Tess knows one thing for certain she wants Nick as her partner. Tess knows one thing for certain she wants Nick as her partner. She is secure in who she is as a woman. Raised on a commune around people who believed in looking out for each other and the land she isn't caught up in life trappings bit cause many people to lose their souls chasing the all mighty dollar.
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While Nick is a good man, his Republican background and need for control can be a bit heavy. On top of his politics Nick is also a lawyer. Tess, sees past the hard need-to-win at all cost exterior into Nick's heart. She also has a thing for his hot body. She's caught in a catch-22. Growing up on the commune her mama bypassed the fairy tales due to the patriarchal content. It isn't easy for her to let her guard down with a guy who constantly talks and thinks “money”.
They fall out after Nick stands her up for the fifth time. Tess does not make it easy for him to apologize and reluctantly agrees to attend an event with him, with one demand. No sex. Her best friend Gina thinks Tess should dig in for marriage, but that isn't the angle Tess operates from. She can take care of herself.
Nick's real issue is that deep down inside he feels his blue-collar background is stopping him from making partner at a firm he has had his hopes on for quite some time. Tess, works hard as a friend and on and off girlfriend to get Nick to understand the value of being more humane.
When Tess finds out funding has been cut and in turn her job, she hustles hard to find the next gig so she can volunteer with the kids who are used to seeing her everyday. They learned from her of course, but she also receives so much from them (including watching them become involved and caring citizens).
Nick buys Tess a dress for the event she hates it on site. It reminds her of something a stuffy first lady would wear. Her immediate thought goes to Nancy Reagan. This act of kindness is not viewed as such by Tess. She complains to Gina that he doesn't think she owned anything appropriate. Gina tells her that she doesn't own anything quite that beautiful and to be grateful.
Tess just isn't the type of woman who backs down. She stands for right. The event turns out to be a a weekend deal wi where Nick has to impress his boss and the author the firm hopes to land as a huge client. Gina also attends, with Nick's friend and co-worker Parks. Welch, is a chauvinistic sarcastic author who inappropriate sexist remarks every time Tess opens her mouth. She speaks her mind and when she is ready to tell him off, she pulls back. The weekend and potential client mean a lot to Nick and she has agreed to come. Besides, the wife of a heavy donor from the foundation she hopes to get funding from has not been impressed by her feminist, hippie views. The husband couldn't make dinner, but the wife is highly ticked off and will be sure to tell him that under no circumstances should Tess receive a dime of their money.
Tess has held a grudge against Nick for six weeks after he got her hot and bothered and then decided he didn't want to sleep with her. At the time he didn't, they were petting in a parked car of an open parking lot. Try as he may, he can't get her warmed back up. Somewhere in the back of his mind he thinks this work-weekend-event-date will change things.
Nick does have a little swag and they finally have sex the first night of their big weekend work affair. It's on after that. They both let down their guards a bit while managing to hold on to personal beliefs.
Tess doesn't appreciate the fact that he swaps out her comfortable worn clothes for designer digs. He doesn't appreciate her opinion on how he does his job. It is clear that these things won't deter them from pursing each other.
Tess is determined to dig up dirt on Welch and harbors resentment over his book that mocks everything she believes in. He's plagiarized Lanny, a man who was a true friend to her back when she lived on the commune. He taught her about the true meaning of life and helped shape her personal values. This author was plagiarizing Lanny's stories word-for-word.
She enlists help from her mother Elsie in finding Lanny, the manuscript from thirty years ago, or both. Nick is livid and sees his chance at partnership being thrown away because his girlfriend has a point to make.
Lanny is actually Welch who has given up on idealism and become a cynical old man. When Tess lets on that she knows who he is it hits him hard. She's the same kid who he believed was smarter than most adults at the early age of eight.
He agrees to rewrite parts of the “satire” in his book in exchange for Tess's help with his political campaign. Tess and Nick marry having decided they don't want to live without each other.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked that Tess stuck to her guns and made Nick work for her.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was at the dinner table when Tess tells Welch off.
Opinion about the main character:
I liked that Tess fought for the underdog and refused to change her viewpoint on helping others.