In Heacock’s (The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky, 2017) second novel, a down-on-her-luck 30-year-old finds incriminating information about a movie star and finds herself pulled into his orbit.
Clara Montgomery followed all the rules: She went to college, got a job in publishing, and spent her 20s building her career. But shortly after turning 30, she is laid off from her dream job and finds herself living on her brother’s couch while working a temporary job cleaning out storage units. In one of them, she finds the records of an old escort agency and the headshot and resume of one escort named Caspian Tiddleswich, who went on to become a major celebrity. Her friend wants to sell the details to a tabloid, but Clara isn’t sure what to do—until she drunkenly leaves Caspian a voicemail about the find and the two are pulled together by media attention and chemistry. But there is little in this book to pull in a reader. The premise itself is too shaky to build anything on; Clara gets Caspian’s number via text from someone who once worked with him on an audio book, and after one drunken voicemail, Caspian (a stand-in for Benedict Cumberbatch) shows up at her front door to apparently hand over whatever he must in order to keep his past under wraps. The characters themselves are outlandish and grating rather than charming and interesting, and it’s hard to root for Clara and Caspian’s blossoming romance. While tabloid culture is rich with romantic potential, this book falls flat.
This would-be tale of love and celebrity demands too much suspension of disbelief.