Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Quick Looks: Hot Property

Hot Property
By Carly Phillips

Contemporary Romance

The Premise: Amy Stone flees her Florida home when a friend offers her a job as a publicist at the Hot Zone, one of New York’s premier PR agencies. Amy’s outlandish and attention seeking mother and aunt have made Amy’s life crazy, so she figures NYC is the perfect place to both blend in with the crowd and try something new. Unfortunately, her first big assignment is John Roper, a major league baseball player with a family as crazy and needy as her own. Roper had a rough season – his game was off and the press has made him the scapegoat for the team’s loss in the World Series. With a lingering shoulder injury and the relentless hounding of one of NY sports talk radio’s biggest names, Roper is having a hard time keeping his focus on rehabilitating and getting his head back in the game before spring training starts. Amy has to force Roper to take the tough love approach to his movie star mother, ne’er-do-well brother, and soon to be married baby sister. The sexy baseball player fights her on the plan to manage his family, but doesn’t try to fight the attraction he feels for her. Amy, on the other hand, is happy to deal with his family, but not to deal with her feelings for him. After all, dating a celebrity is no way to stay out of the spotlight. A little soul searching is called for on both sides if there is to be a happily ever after by the time spring training starts.

What I liked: Both the hero and heroine are likeable people, and their crazy families provide both entertainment and a reason to give them out sympathy. Seeing the flip side of celebrity is a nice change, given that it is usually shown in a much more glamorous light. Though there is a large cast of secondary characters none of them get shortchanged; they all come through loud and clear as individuals and not just stock characters.

What I didn’t like: I would have liked to see a little more about Roper’s mother Cassandra’s romance with her old friend, as it added another dimension to the story and a nice, realistic one at that. I also found the main characters a little too introspective at times; I get impatient with people agonizing over every element of a relationship.

Overall: A lot of fun; a fast read, upbeat, and with enough sizzle and humor to keep you turning pages.

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