"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know." - John Keats

"You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books and books are, you know, God." - Nick Hornby

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review #62: By Design, by Jayne Denker

Emmie is an interior designer, stuck in a dead end job as the assistant to the town's interior designer, and he keeps Emmie around to pour the coffee and answer the phones. Emmie is frustrated with her life, and on a whim, looks up old classmates on line. Which, of course, leads to some awkward reunions, but along the way, she winds up meeting The Man of Her Dreams, Graham Cooper, a widowed father and local contractor.

The only problem is Graham is otherwise engaged, and it turns out that he's involved with a former classmate of Emmie's named Juliet. Juliet, however, needs to keep her relationship with Graham under wraps because she's not quite divorced, and her husband thinks they're working on things. So Graham and Emmie begin a relationship, only they keep theirs quiet, too, because Juliet is "too unstable" for Graham to break things off with her. Add to that the fact that Graham drops everything and runs every time Juliet calls, and I was ready to throw the book across the room.

Of course there's a happily ever after ending, complete with Juliet reconciling with her husband, and Graham and his motherless child falling in love with Emmie, and Emmie striking out on her own business-wise, but I couldn't help wondering when Graham's head was going to be turned by the next Juliet to come down the road.

Full disclosure that I read this book while my kid was getting her tonsils out, so I was sitting in a hospital waiting room (and those consultation rooms aren't exactly big) with my former husband, a man who shares more than one trait with Juilet and Graham. Probably not my wisest choice, and I'm sure that's coloring my review, but for a "romantic comedy" or "chick lit" book, all I could think was that Graham was a big fat jerk and Juliet was not a friend I'd want to have.

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