Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hot Property by Carly Phillips

Hot Property is the fourth book in Phillip's Hot Zone series. The first three books followed the romances of three sisters who worked in the family PR business that catered to athletes. The fourth book follows the romance of John Roper, a friend of the family and center fielder for the fictional baseball team the New York Renegades. 

John Roper has been having a rough off-season after a stinging loss in the World Series. His physical therapy is derailed more often than not by the demands of his family. In an attempt to bring his life back on track, PR agent Amy Stone squires him away to a resort. While there, the sparks fly. 

Phillips' Hot Zone books are very character-oriented and filled with crazy secondary characters. Neither John nor Amy have what may be considered "normal" families. (Okay, who does?) Both have families that crave the spotlight, from Amy's hyper mom and aunt to John's actress mother who can't admit she's aging. Then there's Amy's boss, Yank, who is going blind but won't admit it, instead tripping over things and getting a dog that's hardly a seeing-eye dog. The anchors in the story are John and Amy, but the secondary characters threaten to overwhelm the main characters. They're just way too cheesy. 

Amy's problem is that because her family is so "out-there" she doesn't like the spotlight, which makes her shy away from Roper every time a picture of them is taken. She's very good at telling him how to handle his family, but she does not have the same finesse in handling her own family. John goes all therapist towards the end of the book: 
It didn't take a psychologist to figure out that Amy dove into handling his family so methodically not because she was used to handling her own, but because she couldn't control them. In managing Roper's family issues, she'd been able to take charge in a way she hadn't been able to with her own family. She saw herself in Roper, and when Roper fell back into old habits, she'd backed away.

I could also have done without the epilogue, which is written like a Page Six gossip column. Having taken a journalism class and understanding what is required of newspaper writing, Phillips writing here just doesn't cut it. It's confusing and is tacked on at the end where it's not really needed. 

Grade: B-

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