Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Kept Woman by Susan Donovan

I want to start by apologizing for the week long silence here at dee & Dee. May is a busy, busy month here (well, I assume every where). School is letting out, the weather is getting warmer (or stormier), and tons of things to get done to prepare for summer. Add to that dee is traveling cross country right now, and Chari-Dee is in the process of doing some home upgrades, and well, we're just flat having trouble finding two minutes to rub together. And since you've waited so long, without further ado...

THE KEPT WOMAN by Susan Donovan



Playing by the rules has left Samantha Monroe with an AWOL ex-husband, maxed-out credit cards, and the task of raising three children on a hairstylist's salary. It's time for a new game plan. When Sam learns that politician Jack Tolliver needs someone to play the part of his fiancee for six months in return for a generous paycheck, she's ready to sign up on the spot.


Jack needs Sam and her kids to help tone down his image from womanizing cad to dependable dad. But he was expecting Sam to be a frumpy single mom, no a wickedly smart, sexy redhead. Keeping nosey newshounds from discovering that his engagement is a charade is going to be a tough job, but one mind-blowing kiss from Sam and suddenly Jack is ready to put in all the overtime necessary...


Now, with scheming opponents itching to bring Jack down, Sam's ex returning to stir up trouble, one stubborn preschooler, two squabbling teenagers, a crazy dog, and some out-of-this-world sex, Jack and Sam are discovering that playing make-believe can be complicated - but not nearly as much as falling in love...

I actually like this BCC. But in the spirit of honesty, I didn't read it until just now when I typed it. I actually went to the bookstore looking for books by Donovan. I had read her book HE LOVES LUCY about a year ago, and just loved it, but kept forgetting to look for more by her. But when The Hubs bought me a book shelf and I was putting the books on there, I saw it and finally remembered there was an author out there I needed to read more of. And boy am I glad I did!

Three years ago, Samantha Monroe's husband decides he's gay and leaves her while she's paying homage to the porcelain goddess of morning sickness. Now Samantha is a busy hairstylist with three kids, one who will not be potty trained, one who stutters, and one who believes the more eyeliner the better. With her ex on the run and over $50k behind in child support, Samantha is maxed out on all of her credit cards, lives in a run-down house that her landlord refuses to fix, and at her wits end.

Then, one fateful night during D&D (Drinks & Depression Night) Sam has one too many margaritas and tells her girlfriends, "I never did understand what is so wrong with being a kept woman...If I could find a way to do it without damaging the kids, I'd gladly live in a penthouse with a chauffeur and a maid...I mean, where's the harm in that?" (Pieced together as I oft do).

Kara DeMarinis just happens to be at the D&D night and when she hears Sam say this, she immediately has a plan. As the longtime friend and campaign manager for Jack Tolliver, she sees the perfect way to guarantee Jack the senate and Sam the chance to change her and her children's fortunes for the best.

When Kara tells Jack her plan, he can hardly stop the laughter. Sure he's a playboy. And yeah, there was that unfortunate mishap with a school teacher, but still - hire some one to pretend to be his intended? OK, so he needs to look more mature. If he wants to win the election, Jack know he has to do something drastic, but this is insane. But Kara has done her research, and the more she talks, the more it sounds like a good idea.

When Sam is offered the chance to be the "kept woman" she mused about, she isn't so sure it's a great idea. But it's only for six months, the kids will have great college funds, she'll be able to buy them a house when it's all over, and possibly go back to working only part-time at the salon and paint the rest of the time. When a solid contract ensuring the best for both Sam and Jack is signed, the act is on.

But Jack isn't quite what Sam had imagined. An ex-football star who tore up his knee, a known playboy, who just happens to be the best looking man Sam has ever known. It doesn't hurt that every time they talk they end up laughing and it definitely doesn't hurt that the electricity they generate whenever they touch is amazing.

Sam isn't exactly what Jack imagined either. She's cute, and funny, and worse a redhead, he loves redheads. And soon it becomes clear that faking being with Sam isn't the hard part, the hard part will be not falling for the ruse himself.

But Christy Schoen, a reporter that was spurned by Jack in a very public way, wants revenge. And she smells something very foul with the whole Jack and Sam engagement. Stopping at nothing to reveal the scheme, Christy hunts down Sam's ex Mitch, and hatches a plan to get the scoop. This is her shot at grand revenge and a Prime Time Slot with major networks. But somethings, Christy couldn't possibly have seen coming. Like a slippery Mitch, and Sam and Jack finding true love.

I haven't enjoyed a book so much in a long time. I read this book in the course of an entire day while Miss Beautiful was sick, and you couldn't have paid me to put it down. Donovan is a name to watch! With lovable characters, witty dialogue, real emotion, and sizzling scenes, you'll want to find everything the author has ever penned.

Donovan calls her books, "brain candy for smart women," and I couldn't agree more. Pick it up and see for yourself. I don't think you'll be disappointed. I could find no wrong with TKW.

Take Care


Debbie said...

I loved this book!! It and He Loves Lucy are my favorite Donovans, but I don't think she can write a story I wouldn't love. Try Public Displays of Affection next. You will not be sorry. :)


jackietoo said...

I love Susan Donovan's books but haven't read this one yet. My current fav is Take a Chance on Me. You will love the dancing disco dog. LOL

Anonymous said...

On another subject, Eileen Dryer is looking for Dee's address so she can get her signed ARC copy of TUMF.

Eileen says "Hey, guys, I still haven’t heard from Dee. She gets a book, and we need her address. Anybody in contact with her? Let me know."