Saturday, April 1, 2017

Let's Misbehave, by Lisa Plumley

Lisa Plumley, December 2014 (original publication July 2007)

I'll start by making two things clear: 1. There's a dog in the book, but it's an elderly German shepherd, not the cute little thing on the cover. 2. Despite his advanced age, the dog does not die. He survives the book.

 Marisol Winston is heiress to the Home Warehouse DIY chain store fortune, and her main skills are fashion and shopping. She may be getting a bit bored with having no real purpose to her life, because she's conceived an ambition to start a deluxe fashion boutique in L.A. Unfortunately, her family and friends stage an intervention, and her father won't fund her start-up until she completes a stint in shopaholic rehab.

Cash Connelly is, at 34, past his prime as a quarterback, and initially retired rather than be backup quarterback to the new guy, who is also the guy his wife left him for. He has no other skills, though, and doesn't enjoy doing personal appearances promoting whatever his agent has managed to find for him. He's got one last shot at getting re-signed by his old team, the Arizona Scorpions, and he's taking it. For that, he needs a nanny, because his ex has left the kids with him to go traveling, during the very weeks he needs to be getting ready for summer training camp.

Marisol's shopaholic program includes a work assignment stint, and the only useful skills she claims are childcare, cleaning, and entertaining. She's now a nanny for the summer.

I didn't have high hopes for this, but much to my surprise, Marisol is a smart, well-developed character, and if I suspect people running real addiction-type programs may cringe at the Dzeel program, she's shown as really working at her shopping issues, and having real challenges to overcome. Cash is not quite as satisfying, but he's shown as a hardworking guy and a loving is sometimes clumsy father, who really is trying to do things right.

Of course, this includes a strict hands-off-the-nanny policy, which does pose a problem for Marisol, especially as she realizes he's more than just a cute guy.

The kids are adorable without being either too bratty or too perfect to be believed.

Recommended, with some surprise.

I bought this book at some point, and only just found it again and read it.