Thirty-year-old Celebrity journalist Ann Roth has one last chance to prove herself. She is different from the other reporters at Famous, the L.A. magazine, where she has her dream job interviewing stars like Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie. She values her ethics—she doesn't pick through people's garbage, doesn't print rumor and gossip, doesn't try to pervert the truth. But when her editor tells her she's too nice, that what he needs is a killer journalist who'll do whatever it takes to get a story, she realizes that she must do something drastic. Of course, her plan backfires. Not only does she fail to score an interview with the notoriously media-averse actor Malcolm Goddard (he'll only do the interview while piloting his Cessna and she has a terrible fear of flying), she gets fired. Her disappointment turns to rage when she learns that Malcolm knew about her phobia all along. He insisted on doing the interview on his plane just to get her off his back.
Hurt, disappointed, not to mention unemployed, she trudges to her tiny hometown in Missouri to try to regroup, vowing to cure herself of her fears and reclaim her career. And suddenly her life takes a surprising twist: Ann hears that the great Malcolm himself is in Middletown as a patient at the local hospital—under an alias. Opportunity knocks. Ann sees a chance for payback and her ticket out of Missouri. She volunteers at the hospital with the sole intention of pretending to befriend Malcolm in order to worm the story of a lifetime out of him without his knowledge. If she writes it, she'll have her job back and prove she's the killer journalist her editor had wanted her to be. But after facing her fear of falling in love, how much is she willing to risk for her career?
Ann Roth, 30, is living it up as an entertainment reporter for an L.A. celeb-gossip rag, hobnobbing with stars as she chases down the latest "big get" in Heller's latest entertaining romp (after An Ex to Grind). But trouble looms when the next big get turns out to be the famously grouchy, media-hating actor Malcolm Goddard, whose unwillingness to talk costs Ann her job. She moves back to her small Missouri hometown and gets a surprise second shot at her career when a (perhaps too) incredible coincidence sees Malcolm delivered incognito to the local hospital. A former classmate of Ann's who is now a hospital bigwig (and who has the hots for Ann) tries to impress her by sharing the secret of Goddard's presence. She scores face time with the actor by signing up for the hospital's volunteer program, which leads to unforeseen complications of the heart. Though Heller has a tendency to sum up the morals of her story in pat sentences ("The patients at Heartland General were beginning to teach me just how lucky I was"), she makes up for it with quirky, hooks-in-you prose. The ending is an inevitably happy one, but the road to it is full of twists and turns. (On sale Sept. 5)
Not her best
I love all of Jane Heller's books.... except this one.