I don’t travel as much as I’d like to these days but I used to dream about backpacking across Europe, climbing the mountains in Africa and flying. Oh, I still dream everyday about flying to exotic locales, with someone bringing me refreshing beverages as I gaze through the windows at the beautiful land thousands of feet under me.
In Exposure To A Billionaire, author Ann Menke, who was a corporate flight attendant in private jets for several decades, fictionalizes her experiences to tell the story of the life many of us only dream about. In the book, Anna St. James is a twenty-something flight attendant who meets a young billionaire while she’s working on a commercial flight and he invites her to work on his jet instead. Suddenly, Anna is launched into a whirlwind of $25,000 bonuses, gifts of expensive clothes and jewelry from the passengers her boss invites onto the plane, and contacts with celebrities that she would never meet on her own.
In return, Anna has to be ready to travel at a moment’s notice and stay away from home for several days. In the process, her unavailability and her schedule is a great stress on her relationships. As the book progresses, Anna is forced to reconcile whether the exposure is worth the cost and the toll it places on her personal life.
What I liked about the book:
- Reading about the lifestyles of the rich and famous is always delightful.
- I liked some of the characters. Stuart Manning, the young billionaire, seemed to really value his relationship with the key people on his team and he went to great lengths to protect them and to show that he treasured them. I liked that.
- I got a free ARC from the author and it came with a delightful note. While I was reading, I kept feeling like I had been given a glimpse into Ms. Menke’s personal diary.
- The cover is beautiful to see and touch – the cover is a glossy-matte and feels like velvet. You should really feel it.
What I didn’t like about the book:
- The author and main character have similar names and similar professions. The genre in the front cover of the book says it’s fiction but the writing style is in memoir form so I was a little confused about what I was reading.
- Characters were portrayed in what felt like biased ways, as though not to offend the real-life person that a character was based on.
- While I think Mrs. Menke is a great storyTELLer, I prefer more of a show-don’t-tell in my fictional reads.
- I didn’t like the ending and the epilogue was unnecessary.
I think Exposure To A Billionaire is a promising draft of a great story and could benefit from some editing. I think with a little rewrite, this could actually be a great story. So, may I offer my editing services, Ms. Menke?
Note: What I read was an ARC and it is indeed possible that there were changes made since my copy was printed – the book was released yesterday.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
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