This is the story of Mary Beth, a copy editor for a marketing firm, and her obsession with Dean Dineno (say that three times fast!), the star salesman. Now, the novel is categorized as a Romantic Comedy and that is made painfully obvious through the events that occur. However, I feel like the author
could have should have put more effort into building her characters.
Mary Beth is supposed to be a small town, Midwestern girl that's thrust into the fast life of the big city. But anyone who's ever been to Chicago knows that it ain't New York and she could have found her footing just fine. Her best friend who tells it like it is only shows up twice and not to tell it like it is but to mock Mary Beth. And Mr. Dineno a.k.a. Prince Charming is someone that we know nothing about because Mary Beth knows nothing about him. Except he always greets her when he sees her and she's only ever managed to say, "Ham". Oh! and he's dating the boss.
Mary Beth finds that she's been made charter on a new fragrance being pushed by an unnamed rock star. The fragrance will be called "Rapunzel" and she somehow, by the grace of God, has to make it work. After getting stuck in a myriad of hair related slogans she decides to read the ingredients and discovers that "Ph-ux" is a new, top-secret pheromone that supposedly makes Rapunzel different from everything else on the market. Yeah. Ph-ux. Because Ms. DeTarsio is super creative.
Alone in the office - or so she thinks - Mary Beth dabs on some Rapunzel cranks up the Dean Martin tunes these are the details that make me groan and starts to dance carelessly. It's actually a really cute scene. This is how Dino finds her and he is so smitten that he whisks her away - shoeless - to a cab. That they take. To her house. Where they engage in an "orgiastic hootenanny". Until she wakes up alone and he acts like she slipped him a roofie.
She's convinced that the Rapunzel is what changed her life. She gives herself no credit and sinks into even deeper despair when Dino acts like a chode. Her boss takes the Rapunzel and she comes in with the same swagger that Mary Beth carried for so many days before. The three of them (Mary Beth, Dino, and his girlfriend the boss) get stuck in an elevator on page 116. The shenanigans that ensue had me laughing out loud for the first time and our damsel in distress reaches deep down to become the hero.
All in all, the book was free so I guess I got what I paid for.