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REVIEW: One Hit Wonder by Elyssa Patrick

Jane Timmons has two weeks to . . .

1. Keep her distance from her sexy boss, the once famous pop singer, Damon Suarez.

2. Stay firm. No kissing allowed!

3. And not let Damon know she loves him.

Damon Suarez has two weeks to . . .

1. Convince Jane to not quit.

2. Stage a comeback and be more than a one hit wonder.

3. Win Jane’s heart–no matter what it takes.

Dear Ms. Patrick,

Jane sent this to me with the note that she thought I would like it. Well, I did but for various reasons, I wasn’t blown away by it.

One-Hit-WonderFirst of all, while I do like books with music star characters, I have a hard time believing in the set up for this hero. Damon’s only got one hit song – though it was a BIG hit – years ago when he was a boy wonder. Since then, he’s lived off the royalties of that one song plus the notoriety he courts by acting eccentrically and his sold out concerts with his money allowing him to live large in LA. Really?? One mega hit about 20 years ago and he’s still going to have adoring fans and sold out concerts? I don’t buy that but for the sake of the plot, okay. He’s also described as lazy and content to accept this status quo yet later there are hints that he’s dissatisfied with his music career and wants more acknowledgment for his musical talent. Perhaps this is the difference between his views and those of the heroine about him but since she’s worked with him closely for two years, I would think she’d have some hint of how he feels about his career.

The heroine I like better. Jane’s a small town girl who – drumroll! – always wanted more from life than her childhood hometown had to offer, left to find it and is happy as a clam at high tide in LA. Yes, Virginia – there is an author who doesn’t worship at the altar of Small Town America. Not only did she escape from Nebraska, but she has goals and plans and knows what she needs to do to get where she wants to be in life and that doesn’t include sponging off her boss. Jane Timmons, I salute you. She’s also avoided the usual heroine pratfalls and embarrassing things that are often required of romance women when around the men they adore. She’s competent, put together – though why she uses bobby pins instead of hair pins to put her hair up is a mystery to me – and doesn’t get easily flustered by her wild employer. When she hands in her notice, she means it and doesn’t get swayed from what she plans on doing in spite of the fact that she loves her boss and has for years. She’s going to make it on her own.

Alright so on to the romance. She loves him but he doesn’t seem to have thought of any emotion beyond what the colors of the little umbrellas she puts in his drinks mean about her mood that day. So yeah, he’s thought of her a little but not nearly like she’s thought of him. Until she hands in her notice and suddenly, he’s determined not to lose her because – mainly – she makes his life run smoothly and – hmmm – suddenly he wants to know more about her which leads to “The Event.” I’m thinking most romance novels have The Event. That plot part which somehow throws he and she together and kick starts the romance into full throttle. This is fun. The description of The Event sounds hilarious. A flashmob in NYC all dancing and singing in the streets in a step the heroine describes as “looking like you’ve really got to go.”

This is all good and enjoyable but the zip from here to the next morning and the “I love yous” goes too quickly for me. I admire Jane’s bravery in letting it all hang out and telling Damon the truth and going for what she wants for a night but for the shift in his thinking from “lesse if I can keep her on as an employee” to “Yowza, I love her!” doesn’t work for me. I do appreciate the lengthy dating time incorporated in the epilogue but the other issues drop this to a C+




Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Isobel Carr
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 12:39:13

    though why she uses bobby pins instead of hair pins to put her hair up is a mystery to me

    All my girlfriends with straight hair do.

  2. Laura Florand
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 13:26:52

    I liked this one a lot better than you. :) I was cracking up with the “Because real men wear pink”, and the butt shake on top of the bar, and just all the ways Damon was so different from your expected hero.

  3. Jane
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 13:41:21

    Is there a difference between hair pins and bobby pins? I use bobby pins (and paper clips and sometimes pens and pencils) in my hair.

    But I liked the book more than you. I agree that there wasn’t a dark moment but I felt that the length would have made the dark moment recovery seem false and I just thought the hero was so different than most I’ve read in the genre. It was refreshing.

  4. Gwen Hayes
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 14:33:25

    I loved The Event thing in this book, too.
    Also, when he figured out how he felt I did the *happy-sigh-reread-the-page* move.

  5. cead
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 15:29:07

    Wow, I learn all sorts of unexpected things from Dear Author. I, too, always thought bobby pins and hair pins were synonymous, and I probably use the two terms interchangeably. As for the objects the terms refer to, I only use one kind of pin in my hair, but I have no idea if it’s the “right” one or not.

  6. Isobel Carr
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 15:31:43

    @Jane: Bobby pins are type of hairpin, they’re the common “pinched shut” ones you see in most drugstores and are what all the dancers and ice skaters I know use to put the bun up. Traditional hairpins are “U” shaped. I think maybe only people with curly hair use them anymore, LOL! I know my little sister (THICK straight hair) can’t get traditional hairpins to hold her hair up or stay in.

  7. Bria Quinlan
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 16:13:53

    Wow. I liked this one way more than you too. Not only because I’m maxed out on dark, obsessive controlling men either! It was a great, charming read with a hero that doesn’t fit the mold but still makes you flutter!

  8. cead
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 16:29:48

    @Isobel Carr: Thank you! That’s interesting, and I can now attest that curly-haired people do use bobby pins; mine is curly but fine, and suffers bobby pins somewhat ingraciously.

  9. Juliana Stone
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 16:43:59

    It’s a great book and I think what I enjoyed the most was how different Damon was!

    @Jane you made me laugh because I forget to throw bobby pins into my bag all the time, my bangs are long and when I’m working I hate anything touching my eyelashes, so I use paper clips, pink ones, baby blue ones, nothing like walking into a meeting and you’ve forgotten to take out the paperclips in your hair…

  10. B. Sullivan
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 18:02:30

    I now know the difference between bobby and hairpins and you know, it’s sad that I didn’t because I’ve used both, I apparently just hadn’t read the labels to notice the difference. Also unlike all the movies that show it as easy, it is NOT easy to use them to pick a lock. At all. (From one who manages to lock herself out often.)

    Also am seconding the praise for authors who don’t have heroines yearning to live in a small town. Once you’ve lived in them they don’t always seem like a fairytale-ending-ish, perfect place to live forever. Between that and the description of the heroine this does sound interesting.

  11. Jayne
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 18:09:43

    Yes, there is definitely a difference between bobby pins and hair pins and hair pins are SO much better. When I used to have my fairly thick and wavy hair down to waist length, 6-8 hair pins would be all it took to keep it securely up. Bobby pins? I’d have to have used 20 or more.

  12. Jayne
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 18:17:21

    @Laura Florand: I loved the bar scene too but just needed more time to believe his “I love you.”

  13. Jayne
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 18:18:43

    @Jane: Well, I wasn’t really looking for a dark moment – perhaps just a longer pause after he’s realized his feelings are changing.

  14. Sunita
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 20:07:52

    Jayne, she probably uses bobby pins because using hairpins is something of a lost art. Also, bobby pins can be used for multiple types of hair shaping and pinning, whereas hairpins are basically for updos.

    When I had longer and thicker (but still fine) hair, I used bobby pins because even though they were uglier and more obtrusive and more likely to give me a headache, I was totally incompetent with hairpins.

  15. Kaetrin
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 02:56:21

    I have this on my wishlist – must get to buying it because it sounds fun and it’s only 99c so I don’t really know why I’ve waited…

    I use bobby pins too. My hair is fine and bobby pins are essential.

  16. Jayne
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 08:03:36

    @Sunita: LOL, well now I feel hairpin-ly archaic!

  17. Patricia Eimer
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 11:22:12

    Okay this has gotten enough “I really liked it’s…” that I’m going to give it a go. And can you even buy hair pins anymore? All I can ever get is bobby pins.

  18. Isobel Carr
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 12:02:10

    If anyone wants to learn how to use hairpins, find me at RWA. I’ll be happy to show you.

  19. hapax
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 14:33:40

    Is anyone but me weirdly giddy that this review has provoked over a dozen comments about hairpins?

    And is it even weirder that this has convinced me to buy the book?

    (P.S. For the record: long, thick, curly hair and bobby-pin devotee for decades)

  20. Jayne
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 18:48:58

    @Patricia Eimer: You can find them at Amazon. There are also some where I originally bought mine (Vermont Country Store) that look like they’d grip finer hair better. That place doesn’t seem to sell the ones I have anymore – which are the old fashioned “U” shaped ones.

  21. Jayne
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 18:51:47

    @hapax: I’m laughing about this – the hairpin comments – since a throw away line I almost didn’t include in the review is what started it all. ;) But if it gets people to try the book, it’s all good.

  22. Zoe York
    Jan 10, 2013 @ 12:55:50

    Straight hair devotee to bobby pins here. I love the description of the heroine, so I’m going to give this one a try. I hear you about The Event, though … I’ll go in with my expectations appropriately set.

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