Young Manhattanite panics when she realizes she has already slept with 20—the first novel from the plucky online panhandler of Save Karyn (2003) fame.
Waking up in the bed of her smarmy (former) boss the day after losing her job, Delilah Darling realizes that he is her 20th man, taking the spot she was saving for her future husband. This moment of clarity is supplemented by the news that her younger sister Daisy is about to get married to only her fifth! Not even 30 years old, Delilah is so appalled by her poor romantic history that she hatches a hair-brained scheme to somehow reconnect with one of her exes, rather than go above her self-imposed 20-man limit. So, armed with her severance check, a list and a rental car, she takes to the road in search of her former loves. She is aided in her quest by her hunky neighbor Colin, an Irish aspiring actor—and amateur PI—she pays to help her track down the guys. A charmingly inept stalker, Delilah’s quirky adventure nets one priest, an Amway salesman who tries to recruit her and an oddball manchild obsessed with Muppets. There is, naturally, a gay man, a Spanish chef and a guy in jail. But perhaps her lowest moment comes when she admits herself to rehab to get closer to an ex-lover, who’s recovering from a bad peyote trip. Along the way, with regular phone chats with Colin (hint, hint), she realizes that perhaps the number itself is less important than whether or not one is really, truly, ready for love. What happens to Delilah next, while unsurprising, does offer a positive message on taking risks and owning up to one’s mistakes. Frequently funny, Bosnak’s debut suffers from too many comic scenes that act as set-ups for punch lines.