Mil Millington, Author . Villard $13.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-8129-6667-1

A British ghostwriter faces romantic temptation in Millington's sharp, hilarious second novel. Native Brit Tom Cartwright is a funny, slightly undermotivated 28-year-old writer living in Edinburgh who suddenly lands the deal of his life: he gets to ghostwrite the autobiography of Georgina Nye, the young Scottish star of a popular U.K. soap opera. Tom spices up Georgina's rather bland life while beating a tight deadline and steering clear of genre clichés, but soon the two find themselves pulled into a deeper relationship, despite Tom's devotion to his longtime girlfriend, Sara, a grocery store manager. Millington's plot is familiar: boy meets new crush, boy succumbs to her charms, problems ensue and boy realizes what he's lost as he scrambles to get back in the good graces of his first girl. What elevates the novel is Millington's crisp, comic writing, which includes sardonic but believable dialogue and tightly focused, laugh-out-loud scenes. Millington augments this fun mix with spot-on publishing satire. His use of God as an interstitial omniscient narrator pontificating on the neurochemistry of attraction is the one false note: God sounds sort of like a Valley Girl. The colorful secondary characters include Cartwright's gimlet-eyed agent, his dour editor and a lovely but icy head of publicity who tries to sabotage Tom's efforts to keep his affair a secret. Millington fulfills much of the promise he showed in his debut, Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About . Agent, Emma Parry . (May 18)

Reviewed on: 05/03/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Paperback - 372 pages - 978-0-7538-2072-8
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-2398-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 277 pages - 978-1-58836-401-2
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-78022-195-3
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