Back to the romances! Yes, folks, I’m back on the romance bent, at least for a little while — and, yes, it’s for an assignment (Yahtzee! I love my job!) Up for this round: Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deceptionby Lois Winston. The gist: Emma Wadsworth is a widow — a widow not really in mourning. She’d been married to a lout for 16 years, and when she found him dead after a party (a party she wasn’t invited to), she didn’t really mourn the loss. He’d gotten her pregnant young, married her, and used her social status (she’s apparently on the level of Grace Kelly) to make even more money — and make her miserable.

Enter Logan Crawford (GREAT NAME!) He’s a billionaire businessman (I’m not making that up — I highlighted “billionaire businessman” in the book) with loose morals and business deals that need to be done in Philadelphia, which happens to be where Wadsworth lives.

How do they meet? He bumps into her in a bookstore, spilling coffee all over her. He immediately buys her a new coffee, whisks her away to brunch and then dinner. Of course, he instantaneously loses the loose morals and falls in love with Mrs. Wadsworth — but not without complications soon following, including a bimbo with a vengeance, a dirty DA and a paparazzi photog with money (and cocaine) on his mind.

It has many elements of the contemporary romance novel as outlined by the fine folks at If I was writing this from my office and had a copy of their book handy, I’d break it down for you, but I’m writing from my second favorite “office” (my mother’s kitchen table) and hope this run down is enough for you.

Pure escape book. Pure escape — especially after the round of depressing books I read for previous assignments. Winston makes it so easy to tell who’s good and who’s bad in the book, which is perfect when you want to get away in your reading. I had fun with this one, too, because the book includes Philadelphia and Cape May, two of my favorite places, and even though the actual names were changed, I could figure out what some sites were.

I started laughing at the description of “Le Papillion” and chef/owner “Georges.” They could only be based on Le Bec Fin and its chef/owner Georges Perrier.

Why laugh? I was actually at Le Bec Fin last week and could have written that scene myself. My wonderful date for the Red Ball took me to the bar of Le Bec Fin for a drink before gala. While there, we met Perrier himself when he came over to introduce myself and kiss my hand not once, but twice. To see something similar in a book I’m reading for work made it more fun — here’s a picture from the actual event:

So if you like suspense with your romance (and a happy ending), you might want to give this one a go. Want to know more? Here’s the book’s trailer!

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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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