cover image The Star Attraction

The Star Attraction

Alison Sweeney. Hyperion, $15 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-4013-1104-9

Actress and reality show host Sweeney (The Mommy Diet) hits it out of the park with her engaging fiction debut about an L.A.-based star publicist who lets her love life get in the way of work. After years at a top PR firm, Sophie Atwater is entrusted with representing handsome A-lister Billy Fox. She finds herself smitten when he proves to be just as charming as his image, and is taken aback when she realizes the attraction is mutual. Though she’s happy with Jacob, her boyfriend of two years (“pretty much a record for me”), his ambivalence about marriage leaves her feeling doubtful, and Sophie exacerbates matters by picking fights with him while escalating her flirtation with Billy. Sweeney uses many familiar chick-lit tropes (conversations with the best friend, sparring with the office nemesis, the inevitable happy ending with the spectacular romantic gesture) but does it very well and also infuses her story with insider-y Hollywood situations and realistic depictions of relationship woes. It all adds up to a pleasurable read, and a particularly impressive first foray into this genre. Agent: Matthew Elblonk, DeFiore and Co. (May 14)