THE SWEETEST TABOO by Carole Matthews


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Hopeless girl gets swept off feet by wealthy movie producer, only to be tempted by cute but poor actor.

There are authors who can work comfortably inside the genre, giving fresh spin to the old, tired, chick-lit conventions. If only British writer Matthews (Bare Necessity, 2003, etc.) were one of them. Her London girl of the moment, Sadie Nelson, is at loose ends. Once a trader in the City, Sadie is now reduced to a lifestyle a few steps below going on the dole. Temping at a book convention, she meets Gil McCann, a Hollywood producer who just bought the rights to a hot new novel. He’s charming, devastatingly handsome, obviously loaded, and a genuinely nice guy. Having pretty much run out her string in London, Sadie doesn’t take long to accept his invitation to come see him in California, an invite that should be the gateway to a Pretty Woman life of riches and great sex. But roadblock after roadblock gets tossed in the mad new couple’s way, from Gil’s alcohol-sodden trainwreck of a soon-to-be-ex-wife to Tavis, the simply adorable actor who’s sadly pretty poor and quite possibly gay, but seems quite smitten with Sadie nonetheless. Gil and Sadie are realistically uncomfortable with each other, only having just met, of course, but just about every other element here is as artificial as Gil’s wife’s breasts. When Sadie’s not whining internally about her situation—even though within a matter of days, she’s got herself a decent job and apartment, not to mention Gil’s penchant for buying her expensive presents when yet another of their dates goes to pot—we’ve got Gil to deal with, who’s not only far too much of a human being to be a producer but talks like a girl. Matthews has a tin ear for all dialogue, but her inability to write a male character (or any character other than a young, white British woman) is especially pronounced.

Light as a breeze and about as memorable.

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-059562-0
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2004


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