by Sarah Mason

June 2004
ISBN: 0-345-46955-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books
Trade Paperback

So what happens to a woman who once was nominated as one of UKís five leading entrepreneurs for her own-label popcorn and then has to sell the business? Well, turn chick-lit writer of course. Then, go on to win the Parker Romantic Novel of the Year award for her first release, Playing James. Is it any wonder that I was curious to read the book?

Holly Colshannon is a young journalist for the Bristol Gazette. When she gets promoted from covering pet funerals to being the new crime correspondent she is none too happy. Not on good terms with the police and struggling to keep up with the competition her paper needs her to be different, better. Lucky her that the new PR woman of the Bristol Police Department comes up with just the right publicity stunt. Holly is to shadow one of its finest, Detective James Sabine. As James is to marry in six weeks - to a perfect woman called Fleur - he shouldnít get into much trouble.

Trouble comes to accident-prone Holly though. In the form of her parents, best friend, boyfriend, car (named Tristan!) and James. Oh and she is on first name basis with the staff at her local hospital. James turns out to be unfriendly, but cute. Just good that a series of burglaries keeps them busy, and Holly might just be the one to solve the case.

Of course James and Holly become friends. But with his fiancťe and her rugby-playing boyfriend in the way, nothing more can happen. At least not out in the open. When it comes to words on paper anything is possible. And her readers love her for it.

Itís chick-lit, itís funny and I loved reading it. Sure it isnít very original and its romance is close to nonexistent, but it kept me laughing all the way through. Not liking the characters is impossible and so I cheered them on for every friendly word and smile exchanged. In England her second book is out already. Waiting for an American release might just be too long. Amazon UK here I come.

Reviewed in May 2004 by Kris Alice.

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