Friday, June 6, 2008

Quick Looks: Fifteen Minutes of Shame

Fifteen Minutes of Shame
By Lisa Daily

The Premise: Darby Vaughn, dating guru, columnist, author and TV personality, finds out that her husband is cheating on her – on the Today show, when Matt Lauer asks her about her impending divorce. She promptly vomits into a nearby basket of chrysanthemums, a clip of which ends up becoming a popular YouTube video (“the hurl heard ‘round the world.”) Before you can say “commercial break” Darby’s book tour is cancelled and she’s fired from her various advice gigs. She returns home to find an empty house – her husband having packed up and moved their stuff and her beloved stepchildren to California – and into his ex-wife’s house. After a brief period of mourning and one or two more embarrassing incidents caught on camera, Darby begins to fight back. With the help of her best girlfriends, her new publicist, and a very handsome divorce lawyer, she begins a round of “spin dating and faux-mances” designed to get her career, at least, back on track so that she can afford to fight for partial custody of her stepkids. Along the way, she gets her own reality show, has a few hot dates, and does a lot of soul searching with the help of Holt Gregory, the aforementioned handsome lawyer. By the time her cheating louse of a husband comes crawling back, she has to decide whether to take her own advice and move on or try to get her old life back.

What I liked: In spite of having a life that would be pretty exotic for most of us, Darby is likeable and easy to relate to. She may have a glamour job, but she also has some truly embarrassing moments in the course of the book; I cringed on her behalf, but could really relate. The inside look at book tours, TV show appearances, and red carpet events was also a lot of fun.

What I didn’t like: I thought Darby was a bit too quick to forgive; but then, I might just be a champion grudge holder. I also didn’t find her incredibly strong attachment to her stepchildren too believable until I learned more about Darby’s childhood later in the book.

Overall: This story is both funny and touching, and I read the book in one sitting. It was quick and entertaining, with a nice combination of chick lit and romance elements. I would definitely read more by this author.

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