Cook, author of the bestselling Must Love Dogs (2002), delivers a minor comedy featuring a trod-upon woman who finds herself a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
Deirdre has a bit of a jet-setter’s life: As personal assistant to Tag (one name only, please), a wildly popular self-help guru, she flies around the country, stays in chic hotels and lives in an adorable cottage on Tag’s well-appointed estate. The only problem is that Tag is her older brother, and her job feels like an extension of her childhood, with Tag always bossing her around. Tag was the star then too, and life for Deirdre got stuck a couple of decades ago. At an event in Texas, she’s finally had enough: Tag is his usual self-centered self as he sabotages a first kiss between Deirdre and Steve, an old college friend of Tag’s. Deirdre quits, flies back home to Massachusetts, and runs into Mitchell, her on-again, off-again, marriage-shy boyfriend, who breaks the news he’s getting married to his pregnant girlfriend. Like any rational woman, Deirdre goes home and gets drunk. While in such a state, she signs up to become Dancing with the Stars’ first noncelebrity contestant (people vote for the winner online). But Deirdre has a huge advantage—Tag’s hundreds of thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers, who she cleverly enlists by pretending to be Tag. She wins by a landslide and is soon in L.A. practicing with Ilya. Meanwhile, no one is running Tag’s empire, and the family, all employed by Tag (including both his ex-wives), wants Deirdre back. Can Deirdre find an identity away from her family? Can she get past the first round of the competition? There are few surprises here (though there is some insider DWTS trivia), so much is left to Cook’s ability to charm the reader, which she does most of the time.
Amiable fluff for poolside.