When I first heard about "Build a Man" by Talli Roland, I thought the premise was going to be similar to the 1980s film "Making Mr. Right," which is funny because I never even saw that film. However, the plots were completely different and Talli, once again, has created a charming tale about romance and learning how to be yourself.
Serenity Holland's dream is to become a tabloid reporter, but when she moves to London to pursue this dream, she ends up working as a receptionist for a cosmetic surgery clinic...and dating the doctor who runs it. Things get shaken up when Jeremy, an attractive and down-to-earth man, arrives at the clinic to get a complete physical makeover. Through his situation, Serenity finds an angle she can use to break onto the tabloid scene and strikes it big. However, her dream opportunity comes at a price. When her plans with Jeremy backfire in disastrous ways, Serenity soon learns the difference between becoming a sell-out and paying that price.
I'll admit I wasn't sure where "Build a Man" was going at first. It started off nicely enough, building up characters and story lines, but I was chomping at the bit to get to all the drama. I know, from reading "Watching Willow Watts," that Talli is good for bringing on the drama and she didn't let me down one bit! In fact, I felt that at the climax of the story, it became a bit too heavy, which is something I wasn't expecting. However, it heightened an already great story, allowing Serenity to have a real dilemma on her hands and deal with the reality behind her dream.
Serenity is definitely a sympathetic character. There's a balance of quirkiness and compassion to her that makes readers want to be her best friend. Her boyfriend, on the other hand, is....let's just say a "feminine hygiene product." I wanted to smack him for berating her all the time. His presence made me cheer for her even more. Then there were the clients at the cosmetic surgery clinic and the bloodthirsty tabloid vampires that she had to deal with on almost a daily basis. They were all horrible, but in more exaggerated ways. I could tell that Talli had fun writing about them as such. They were a nice contrast to the few friends Serenity had to confide in, including her "project," Jeremy.
Once Talli grabbed me with her creative wits, I was riveted until the very last page. I got to a point where I just couldn't stop reading this novel! I look forward to reading "Construct a Couple" soon and hearing more about Serenity's adventures and mishaps. Talli is a bit new to the chick lit scene, arriving in late 2010, but from what I've read so far, she ranks up there with Sophie Kinsella and Carole Matthews. I have a feeling I'll love anything she's written!
I Heart...Chick Lit is currently giving away TWO e-books of "Build a Man" until July 22nd. (Worldwide.)
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