Talk of the Town

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Talk of the Town

Rebecca Covington writes a gossip column for a large Chicago paper. She loves her job and knows she does a really good job. After dropping a little “news” about a touchy senator, the paper is looking a legal action and Rebecca is suddenly asked to leave her column. In order to avoid an age discrimination law suit due to Rebecca being over 40, the new owner of the paper offers her a position in the home and cooking section of the paper. To Rebecca who defines herself by her position, this is a slap in the face but she is determined to convince the new owner that it is a mistake to move her and to give her back her old column. First, she needs to find out who the new owner is and then meet him! With the help of her close friend and ally, Pauline, the paper’s telephone operator, she soon has a name but now she has to actually meet him!
David Sumner is a widower and father of two grown boys. His wife and his dream was to own a media empire and he’s working hard on making it happen. His latest piece is a Chicago paper that he knows he can make a major money maker if he can get rid of some deadwood and change it’s direction to a more youthful, edgy paper. It’s nothing personal to any of the people working there, it’s just good business. His first change was to the gossip column. After all, who wants to read about old folks? Putting a young, aggressive reporter in this spot should increase circulation. He has just the reporter, Shannon.
While meeting with Shannon, David sees a striking woman across the room. She seems to be starring at him. Rebecca doesn’t expect her first meeting with her new boss to be quite so public but when she sees Shannon having dinner with an older man, she just has to comment. The fact that she is drawn to him is even more embarrassing. With an attraction on both parts, can it come to anything? Can they keep business and pleasure separate or will it overlap?
This book was wonderful and had terrific elements. Though I know nothing about Chicago, gossip columns or fashion and all of these were in the book, I felt as though I could feel Rebecca’s pain, trails and tribulations. Rebecca was able to project her feelings and confusion so the reader knew why Rebecca did things and understood her reactions. Humor was slipped into the story leaving the reader smiling. After all, who ever heard of a cooking columnist not having a working oven! The characters all worked with each other and complimented each other. Though all of the characters revolved around Rebecca each was a separate entity. 
Speaking of characters, all of the characters were so well developed and had such depth that you knew them. Most books do not have all of their secondary characters developed to the point that they have lives of their own. Ms Bodine’s characters come alive. Rebecca’s best friend is a gay, plastic surgeon who learns that he has a passion for cooking. Pauline went through a nasty divorce during the same time as Rebecca bonding their friendship. Even Rebecca’s new boss, Kate becomes a friend and we get to read about this friendship growing. This cast of characters is seen together, separately and with Rebecca just as in real life giving the reader the feel that this is someone’s real life.
Besides being a terrific romance story, there is another story going on; the story of Rebecca becoming a new, whole person. This book begins with Rebecca defining herself by her job. By her loosing her position as a gossip columnist, she isn’t sure who she is. As she reflection in this and her past, Rebecca begins to transition into a stronger woman who can set goals and defines herself in new ways. This isn’t a smooth transition and definitely has ups and downs, sometimes more down than up, but it’s a transition that is long over due and it’s one that many women can relate to. 
If your looking for a good, light romance story to read, this may be the one for you. It’s written in such a way that the time will just get away from you and the next thing you know the afternoon is gone! David and Rebecca’s relationship does not progress without problems; after all they have had life experiences and carry them into this relationship. Still, their solutions are ones that work for them and may not be what is expected.

Book Blurb for Talk of the Town


Darlings, what a to-do at the Daily Mail today! After fifteen years as Chicago's gossip guru, Rebecca Covington has been demoted from divulger of secrets for the city's elite to headlining recipes in the Home and Food section. Apparently, a touchy senator is threatening legal action for Rebecca's latest extramarital scoop. But Windy City rumor has it that new CEO and dreamy Pierce Brosnan look-alike David Sumner downgraded Rebecca in favor of fresher, younger blood on the social beat.

Industry insiders expect Rebecca to fight her denouement, and inquiring minds have already seen the feisty maven trading quips and searing glances wtih her arresting new boss. Rebecca swears she'll reclaim her shining star status, but can the dishy diva even cook? And how can she ignore David's arousing effect on her sensibilities?

Don't miss a trick, darlings. Sparks are going to fly.


Sherrill Bodine has been writing stories since junior high, when she won a pair of silver skates in a state-wide essay contest. She has published 15 award-winning novels under two pseudoynyms (Lynn Leslie and Leslie Lynn). Now she's decided to be herself and write about the people, parties, and high-life in the city she knows best: Chicago. She lives in the Windy City with her husband, four children, and Newfoundland and pug dogs.

Night Owl Reviews Nov, 2008 5.00