Jo Green knows she needs something more. 23 years old and still living with her parents, turning down three marriage proposals from her perfectly okay boyfriend, and living day to day with mundane tasks. When Jo finds an ad in the paper for a live-in nanny position in the big city of London, she eagerly accepts an interview with the Fitzgerald’s. After securing a position and waving good-bye to her old life, Jo begins to settle into her new adventure, not expecting what will come next.
The Fitzgerald’s lead a posh life, with Vanessa the hard working corporate mother and Dick the playful dad running a record store, his hobby. They have a Brady Bunch between them, with three children from their marriage added with two from Dick’s previous marriage- which includes 25 year old Josh. After Jo commissions Josh out of work, the eldest son moves into the family home- and is practically sharing a bedroom with Jo. Jo tries to ignore the feelings of attraction for Josh, especially when boyfriend Shaun makes the trip to visit her, but the feelings are dismissed when Jo finds out he is helping his father hide an affair from Vanessa. The dysfunctional family lifestyle ensues, and soon enough Jo finds herself enjoying her day to hectic day responsibilities within the tizzy Fitzgerald home.
The Nanny, written by the late Melissa Nathan, is a fun tale of a girl trying to find her way. The story of Jo Green trying to make something of herself is entertaining to read, and the Fitzgerald family adds much needed humor in all the right places. The air of mystery surrounding the affair keeps readers interested throughout the way, and the romance between Jo and Josh is undecided until the very end. A light but endearing read.
Melissa Nathan was born in 1968 in Hertfordshire and went on to study Communications at the Polytechnic of Wales in Pontypridd. Though she acted in plays throughout college, she decided to take a post graduate course in journalism, then went on to work as a writer, sub-editor, and commissioning editor for women’s magazines. Melissa Nathan continued on writing novels, and published five titles: Pride, Prejudice, and Jasmine Field, Persuading Annie, The Nanny, The Waitress, and The Learning Curve.
Melissa Nathan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 while working on Persuading Annie. Initial cancer treatments went well, and in 2003 Nathan gave birth to her first child, son Sam. Unfortunately, the cancer returning shortly after the birth of Sam, and had spread to her liver and bones. Melissa Nathan passed away in April 2006 at the age of 37.
In my Mailbox: Week of February 21
Title: The Goddess Rules
Author: Clare Naylor
Received: Public Library
When obsessed pet owners have pooches or kitties they want immortalized on canvas, Kate Disney is the artist of choice. From her shed (which doubles as a studio and apartment) in London’s Primrose Hill, Kate caters to the whims of the rich and famous while herself living a decidedly bohemian existence. The problem is, she has a tendency to cater to her on-again, way-off-again boyfriend as well. Jake is so erratic, that most of her friends don’t understand why she even bothers. But it’s hard to fall out of love with a man who writes her songs and calls her Angel—even if he disappears for weeks at a time.
Luckily for Kate, Mirabelle Moncur isn’t buying any of that claptrap. Mirri was an actress, a legend in her time. Now, at age sixty, she’s given up on fame and men and lives in Africa, where she raises lion cubs. But her reclusive nature has done nothing to dull her beauty, mar her incredible figure, or dampen her outrageous joie de vivre.
After sweeping into London to have Kate paint a portrait of her favorite cub, Mirri seizes hold of Kate’s life—from the baggy wardrobe to the hopeless taste in men. Under Mirri’s tutelage, Kate learns to dance on tables with abandon, drink like a dockworker, and flirt like a goddess. And when her old friend Louis reenters the picture, she begins to see things in a whole new light. But Mirri has secrets that hint at a less than divine future. Now it’s Kate’s turn to teach Mirri a thing or two about life, love, and being fabulous.
Title: Sex as a Second Language
Author: Alisa Kwitney
Received: Public Library
A teacher of English as a second language, forty-year-old Katherine Miner is an expert on idiomatic phrases and subtle verbal cues. When it comes to the opposite sex, however, she’s baffled enough to choose early retirement from the dating game. It’s not that she hates men, it’s just that she doesn’t trust them. After all, her soon-to-be ex-husband has dropped all contact with their son, and her own father disappeared from her life thirty years ago. And then Kat meets Magnus Grimmson, a tall, good-looking, tongue-tied Icelander in the front row of her class. Magnus doesn’t appear to pose any threat — in fact, he seems to understand less about women than Kat does about men. But just when Kat considers risking a little intimacy, her father reappears in her life, causing unexpected complications. Emotionally torn, Kat is left to question whom she can trust — and to realize that she still has a lot to learn about men and the kind of communication they don’t teach in school.
Title: Once Upon Stilettos
Author: Shanna Swendson
Received: Public Library
Synopsis: Katie Chandler’s life is pure magic–literally. As an executive assistant at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., she’s seen more than her share of fantastical occurrences. A mere Manhattan mortal, Katie is no wizard, but she’s a wiz at exposing “hokum” pocus, cloaked lies, and deceptive enchantments. And she’s fallen under the all-too-human spell of attraction to Owen, a hunky wizard and coworker. Owen, however, is preoccupied. Someone has broken into his office and disrupted top-secret files, and it reeks of an inside job. CEO Merlin (yes, the Merlin) and taps Katie and her special ability to uncover the magical mole.
Keeping her feelings in check while sleuthing alongside Owen, Katie is shocked to discover that her immunity to magic is waning, putting her in grave danger. Soon she’s surrendering to the charms and enchantments of everyone and everything around her, including a killer pair of red stilettos. Katie must now conjure up her natural instincts to get to the bottom of the break-in, regain her power, and win the wizard of her dreams.
Title: The Nanny
Author: Melissa Nathan
Received: Public Library
Synopsis: Twenty-three-year-old Jo Green knows that if she has to spend one more night in ultra-provincial Niblet-Upon-Avon she’ll go completely bonkers! So she answers an ad in the paper, bids her devoted boyfriend Shaun adieu, and heads off to the big city. With a new job that offers excitement; a cool car; and her own suite with a TV, DVD player, and a cell phone, how can she go wrong?
Then she meets . . . the Fitzgeralds — Dick and Vanessa and their unruly brood of rugrats who have suddenly been entrusted into Jo’s care. There’s eight-year-old “psycho-babe” Cassandra; bloodthirsty Zak, the six-year-old Terminator; and timid little Tallulah.
So what else could go wrong? How about the arrival of Dick’s children from his first marriage: teenage Toby and (gulp!) all-grown-up-and-very-nicely-at-that Josh the accountant? And now that she has to temporarily share her room with Josh, Jo’s head is really in a spin — because with her hometown beau still in the picture and a sexy possibility sleeping just a foot away, life has suddenly gotten very complicated indeed!