For fans of Lauren Layne and Kristan Higgins comes a delightfully “fun bit of fluffy entertainment” (Publishers Weekly) in the first book of a charming new series, in which a young woman is forced to help her old friend revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections...and discovers that she might not be as immune to his charms as she once thought.
When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and current mayor of Hope Lake, Pennsylvania—suggests she help with Cooper Endicott’s campaign, she’s horrified. Cooper, one of her (former) oldest friends, drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, so Emma reluctantly launches her plan to help him win the local election.
It’s not as easy as it looks. Cooper’s colorful love life is the sticking point for many voters, and his opponent is digging up everything he can from his past. It seems that every time Emma puts out the flames from one scandal, another one flares up. Emma knows that if Cooper wants to win, he needs to keep his nose clean. The only problem? She might just be falling in love with the one person she promised never to pursue: the mayoral candidate himself.
Bocci's diverting debut presents a romantic paradox as Emmanuelle "Emma" Peroni's first-person narrative exposes one version of reality to readers and another to herself. The Hope Lake, Pa., civil servant spends an inordinate amount of time blasting her longtime friend and coworker Cooper Endicott for his lack of focus and follow-through, to say nothing of his flagrant flirtations with anybody in a skirt. Emma grew up as just one of the guys with Cooper and two other male friends, and she's oblivious to her reasons for being so interested in scrutinizing Cooper's love life, even while she laments that her own romantic prospects are nil. When he runs for mayor, Emma's behind-the-scenes management of his campaign broadcasts her profound denial to everyone but her. It takes the intervention of an archnemesis to force Emma to examine the feelings she and Cooper have for one another. Emma's everywoman appeal lends charm to the story, and her self-deprecating humor is a plus. This is a fun bit of fluffy entertainment.