Jack Carter, born-again virgin and bestselling romance author, has a problem, and her name is Molly. Foisted upon him by his sister, Molly has just been fired from her high-paying management position for sexually harassing her male assistant. She's also been evicted from her apartment, and has landed-for just a few weeks, she promises-in Jack's Georgetown town house. Worse yet, she decides to take advantage of her new environment and try her hand at writing romances herself, using the pseudonym Molly Desire. Molly's novel is racy and explicit, and blows the covers off Jack's tender and traditional plots and relationships. Just how far will their professional (and personal) competition go?
Killham's rollicking second novel (after How To Cook a Tart) cleverly sends up the romance genre while standing as a funny, romantic novel in its own right. Jack Carter, nom de plume Celeste d'Arcy, is a successful romance writer living in Venice Beach, almost as irresistible to women as one of his throbbing heroes. But after a failed marriage and too much casual sex, lonely Jack is now a "born again virgin" waiting for his true love. Enter Molly, a formerly successful businesswoman fired for sleeping with her hunky but incompetent assistant. As a favor to his sister, who's Molly's friend, Jack allows the suddenly broke and homeless Molly to move in with him. Soon, Molly is authoring her own romances, ones featuring more handcuffs than petticoats. While Jack suffers writer's block, promotes abstinence among his friends and dates controlling, chaste Heather, Molly publishes popular novels, gets knocked up and grows beautiful in Jack's eyes. Killham aims for a witty gender role reversal with these two characters--Jack is romantic, finicky and worried while Molly behaves more like a hormonally charged teenage boy than a liberated woman--but the author often sacrifices the characters' credibility for cleverness. Nonetheless, readers will still wish the best for these unlikely lovers in this fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable read. Agent, Isobel Dixon. (May)
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Bloomsbury Publishing USA
June 11, 2006
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