I should start this review off by saying that I absolutely adore Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I have read everything she’s written at least two times and loved it more with each visit. She’s amazingly funny and creates characters who, while flawed, are compelling and interesting. As the two main characters move towards love, it’s wonderful to see them “grow up” and learn to accept and love themselves as much as they do their mate. And even better, SEP manages to make this transition that could easily descend into pointless and melodramatic schmaltz, both light and compelling. She has found the perfect balance between comedy and romance.

But enough raving. Time for a brief synopsis:

Lady Emma Wells-Finch is the thirty-year-old virgin headmistress of a girl’s boarding school in England. When she visits Texas for a few weeks she has two missions; to research an article for a scholarly journal and to behave so abominably that her fiancé will be sufficiently turned off and release her from the engagement he forced upon her.

It was arranged through Emma’s friend Francesca Beaudine (All you hard core SEP fans will remember her from Fancy Pants) that Emma be shuttled through Texas by golden-boy golfer gone wrong Kenny Traveler. Kenny has managed to get himself suspended from the PGA for inappropriate behavior and his baby-sitting Emma was a condition on his getting reinstated by Francesca’s husband Dallie, who's the acting PGA commissioner.

Kenny thinks that it will be a piece of cake to lead a dotty British lady around for a few weeks and mess with her head but he soon discovers that not only is Emma the one who likes to do the leading, but her plan to be labeled undesirable by her fiancé is only going to get Kenny in trouble and jeopardize his reinstatement to the tour. He soon finds himself trying to juggle Emma’s sexual advances, (to him and every other willing man) her insistence on getting a tattoo and her general desire to do anything and everything that will tarnish her image.

Of course, Kenny quickly learns finds out that controlling the headstrong Emma is nearly impossible. And even more than that he finds that an out of control Emma may be more fun that he could have imagined.

This is not only SEP’s most recent book but, in my opinion, one of her funniest. Lady Emma’s shenanigans are hilarious and as much as I like to think I can see plot twists coming from at least a mile away, I was actually shocked by a couple of turns of events. And best of all, each of these turns was hilariously funny. I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone, but I will say there are at least three points in this book that I literally couldn’t read anymore because I was laughing so hard.

Another great thing about this book is that we get to catch up with Francesca, Dallie and their son Ted who has grown up into this gorgeous Renaissance man who is not only brilliant, charming and athletic but also down to earth. I can’t wait to read the adventures that Ms. Phillips creates for him!

So, I will give my standard tag line and insist that you all run out and read this book. If you have never read any SEP’s books before you will be thrilled that you discovered her. If you have read her before and just haven’t gotten around to this one yet, it’s definitely worth the time and the $6.99. As a side note, I heartily recommend any SEP books, but especially Kiss an Angel, Fancy Pants, Dream a Little Dream and, if you are a computer geek like me, Hot Shot.

-- A.B.

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