cover image The Hopeless Romantic's Handbook

The Hopeless Romantic's Handbook

Gemma Townley / Author Ballantine Books $12.95 (268p) ISBN 978

The latest from Townley (Learning Curves, etc.) features Kate Hetherington, interior stylist at London low-end makeover TV show Future: Perfect. Kate has come up empty in her search for true love; longtime friends Sal and Tom think she's unrealistic, but their own solutions aren't terrific: Sal has settled for a sensible marriage to Ed, a financier, while Tom, a surgeon, plays the field and avoids commitment at all costs. Desperate after an embarrassing speed dating incident, Kate buys The Hopeless Romantic's Handbook on eBay. Though the book, excerpted amusingly throughout, turns out to be chauvinistic and out of date, Kate soon she meets Joe Rogers, an American actor bartending while he attempts to jumpstart his career in London. Kate follows the book to the letter-putting off sex, showering Joe with attention, flattering his ego-and it works. Kate's bliss affects everyone around her, with unexpected consequences, in this optimistic and satisfying read.