Friday, May 30, 2008

Quick Looks: Good Girls Do

Good Girls Do
By Cathie Linz

Contemporary/Romantic Comedy

The Premise: Julia Wainwright just knows she has left the hippie, bohemian lifestyle she was raised with behind for good after she has spent a few years as a reference librarian in the small Pennsylvania town of Serenity Falls. And then one afternoon, she finds herself dressed in a Little Bo Peep costume trying to keep the mayor’s son from swallowing one of the Library Director’s prized koi, and facing off against Luke Maguire, the town’s bad boy prodigal son who has just zoomed in on his Harley to claim his inheritance. Sparks start flying between the two immediately, much to Julia’s dismay. She likes the orderly life she has worked so hard to make for herself, and there is no room in it for flirtatious black clad bikers who have a strong disregard for rules of any kind. Luke has only come back to town to meet the terms of his father’s will: spend six months running the family pub before deciding to either stay or sell, or get nothing. If Luke discusses the terms with anyone, he loses everything. This is just the latest insult from the man with whom he always had a bad relationship, but Luke needs the money so plays along. Though he has no intention of sticking around once the time is up, he just can’t stay away from Julia. Meanwhile, Julia has some family problems of her own. Her very New-Agey mother Angel, sister Skye, and niece Toni-the-biter have arrived in town and decided to crash at Julia’s place while getting on their feet financially after the failure of their tofu-dog stand in Alaska. Angel has a few secrets of her own she has been keeping, and is trying to find a way to tell her daughter something Julia probably won’t want to hear. With the nosy residents of Serenity Falls keeping tabs on everyone and everything, Julia’s well-ordered world starts flying to bits.

What I liked
: The description of Julia’s life at work was pretty accurate, including (especially?) the wackier bits. Ditto the small town setting. I’m a sucker for eccentric characters, and this book is full of them. The chemistry between Julia and Luke is really good. Better still, the requisite happy ending doesn’t involve a wedding and white picket
fence existence, but instead gives us the happy couple declaring their love and heading off for parts as yet unknown in unwedded bliss on Luke’s Harley. How refreshing!

What I didn’t like: Julia’s sister. She remained a pompous little brat from beginning to end, in spite of the growth shown by the other characters. Based on the sneak preview at the end of the book, she’s going to have her story told in a sequel. I think what she really deserves is a smack.

Overall: This is fast, funny and quick, a great romantic comedy caper.

1 comment:

Suzanne Fisher said...

Your description was great, right down to the funky family! I enjoyed the scenes where Julia had to struggle with her need for order and propriety when surrounded by the ridiculous. It's a librarian thing.