Slapdash farce from the author of Spin Cycle (2001, etc.).
Rebecca Fine, newly appointed and very nervous beauty columnist for the Daily Vanguard, is stuck in traffic and about to miss her first meeting at the paper. What better time to apply her mascara—and just as she does, the lout in the expensive car behind her suddenly honks, leaving Rebecca besmirched with a black streak from eyebrow to hairline. When she finally gets to work, she finds that her desk has been cleared for a newcomer and she’s been banished to an undesirable corner. Surprise: the newcomer is the lout in the expensive car, who’s actually quite attractive and becomingly modest. It’s not even his own car. Max Stoddart, the new science and environmental correspondent, is bright, too. Rebecca is impressed but wary. After all, she has other things to worry about. Her Jewish grandmother, agitating for great-grandchildren, has been advertising on Rebecca’s behalf on dateadoctor.com. And Rebecca’s father has selected a former classmate of hers, the infinitely tawdry Bernadette O’Brien, to have a midlife affair—and crisis—with. Good news: svelte as a teenager, when she was dubbed “Lipstick” for the lurid red goo on her pouty mouth, Bernadette now has thunder thighs and looks older than Rebecca. Bad news: circumstances will force the two into a shared flat until Rebecca’s father gets his act together. Even a night of erotic bliss with Max Stoddart wouldn’t make up for this. And is that grandma-enlisted geek, Warren, leaving messages? Max is curious, Rebecca furious. Other medical professionals are soon sending e-mails: an ambulance driver, a cranial osteopath, two male midwives, a prosthetic limb technician . . . . And things go from bad to worse when an undercover assignment from the paper’s gung-ho editor lands Rebecca and Max in the Middle East, pursued by a host of nefarious ne’er-do-wells.
Quick in pace and often very funny.