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The Out of Office Girl by Nicola Doherty
After a bad few weeks during which she’s been dumped by her boyfriend, Alice is dropped in at the deep end at work by being sent to Sicily to encourage a reluctant celebrity to get down to work on his autobiography. She’s thrilled at first, as Luther Carson has been the subject of a twenty-year crush, but it doesn’t take long before she has to make a choice between business and pleasure. Should she risk her job and professional reputation to enjoy herself with this A-list Hollywood hunk, or should she force him to knuckle down, and in the process alienate him forever? A cast of supporting characters are not quite what they seem (or are they?) – Annabel the bitchy wannabe, Sam the arrogant agent, and Marisa the beautiful local.
Newcomer Nicola Doherty has created a romantic escapist treat which nevertheless manages real insight and truth. Alice is a particularly likeable, down-to-earth character, as she negotiates tricky emotional terrain and manages to draw personal details and revelations from all those around her. In the process, we see interesting snapshots of life and work in both the publishing and film-making industries, and the characters are sometimes scarily cautionary tales as to what can happen when vulnerable people are chewed up and spat back out by big business.
But don’t let these tiny snippets of doom and gloom (and reality!) put you off – this is a light, fun read, the perfect accompaniment either to a rainy Sunday or a sunny holiday!