Berkley, $15.00, 375 pages
A novel as quirky as its main character, The Boyfriend Of The Month Club delivers comedy, romance and a little bit of literature. (This novel is perfect for book clubs, it even has questions at the end for discussion.) Grace, half irish/half Cuban, talks to stuffed alligators, has a split personality she has named Mal Genio, manages a gift shop, and has a remarkable number of men panting after her. Following a particularly bad first date, she heads over to her boring book club to vent, and instead creates a new kind of club: The Boyfriend Club. Soon her club spins out of control with the help of her very supportive best friends and Grace ends up the talk of Daytona Beach.
The characters really make this novel. There is an English professor bent on using the club to further her thesis comparing men to literary characters, a maitre’d who can’t get his rocks off without listening to Celine Dion, a rugby playing millionaire who enjoys watching Pride and Prejudice (the long version with Colin Firth), and a Cuban grandmother who can’t cook but knows every episode of CSI and its offshoots. Grace couldn’t exist without her friends and family, and neither could this novel. Even in her darkest hour when she just wants to be left alone, they don’t.
The pacing is fun and fast, each chapter titled by subject, and Grace’s dual culture really plays through in everything she goes through. Her actions and reactions are believable to the very end. And in this novel, unlike Jane Austen, you really wonder if she’ll end up with Mr. Darcy or Mr. Wickham. The Boyfriend Of The Month Club is immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.
Reviewed by Rachelle Barrett