Harlequin Connection: #921 in the now-sadly-defunct Harlequin Temptation line.
Publication Date: April 2003
How Long It's Been In The TBR: A long while. I can't remember when I bought it, but I do remember why I bought it. I had read and loved an earlier Thompson Temptation, The Nights Before Christmas.
Plot: Molly Drake is the daughter of a famous Hollywood director and infamous actress. She lives in Connecticut and has been making a living ghostwriting cozy mysteries for an actress friend of hers. She's getting antsy though and wants to see her name on the bestseller lists. Plus, she's sick of cozies. So she writes a hot erotic novel only to have her agent tell her that it sucks. It ain't hot. It ain't erotic. Face it Molly, you're a shy, little introvert who doesn't know what sexy is. Frustrated, and wanting to conduct a little research, Molly propositions Alec Masterson, her regular driver from the car service she employs. A scorching affair begins.
My Verdict: Gotta admit here that this book largely didn't work for me. It's readable and the s-e-x is hot, hot stuff but the conflict? It's pretty darn weak. The big stumbling blocks? Molly dithers about whether or not she should tell Alec about her ghostwriting gig. Um, excuse me but why would he bloody care? And Alec? Well he's a bit of a flake. 31 years old and a professional college student who has changed majors more times than he's changed his underwear. His latest career path involves getting his law degree, which he honestly doesn't want to do (he's a blue collar guy through and through) but family expectations are weighing him down (call me crazy, but at 31 you should be old enough to tell your parents to eff-off). I also thought this story would have benefited from less s-e-x (shocking, I know) and more good, old fashioned non-sexual dialogue. But I'm wacky like that.
Oh, and file these under nitpicky:
- A Hollywood actress who has a ghostwriter writing cozies? Hollywood actresses do not put their names on cozies. They "write" trashy, tell-all, celebrity-name-dropping books. But that's the librarian in me rearing her ugly head.
- Molly was raised in California but doesn't know how to drive? L.A. is not N.Y. Everybody drives out here. Californians are car obsessed. Even famous people with suspended licenses drive cars out here.
- The word starlet. Nobody uses it anymore and certainly men don't use it. Alec asks Molly if she's a "starlet." Why not just ask her if she's Jean Harlow? Cuz, I'm pretty sure that was the last time that term was in vogue.