THE ASSISTANTS by Camille Perri

May 3, 2016
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Chick lit is back, and in a good way.

Tina Fontana has a great job, at least to those looking in on the outside. She is the executive assistant to Robert Barlow, the head of a multinational media conglomerate. My thought immediately went to Rupert Murdoch, but who knows.

While Tina seems to be in a rather powerful position, and in theory she is, having the ear of the big boss, the truth of the matter is that she doesn’t make much more than a bank teller or a teacher. She loves her job but wishes for more.

After a confusing mix up, Tina ends up having to put several thousand dollars of her boss’s travel expenses on her few credit cards, maxing them out. The charges get reversed, but Tina had already put in the expense seeking reimbursement. When the check arrives, she is torn; she knows she should return it, but it just so happens to be the same amount as the balance of her student loans. In a frazzled moment, she deposits the check and pays off her debt.

Of course she gets caught, but instead of getting fired, she is blackmailed into paying off someone else’s student loans. Then, as it always does with blackmail, it just gets worse. Eventually, things comes to a head, with unexpected and unbelievable results.

It’s always fun to root for the underdog, and Perri did a good job turning a criminal act into a cause célèbre. This is a fast, fun read, sure to appeal to any woman who feels stuck in a job that doesn’t utilize her education, skills and ambition.


5/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE ASSISTANTS by Camille Perri. G.P. Putnam’s Sons (May 3, 2016). ISBN 978-0399172540. 288p.


ANYTHING FOR YOU by Kristan Higgins

February 6, 2016
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The Blue Heron Series

Jess Dunn is a young woman with a past – and everyone in this small town knows all about her alcoholic parents, her mother’s death, her father’s disappearance, her younger brother with fetal alcohol sydrome and her nickname, “Jessica Does.” Jess was the high school slut, but she had good reasons for sleeping around; all the boys she slept with helped protect her brother.

As an adult, she’s managed to turn her life around. She has a good job in marketing at a small, prestigious winery and works a second job as a waitress at the town’s swankiest restaurant. When the restaurant owner wants to send her for a wine class to help her upsell her customers wine, she reluctantly agrees. But when she gets to class, the teacher is none other than Connor O’Rourke.

Jess met Connor as a child, and when her dog attacked and almost killed him, the dog had to be put down. Connor felt terrible, and they basically fell in love with each other at age 12, but never pursued it or even acknowledged it. But the time had come, and after Connor spends the night with her, he accidentally blurts out the dreaded nickname – Jessica Does.

Their relationship is off to a rocky start, and over a ten year period they are on again, off again more times than anyone even knows. But eventually things come to a head and decisions have to be made.

I loved these characters and although their relationship was ridiculously overrun with obstacles, most of their own making, I couldn’t help but root for this couple. I also loved the small town setting, the vineyard beautifully brought to life, and the inside look at a passionate chef’s first restaurant.

This was my first Kristan Higgins book, which I picked up after seeing several stellar reviews, and I have to agree. I loved it. This is the fifth book in the series, so happily, I have some catching up to do.

2/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

ANYTHING FOR YOU by Kristan Higgins. HQN Books (December 29, 2015). ISBN 978-0373789085. 416p.