REVIEW: Mistress in Private by Julie Cohen
Dear Ms. Cohen:
I first discovered you when your book, His for the Taking, was nominated for an RNA award. I thought HFTheT was a wonderfully nuanced story but while Mistress in Private shares some similarities, it also requires a large suspension of disbelief and one that I could not get past.
Jane Miller works as an account manager for Pearce Grey Advertising. She’s been put in charge of a very important account for a difficult account — Giovanni Franco’s new cologne. Pearce Grey is the fourth in a line of ad agencies working with the difficult Franco. To make matters worse, her fiancee and co-worker has broke it off with her in a very public manner. To gain back a bit of her pride, she is determined to make the Franco account work.
Jonny Cole is a nerd turned hot model known as Jay Richard. Jonny and Jane have been great friends since they were kids but haven’t seen each other since they were 11 years old. Jonny comes to England to work on the ad campaign of Franco and sends an email divulging his duel identity only Jane doesn’t get it. Instead, she meets Jay and starts a hot and heavy affair with the model, not realizing that it is her great friend, Jonny.
For years these guys have been emailing four to five times a day for years and never once exchanged a photo? Jonny’s glasses were enough for him to go all Clark Kent / Superman on Jane? This was WTF moment number one. Plus, when Jonny/Jay’s identity is revealed, Jane accuses Jonny of being dishonest even though Jonny sent the email and it got lost. What further irked me is that Jonny accepts responsibility for being deceitful? This was the second WTF moment for me.
Jane can’t bear to be dumped again so Jonny suggests that they continue to pretend to have an affair. (WTF! Jane, get a backbone). Only Jonny really loves Jane and Jane really loves Jonny (or Jay) but they each believe the other is just pretending. (No WTF here because this confused unrequited love theme can actually be really moving).
But the worst WTF moment for me was the fact that Jane, whose self esteem was battered by being dumped by a guy, is built up by being romanced by a guy who just happens to be this hot model when he removes his glasses. (I actually think Clark looked hotter with his glasses, but whatever).
Anyway, four WTFs = C-.