Remember my post a few months ago about the mystery list? My accidental life as a book reviewer?
Well, my luck hasn't run out yet! I'm still getting the occasional random book in the mail without the sky opening up and raining more on me than I can handle.
Last week, I just about choked when I was on the phone with Pamela, dissecting some work I was helping her with. I couldn't think of a word. She'd just said it a moment earlier, and it was just gone. I blamed it on my brain, which doesn't always cooperate as quickly as I'd like. The next minute, my teenager walked in the door and handed me a package, which contained, I kid you not, an ARC of a book called BEAUTIFUL BRAIN, BEAUTIFUL YOU (Maria Pasinski, M.D. / Hyperion Voice / Dec. 28, 2010).
The back cover copy says it's for "any woman who suffers from bad brain days.'" Seriously. I haven't read it yet, but it's on the coffee table, waiting for the next time my brain conks out.
The day the What Women Write gals left for our annual retreat, another package showed up. I glanced inside, then tossed it aside as I was in a hurry to get out the door. A week or so ago, I picked up the enclosed ARC (advance review copy), looking for something different to read. Didn't I mention how I tend to read dark, serious kind of stuff, but now and again, I like to lighten things up? Yeah, things were getting a little too heavy again. I'd read too many of those in a row.
Turns out The Boyfriend of the Month Club by Maria Geraci was just the kind of pick-me-up I needed! It released yesterday (Dec. 7, 2010).
From the publisher (Penguin):
This sexy, funny new novel asks: Can a woman find a modern-day Mr. Darcy in Daytona Beach?
At thirty, Grace O'Bryan has dated every loser in Daytona Beach. After the ultimate date-from-hell, Grace decides to turn her dwindling book club into a Boyfriend of the Month Club, where women can discuss the eligible men in their community. Where are the real life twenty-first century versions of literary heroes such as Heathcliff and Mr. Darcy? Could it be successful and handsome Brandon Farrell, who is willing to overlook his disastrous first date with Grace and offers financial help for her parents' failing Florida gift shop? Or maybe sexy dentist Joe Rosenblum, who's great with a smile but not so great at commitment? Unfortunately, like books, men cannot always be judged by their covers...
I really enjoyed this book. Publisher's Weekly and I agree that the premise stretches the limits of credulity in places, but Geraci seems to frankly admit that by embracing it and writing characters who are zany and over-the-top in places, too, resulting in a crazy little story that kept me reading into the wee hours a few nights in a row.
Stylewise, think Dorothea Benton Frank meets My Big Fat Greek ... er, Cuban Wedding.
I laughed out loud in several places as the main character, Grace, got herself in and out some pretty amusing predicaments.
I admit I developed a teeny little crush one of her potential love interests. (Don't tell my husband . . . this is fiction, right?!)
And I was crushed along with Grace when bad went to worse and then horrible before things righted themselves again.
It's a happy day when I read something that wouldn't ordinarily end up on my to-be-read pile and end up loving it. Maybe you'll get your hands on The Boyfriend of the Month Club and love it, too!
Looks like Ms. Geraci is running a drawing on her website this week. When you purchase Boyfriend this week, you may enter for a chance to win more books and an Amazon gift card.
And by the way, though the publisher's description (above) and a few blurbs on the cover, etc., describe this book as "sexy," it wasn't really graphic at all to me. I'd be fine with my teens reading it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received copies of these books from the publishers in the hope that I would review them on What Women Write. I was under no obligation to review them, let alone give a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 225: "Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."