Two attractive protagonists are stuck in a B-grade first novel that substitutes sensationalism for credibility as it details their desperate efforts to live and love right in Los Angeles circa 1985. Amanda McHenry wants to write for television, and has a toehold in the industry answering phones. She also wants to take care of her nephew Madison, who is grossly neglected by his drug- and sex-addicted mother, Patrice, and Amanda’s weird drug-dealing brother, Valentin. Valentin used to be nice, but once he took drugs he changed, and now he’s dangerously creepy. He has a good, clean-living friend, Gabe. who falls for Amanda, but Amanda must first deal with old boyfriend James, a Harvard Law grad—and a killer—who also wants to marry her.
Compelling it’s not.