Book your seat for a funny, yet romantic romp through modern England, with the delightfully sarcastic Sophy as your guide.
Young's first novel is a silly and harmless yarn set in modern England concerning guess what the romantic tribulations of a self-deprecating 30-ish woman. Like Nick Hornby's About a Boy, it is predicated on a white lie that spirals out of control. Sophy, a charmingly sarcastic London recruiter on "the cutting edge of human-resource management," is in no rush to get hitched and only mildly disheartened when her long-standing boyfriend dumps her. Her fretting Mum believes that "an unattached daughter who's just hit thirty is a Serious Worry," so to keep her happy, Sophy fabricates a handsome, attentive, successful suitor named Dominic. But when younger and prettier sister Belinda decides to marry, Sophy is forced to produce her new bloke. Ever resourceful, a desperate Sophy hires Josh from a London escort service to play the part of Dominic and accompany her to her sister's wedding. Predictably, within hours of meeting her paid companion, lusty Sophy finds herself attracted to him. Lies are piled on top of lies as the duplicitous Sophy suffers the "strain of spending a whole evening and night with a man I fancied the pants off while pretending I didn't (to him), while at the same time pretending I did (for the family)." Despite Sophy's near inability to tell the truth, she's charming and the author does a fine job of conveying her appeal. Readers who enjoy the wisecracks, parenthetical asides and flaky characters that are the bread and butter of contemporary British romantic comedies will be happy to drag this breezy book off to beaches or onto planes. But the hard-to-follow tangle of falsehoods, giddy banter that all somehow winds up sounding the same, and contrived plot twists willexhaust everyone else long before the novel's end. National ad campaign. (Sept.) Forecast: Once in bookstores, entries in this oversubscribed genre may be fated to be judged by their covers and the cutest will always win, of course. Asking for Trouble has the pastels down pat, but a subdued shot of lacy underwear on a line lacks spirit. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
When an imaginary boyfriend isn't enough . . . hire an escort. Sophy Metcalfe is almost 30, and her interfering mother thinks it's high time she got married. Sick of the nagging, Sophy invents "Dominic," a tall, handsome, up-and-coming investment banker who seems to have a lot of excuses for never showing up in person. But Mum insists he not wiggle out of escorting Sophy to her sister Belinda's wedding. Desperate, Sophy calls a highly respectable London escort service, which supplies Josh Carmichael, former Royal Marine. Josh is predictably tall and handsome, with a "crookedy" smile and "greeny-browny eyes like a river with the sun on them." Not that a sophisticated woman like Sophy would fall in love just like that. First, there must be much irritable banter as she and Josh get to know each other before the ceremony. While Josh convinces the clueless, chatterbox mother and pompous father that he is indeed Dominic, Sophy's dirty-minded friends know about her scheme and tease her relentlessly. Sophy simply sniffs, points out that theirs is just a business relationship, and continues to invent adjectives ending in "y." After the wedding, she yearns for his company and starts playing girlish games to get his attention, like pretending her scruffy friend Ace is really her lover to make Josh jealous. Josh's countermove: showing up with an infant under each arm. Sophy is outraged, assuming he's married, but softens when she finds out he's babysitting his sister's twins just to be nice. The thin plot thickens a bit when Belinda jilts her new husband just before the honeymoon. Sophy, meanwhile, decides there are no sure things in life and she might as well gather her rosebuds. Fortunately,Josh is waiting for her with open arms. Another Bridget Jones clone, with similar obsessions about weight, drink, fags, and all the sex nobody's getting. Mostly familiar debut, with a few funny lines.