Interview with Brooke Moss, Author of The “What If” Guy

Please welcome Brooke Moss to the virtual offices!  Brooke is here to chat about her book The “What If” Guy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Brooke Moss] Sassy, silly, self-deprecating, chubby….but writes on hell of a good book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The “What If” Guy?

[Brooke Moss] Single mother Autumn Cole is returning to the minuscule town of her youth to care for her ailing father. As it turns out, her son’s history teacher is none other than the college sweetheart she left behind, but never stopped loving.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Brooke Moss] Autumn is loosely based on me–except that she’s thin and has red hair. :) Henry was simply an excuse to base a character on a Gerard Butler/Eric Bana hybrid. And Elliott is based on my oldest son.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Autumn?

[Brooke Moss] Strong, stressed, and devoted.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Henry had a theme song, what would it be?

[Brooke Moss] Good question…..hmmmmm. Adele’s version of "Make You Feel My Love".

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Autumn is never without.

[Brooke Moss] Her mustard colored Fairfield pharmacy smock.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Henry’s bathroom?

[Brooke Moss] Bubble bath, prescription for an unwanted itch, and tampons.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Autumn’s greatest regret?

[Brooke Moss] Leaving Henry behind in the rain back in college.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Brooke Moss] Real life and real love. It’s all around! You just have to listen to people’s love stories….

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Brooke Moss] Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi, music, and cheese to munch on.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Brooke Moss] World of Shell and Bone, by Audriana Ryan.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Brooke Moss] Silas Marner.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Brooke Moss] Read, watch cheesy reality TV, play with my kids, go vacationing with my family, and watch movies.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Brooke Moss] www.brookemoss.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase Links:


B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-what-if-guy-brooke-moss/1104559244
Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-What-If-Guy/book-lv0uI6M9aUGOh1l2gDo0Eg/page1.html
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11818466-the-what-if-guy

About the book:

The "What If" Guy

What would you do if you’re "what if" guy showed up at the lowest point of your life? (Autumn Cole clocked hers with an encyclopedia.)

After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery and finding out her father has been hospitalized, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington to put the pieces of her life back together.

Her disgruntled twelve-year old son isn’t thrilled about going from hip to hick, but Autumn’s got it worse. She resumes her role as the daughter of the town drunk, promptly facing a crisis with her father that’s been decades in the making.

Running into Henry Tobler, and nearly breaking his nose, is almost more than she can handle, but can rediscovering love–and herself–with her “what if” guy teach Autumn to forgive before it’s too late?


About the author

Brooke writes complex, character-driven stories about kismet, reunited lovers, first love, and the kind of romance that we should all have the chance at finding. She prefers her stories laced with some humor just for fun, and enough drama to keep her readers flipping the pages, and begging for more!

When Brooke isn’t spinning tales, she spends her time drawing/cartooning, reading two books a week (ask her who her faves are), watching movies then comparing them to books, and, of course, wrangling four kids, one hubby she lovingly refers to as her "nerd", and attempting to conquer the Mount Everest of laundry that is the bane of her existence.

Website: www.brookemoss.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brookemossauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrookeMoss4

Interview with Lisa Becker, Author of Click

Lisa Becker is the author of Click: An Online Love Story.  She dropped by the virtual offices to introduce herself and discuss her book. 

Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Lisa Becker] About me: Mom, wife, writer, college professor, PR professional, Girl Scout troop leader, chauffeur, referee, cook, house cleaner…and exhausted!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Click?

[Lisa Becker] Click: An Online Love Story follows the dating (mis)adventures of Renee Greene, who is fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, without even a prospect or a house full of cats. She reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal retentive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the overly-sexed Shelley), as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B-list” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC’s, FWD’s and inadvertent Reply to All’s, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Lisa Becker] My husband and I met online on a popular dating website. After we married, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had with both traditional and online dating.  I decided to capture some of them in writing and from there, a novel emerged.  Click is loosely based on my real-life dating experiences, as well as stories friends have shared with me.  In some cases, things are written as they actually occurred. Other scenarios are exaggerated for entertainment value or comedic affect. And some scenarios are completely fictionalized. I really did go out on a date with someone I met online who started every story (no joke!) with “My buddies and I were out drinking last night.” But, the happy ending is real.  Steve and I have been happily married for nine years and have two amazing daughters.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Renee?

[Lisa Becker] Romantic, loyal and modest

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Renee had a theme song, what would it be?

[Lisa Becker] Renee’s theme song would be “Live is All-Around” by Paul Williams. Most people know it as the theme song to the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Renee is a spirited, independent, capable young woman who is “Gonna make it after all” in both her professional and personal life.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Lisa Becker] · Ms. Griffith, my high school English teacher, who encouraged me to write and share my work – for better or worse.

· Charles Rosen, one of the producers of the original Beverly Hills 90210 and the subject of an interview I conducted for an alumni magazine article. He gave me some of the BEST advice I’ve ever received: "Don’t fall in love with your words, because somebody above will probably change them."

· Matthew Beaumont, author of e, who inspired me with his narrative style, which I thought would work really well for the story I wanted to tell about the online dating world.

· Herb & Sheila Willet, my amazing parents, who offered endless love and support in all of the choices I’ve made in my life. I only hope I can show my children the same level of respect as they mature and decide their courses in life.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Lisa Becker] 1. Chocolate! No joke, I eat chocolate. If I’m stuck on a certain section or not feeling motivated to write, I give myself little chocolate incentives to get past the blockage. Judging by my thighs, I had some serious problems writing this book. ;)

2. The television on in the background. When I first started writing, I was obsessed with Law & Order reruns. Now, I can’t seem to get enough of NCIS. I guess there’s a part of me that likes to see justice served.

3. Inspiration. I need to have a story that I not only want to tell, but feel as though I can tell in a compelling and entertaining way.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Lisa Becker] Several months ago, I read Michael Pollan’s nonfiction book, In Defense of Food, which examines the western diet and its effect on our health. His advice is simple: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” That, coupled with a viewing of a documentary called Forks Over Knives, which examines how many degenerative diseases can be controlled or reversed with a whole food, plant based diet, changed my life. I’m now six months into being a vegetarian and have never felt better.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Lisa Becker] I remember always reading and having books around in my house. And, one of my favorite books as a child was Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie (Andrews) Edwards. I bought a copy several years ago for my nephew and he recently gave it back to me so I could give it to my daughters when they get older. It’s a wonderful, fanciful story and I still smile when I imagine the Whangdoodle who has a daisy on his sweet tooth.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Lisa Becker] When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. As mentioned, I’ve recently become a vegetarian, so I’m always on the hunt for new and interesting recipes. And I’ve recently taken up painting. Needless to say, there’s never a dull moment around here.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Lisa Becker] I have a Facebook page here set up for Click: An Online Love Story. And I’ve been asked numerous times when the sequel is coming out. I’m thrilled people are feeling invested in the characters and want to know more. With each positive review and reader comment, I get more and more motivated to continue writing. I’m wrapping up the sequel, Double Click that picks up six months later. I hope people will be excited to see where Renee and her friends are in their lives.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Click from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below.  Available in both print and digital.

America’s Royal Couple Contest – Win Marrying Up by Wendy Holden!

Thanks to Sourcebooks, I have a copy of Wendy Holden’s Marrying Up  to give to one lucky reader!  Check out the information below about Marrying Up and fill out the widget  to enter for a chance to win!

Description:

As women around the world watched Will and Kate walk down the aisle, many of them were plotting how they could find their own prince charming.

Razor-sharp in its wit and as fresh as newlywed royals, Marrying Up (ISBN 9781402270673, Sourcebooks Landmark, Fiction, Trade Paperback, $14.99 U.S., Aug 2012) by Wendy Holden reveals how sometimes a rags-to-riches story can rip a girl to shreds—and how sometimes the crown on your head can nearly crush you.

Only a title, a mansion, and a family tiara will do for a scheming social climber like Alexa, and she will go to great lengths to get it.  Starting by befriending clueless aristocrat Florrie, who fills her life with parties, texting, and, above all, champagne, means that the grandest doors swing open and the prince of her dreams is within reach. But has Florrie’s mother, the formidable Lady Annabel, figured out Alexa’s intentions already?

Meanwhile, beautiful but penniless archaeology student Polly has found herself in love after a chance meeting with a dark-eyed stranger named Max. However, Max is hiding a big secret, a secret that could ultimately ruin any chance of him and Polly living happily ever after. 

About the Author

Wendy Holden (UK) was a journalist for the Sunday Times, Tatler, and The Mail on Sunday before becoming a full-time author. She has now published nine novels, all top 10 bestsellers in the UK. Her novels include Beautiful People, Farm Fatale, and Filthy Rich and feature sassy humor with a great cast of characters. For more information, please visit: www.officialwendyholden.com.

 

Giveaway Time!!

Entering is easy! Just fill out the widget below, and make sure to answer this question: Who is  America’s Royal Couple?  Is it old time favorite Brangelina? Or perhaps the new comers Kim Kardashian & Kanye West, aka Kimye?  Go ahead and chime in with your choice!  US and Canadian shipping addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview with Jackie Bouchard, Author of What The Dog Ate

Jackie Bouchard is the author of What the Dog Ate, a story about a woman, her dog, and her quest for happiness.  Jackie dropped by the virtual offices to discuss her book. Check out what she has to say.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Jackie Bouchard] I love dogs, books, movies, laughter, silliness, fellow nerdy people, chocolate and margaritas. I don’t like mean folks or Brussels sprouts.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about What The Dog Ate?

[Jackie Bouchard] It’s about a woman (Maggie Baxter) whose world gets upended when she finds out her dog ate a pair of panties that aren’t hers. Maggie’s an overly analytical meticulous planner, and when her husband leaves her all her life plans dissolve. She’s got no Plan B, so she sets out on a quest for what I call “tail-wagging joy” using her chocolate Lab, Kona, as her guide. When she starts over-analyzing things, she asks herself: What would Kona do?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Jackie Bouchard] The concept came from an episode of “Emergency Vet” that my sister had seen. They dedicated a whole episode to things the vets had pulled out of dogs’ stomachs. That got me thinking, “What if they pulled something that was evidence of some kind of wrong-doing out of dog?” I started to wonder what that might be and how that might happen. That’s when I got the idea for the panties! As for Maggie, she’s a blend of my husband and me—she’s got his basic job/work ethic and my habit of being a total rule-follower.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?

[Jackie Bouchard] The most challenging aspect for me with this particular book was making it as funny as possible. There were parts where my agent would send notes like, “Make it funnier here.” And I’d think, “Um, okay… yeah, like that’s easy!” But I’d let stuff sort of ferment (I guess that’s the best word for it) and sometimes in the middle of the night I’d wake up with an idea of how to make something funnier. I kept pen and paper by the bed and would write using my chest as a table as I lay there in the dark. I would sometimes wake up with pen marks on my t-shirt and notes that I could barely read.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Maggie?

[Jackie Bouchard] Rule-obsessed, conscientious, and tender-hearted.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Kona would never eat?

[Jackie Bouchard] That’s a short list: the sofa (only because he knows he would get in trouble), anything metal (I actually know dogs that have eaten metallic things, silly pooches, but Kona doesn’t have a taste for that) and… gosh, that’s it. Turns out there are only two things he wouldn’t eat.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Maggie’s single most prized possession?

[Jackie Bouchard] Kona’s collar. Maggie panics a little when she allows herself to think about the fact that someday Kona won’t be there. But she’ll always have his collar, and someday when that horrible day comes when they have to be separated for a while, she’ll keep his collar next to her bed as a reminder of all the things he taught her.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Jackie Bouchard] I get ideas from lots of different places, from books/shows/movies, to nature, to the news. I like to overhear tiny snippets of strangers’ conversations and try to imagine the back story of what they’re talking about or think about what will happen next. (I guess that’s called eavesdropping…) I like to pay attention to what makes people laugh.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Jackie Bouchard] I try to jot down ideas wherever and whenever, but if I’m going to seriously sit down and write for a period of time, I need: my laptop (I’m not much of a notebook writer – I have the most awful handwriting!), almost total quiet, and an ergonomic chair. (That last one makes me sound like an old lady, but I gave myself a bummer of an overuse injury in my neck/back writing cross-legged on my sofa, literally using my laptop on my lap. So, now I try to always be at my desk!)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Jackie Bouchard] That is actually a hard question because ever since I started writing about 6 years ago, I read so much more critically now. It’s difficult to read without my writer’s hat on, so I get caught up in wondering about choices the author made or things I wish I’d written or things that bother me. But if I had to pick one, I’d say “The Help,” even though it’s been a little while since I read it. The tension she built up in the story was amazing and the characters were really well developed. I was transported enough that I think my writer’s hat actually fell off. I did wonder about that pie though… Couldn’t Hilly taste that secret ingredient? Maybe there was only a little bit… (Am I the only one that thinks of these things? Oh, and Kona would have totally eaten that pie. But that would have been bad since dogs aren’t supposed to eat chocolate!)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Jackie Bouchard] I’ve loved to read my whole life, from kindergarten on, so there were many books I loved as a kid, but the one that I distinctly remember reading as a teenager–and then emerging from this fog because I couldn’t put it down the whole day–was Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca.” Oh, that Mrs. Danvers! Evil, she was! Gave myself a terrible headache that day because I wouldn’t even get up to get something to drink.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Jackie Bouchard] I love to read, watch movies, hang out with my hubby, take my dog for walks at the beach, go hiking, or do other creative things like drawing on my iPad or "felting" animals (mostly dogs!) out of wool. Felting is something my sister and I recently got into. You basically take this special wool, shape it, and then stab it repeatedly with a special needle. That’s pretty much it. It’s a strange thing, but the animals come out so cute! (As long as you don’t stab your fingers and bleed on them.) Oh, I’m also very addicted to professional cycling and I get a little nutty (nuttier?) in July each year during the three weeks of the Tour de France.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Jackie Bouchard] Oh, gosh – I’m all over the place. Here’s a list:

My web site: www.jackiebouchard.com

My blog: http://poochsmooches.blogspot.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JackieBouchardWriter

Twitter: @jackiebouchard

If folks are on Goodreads and/or Shelfari, I’m on both of those as well. Just search “Jackie Bouchard.”

Hope to see you on one/all of the above! Come on over and say hi.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order What the Dog Ate from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below

 

Interview with Robin Gold, Author of Once Upon A List

Robin Gold is the author of Once Upon A List, her latest release from Avon Impulse.  Robin dropped by the virtual offices recently to chat about her book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Robin Gold] I’m an author, theatre geek, bicycle fanatic, funny girl, family girl, drama queen, cheeseburger lover, neat freak, hopeless romantic, former New Yorker, who still believes in “happily ever after” and doesn’t know what the heck 140 characters looks like.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Once Upon A List?

[Robin Gold] Never in her wildest dreams did Clara Black imagine she’d fly to Vegas just to eat at America’s biggest buffet, or that she’d be digging holes in her mother’s backyard to unearth her brother’s screechy plastic recorder. But if that’s what it takes to get past the car accident that changed her life . . . she’ll do what she must.

Eight months after losing her fiancé just before their wedding, Clara still can’t seem to escape her fog of sorrow. On a visit to her childhood home, she encounters her fifth-grade time capsule and a very special bucket list written by her ten-year-old self. When she impulsively fulfills one item, Clara finds that revisiting the woman she thought she’d become may just be her way out of grief and back to life. With Milk Dud the one-eared wonder dog, her zany but loving family, and an unexpected someone from her past by her side, Clara discovers that sometimes life’s unplanned moments are the sweetest, and sometimes the only bridge to your future is your past.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Robin Gold] I’ve always been fascinated by time capsules. Every time I hear about one, my mind inevitably wanders to how cool it would be to uncover a time capsule of my own. I kept having this recurring idea of what would happen if this relic from the past could somehow completely alter the future? From there, my mind just went to town and voila! A book concept was born! I wanted the main characters to be part of a very close, tight-knit family. And I knew from the beginning that I wanted to see my heroine, Clara, start at a low point and rise to a thrilling high point as a direct result of the capsule.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?

[Robin Gold] Dealing with a tough subject such as death in a manner that is more lighthearted while still conveying a sincere depth of loss and emotion was a huge challenge. I learned that “heavy yet humorous” is not always a simple combo platter to cook up.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Clara?

[Robin Gold] She’s a fighter.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Milk Dud would never ever eat?

[Robin Gold] Considering he eagerly licks vomit off a boot, I think it’s safe to say that Milk Dud will eat anything (and everything!).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Clara’s single most prized possession?

[Robin Gold] A framed photograph of her and her dad resting in a hammock that was taken when she was just a tiny baby.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] I really love dogs, so I have to ask – what is Milk Dud’s single most prized possession?

[Robin Gold] Milk Dud had a rough life before he was adopted by Clara. He doesn’t really care about possessions. But he loves Clara more than anything in this world!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Robin Gold] I tend to draw upon experiences that I have in real life – the people I encounter, the events that occur, all of the things I see and do on a daily basis. For me it doesn’t take much. I can be influenced and inspired on a creative level while perusing the cereal aisle at the grocery store or strolling my baby around the block.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Robin Gold] A quiet space, a writing utensil, and patience (not necessarily in that order).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Robin Gold] I just read The Hunger Games, which was amazing (I know, I know… I’m a little behind the times!).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Robin Gold] Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Oh, did I adore that book when I was a kid!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Robin Gold] I love to play with Archie (my 13-month-old baby), hang out with my sister, go on long bike rides, and watch bad reality TV with my husband.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Robin Gold] www.robingold.com or www.facebook.AuthorRobinGold.  It’s always a treat to hear from readers!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!


You can order Once Upon A List from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below

Review: Busted in Bollywood by Nicola Marsh

 

Title: Busted in Bollywood

Author: Nicola Marsh

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

ISBN: B006GR35RQ

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Shari Jones needs to get a life. Preferably someone else’s.

Single, homeless and jobless, Indo-American Shari agrees to her best friend’s whacky scheme: travel to Mumbai, pose as Amrita, and ditch the fiancé her traditional Indian parents have chosen. Simple. Until she’s mistaken for a famous Bollywood actress, stalked by a Lone Ranger wannabe, courted by an English lord, and busted by the blackmailing fiancé.
Life is less complicated in New York.

Or so she thinks, until the entourage of crazies follows her to the Big Apple and that’s when the fun really begins. Shari deals with a blossoming romance, an addiction to Indian food and her first movie role, while secretly craving another trip to the mystical land responsible for sparking her new lease on life. Returning to her Indian birthplace, she has an epiphany. Maybe the happily-ever-after of her dreams isn’t so far away?

Review:

When I was given the opportunity to review Busted in Bollywood, I jumped at the chance.  First, I am interested in Entangled Publishing, and I wasn’t very familiar with their titles, so I thought this would be a good way to see what they have to offer (I’ve read several of their titles now, and overall, I have enjoyed all of them).  Second, I love Indian food and Bollywood videos, so when I learned that the heroine goes to Mumbai, I was eager to dive into the story.  It was an additional bonus when I also discovered that I have snapped up several of Nicola Marsh’s Harlequin titles at the Borders close-out sale, so I was interested to start reading her books.  I am glad that I don’t have to backtrack too far now, because I was able to add much of her backlist to my TBR already!

Shari has allowed herself to be talked into a hare-brained scheme to help her BFF Rita get out of the marriage her traditional Indian parents have arranged for her.  Being a traditional Indian when it comes to her parents’ demands, Rita doesn’t want to shame them by breaking off the engagement herself.  Instead, she sweet-talks Shari into going to India in her place, meeting her undoubtedly boring intended, and painlessly turning him down.  Since Shari’s life is on the skids and she is wandering aimlessly from day to day after the breakup with her boyfriend, a change of scenery sounds wonderfully adventurous to her.   After some initial reservations, she allows herself to be packed up and put on an airplane without much resistance.

When we are first introduced to Shari, her life really is a mess.  She is homeless and jobless, thanks to her lying snake of a boss, and she’s having a hard time getting over him.  Even though he was cheating on his wife and their relationship was pretty much at his convenience.  Shari was so sure he was going to leave his wife, so it came as a blow to her to learn that the wife was pregnant.  So much for the promised divorce so that they could stop sneaking around behind everyone’s back. To learn that he was just playing her all along is a bitter pill for Shari.  Losing the apartment he owned and her job at his law firm were just the icing on the cake.  In the blink of an eye, her entire world came tumbling down around her.

While I didn’t feel a whole lot of sympathy for Shari’s situation, I did warm up to her right away.  She realizes that she’s made a major misjudgment in character, and after months of moping around, she is eager to put the unpleasant incident behind her.  How better to refresh yourself than an all-expenses paid trip to India?  What a perfect way to explore her mother’s birthplace.  Who cares that the food is full of fatty goodness? Or that she has to pretend to be her best friend and crush a guy’s hopes?  Ah, that’s a small price to pay to eat all of that wonderful food!

I loved the first part of this story when Shari was be-bopping around India with Rita’s Auntie Anjali.  This was a fun, glutton filled romp about the tourist sites and food stalls as Shari tries to prep herself for the big brush off.  I couldn’t help but laugh when Rita’s intended, Rakesh, abruptly turns the tables on her – if she doesn’t play along with his plans, he is going to blow her cover.  When Rakesh’s best buddy Drew enters the picture, sparks fly instantly.  Too bad he thinks she’s a gold-digger and that she’s only after Rakesh’s sizeable bank account.  Despite being a complete jerk, he is totally hot.  After sharing some not so playful banter, Shari just can’t get him out of her head.  No wonder she keeps having guy troubles!  She gravitates toward pompous buttheads.

This is a fun read, though I felt that the ending started to get a bit bogged down as Shari kept finding reasons to not confess her feelings to Drew.  She wasn’t good enough for him, she wasn’t independent enough for him, having a long-distance relationship would just be too hard, he wasn’t totally open and honest about his background, and now she can’t trust him.  Her excuses were too feeble for me, considering how much she did care for him, and her reservations just added an artificial distance between them.  I wanted her to stop taking the easy way out, to stop running from her problems, and to stand up for herself and for what she wanted.  It was gratifying when she finally did.

Busted in Bollywood is a light read with engaging characters and exotic  locales.  There’s nothing groundbreaking, but it is a enjoyable journey of self-discovery, the value of fat grams, and love.

Grade: B

Review copy provided by publisher