Ain’t love grand?

Well, it isn’t in All About Evie by Beth Ciotta, the first romance novel I’m tackling for my two assignments about the industry.

This one starts out not at the “I just got dumped” point but a year after the fact. Evie, an Atlantic City performer, isn’t having the best time of it lately. Not only is she having a tough time finding work, but her husband left her for a younger woman — a husband who also happens to be her manager. She reaches her wit’s end when she flashes a group of casino executives who didn’t really hide the fact that they were looking to hire someone with more boobs than experience (e.g. a 41 year old has no place in even teensy tiny AC show biz).

That’s when the ex/manager get her a last minute gig on a cruise ship playing a giggly newly wed. Except this isn’t a stage performance. It’s a 24 hour act. Her partner? A dashing Scotsman with a lot to hide.

You can imagine that it gets zanier from there on out, and as far as romance novels go, it was pretty damn steamy. My favorite line? “I hadn’t partied with the one-eyed monster in over a year. I’d never partied with a John Thomas as daunting as Arch’s.”


Ciotta, who was a show gal herself, portrays an accurate picture of Atlantic City, too: “I drifted as he launched into a sales pitch, nothing that most of the other guests were seniors. I felt oddly at home. Although the Atlantic City casinos were currently angling to hook the younger generation, the meat of their revenue, minus high rollers, came from the over-sixty crowd. The blue hairs that bus in and drop their disposable income into the slots and buffet food into the purses.”

Zing again!

As far as light, fluffy reads go, this fits the bill. I read most of it while tucked under blankets on the couch on this freezing cold day. The appearance of cold three of the season kept me down and out, and this book kept me occupied. Plus, I’ll be meeting and interviewing Ciotta next week. Not a bad way to spend a working Saturday.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

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