothing less from Lee Winter. She’s brilliant, Felicity Simmons is a delight and you should read this book. We’re done!
ARC Provided by the author for an honest review.