I was attracted to this book by author Kim Cox based on the premise of a woman who wants to fulfill her dying father’s desire to have a grandchild before he passes away. In All This Time Cox begins the story with a prologue from the point of view of a vengeful woman. While this sets the stage for action that takes place during the story, it is initially a little confusing. The prologue did peak my interest and I dove into the book with high expectations.
Jenny Morgan has taken the reins of managing the fashion magazine her father, Joe, developed when he decided to retire. Jenny, at thirty, has set aside having a family of her own. Jenny’s mother had died from cancer years earlier and she had also lost a sister. After going through a divorce, she is not even looking for a new relationship. When her father has a heart attack and almost dies, he tells her he would like to have a grandchild. The pressure is on as she tries to figure out how she can give him what he wants.
Trevor Drake, her best friend for years, works at the magazine. They’d dated briefly in high school but Trevor had cheated on her and they broke up. Despite that, they managed to remain friends. When she discusses her father’s wishes with Trevor, he offers to father a child. Jenny doesn’t know that Trevor has been in love with her for years. Realizing they would have to get married because of her strong religious beliefs, they make plans to wed.
Meanwhile, one of the employees at the magazine is plotting revenge against Jenny and her family. After a failed attempt to trick Joe into marrying her years earlier while he was mourning his late wife, she was demoted in the company. Joe has kept the secret of his affair with the woman from everyone.
As Trevor and Jenny make plans to marry, problems begin to arise. Client files go missing, deliveries go astray, and their honeymoon is sabotaged. It appears Trevor’s assistant Sarah is at the root of the issues. Along with Sarah, there are two other women working at the magazine; Jenny’s secretary Lynsi and an aspiring editor, Della.
As the story progresses it becomes apparent someone is trying to undermine Jenny’s and Trevor’s relationship as well as damage the magazine. The attacks, both personal as well as those directed at the publication, become more intense as time passes. While all this is happening, Jenny is trying to get pregnant with her new husband Trevor. Still unaware of her husband’s love for her, she assumes theirs is a marriage of convenience. As their intimate relationship progresses Jenny realizes she is falling in love with Trevor.
I enjoyed the basic idea of the story. However, Cox added a lot of unnecessary side stories into the plot. The suspense builds in irregular spurts. Some of the occurrences require the protagonist to spend a lot of money; money she wouldn’t likely have. There’s a lot of repetition in conversations and ideas that could be eliminated to make the story flow better. Some of the characters are mentioned so briefly they are almost an afterthought. The two men who work at the magazine, Joe’s cook and butler, and Joe’s nurse add very little to the plot.
There are some grammatical and spelling issues in the book. By themselves they could be overlooked but when combined with the other problems in story construction they are distracting.
Cox has a great plot idea and if she elects to remove some extraneous dialogue and scenes, sticking to the main story, this could be a very enjoyable read. I hope the author will consider taking a second look at the book and make a few changes.
This review is also available at Readers Review Room