Friday, November 09, 2007

Sexiest Man Alive - Diana Holquist

Sexiest Man Alive
Diana Holquist
Grand Central

Contemporary Romance

Jasmine Burns is a talented young costume designer. Living in New York, she makes ends meet by taking on private clients. Her clients are women, never men, because Jasmine suffers from intense anxiety in the presence of men. And if the man in question is attractive, she can count on stammering, tripping, and generally making a fool of herself. The first pages find her in a virtual panic over the prospect of interviewing with an extremely attractive and influential theater director. In the end, panic wins and she flees the interview. The director, mistaking panic for artistic arrogance, hires her anyway, and she winds up working with movie superstar Josh Toby.

In a maybe-coincidence, Jasmine’s sister, Amy, who claims to be psychic to the extent that she can tell you the name of your One True Love, has just told Jasmine that her One’s name is, yes, Josh Toby. Josh, who knows nothing of this purported destiny, simply likes his new costume designer. She’s not part of the Hollywood machine; she’s not jaded; she’s a real person. At this point in his career, Josh desperately wants to be known for his acting talent rather than his pretty face. It’s just possible that Jasmine takes him seriously as a man, not a star. If only she wasn’t so nervous around him.

Lest you think this novel is a serious examination of a heroine with social anxiety, put your mind at ease. Jasmine is a likeable character, but, too often, her reactions to various situations are completely over the top, and the eventual explanation for her anxiety doesn’t quite some up to scratch. Josh is far more believable as an actor who wants some kind of reality in his life. The romance between the two is very sweet, but this one steps a bit too far over the ‘zany line’ for my taste. To really enjoy this novel, you need to actively suspend your disbelief. If you can do that, this is a fun and frothy book.

Rating: 6 ½
October 2007
ISBN# 978-0-446-41798-7 (paperback)


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