Friday, January 26, 2018

Book Review: 'Dirty Boss' by Alycia Taylor

Alycia Taylor has a strong list of successful Chick Lit novels behind her – twelve at last count – and this new book could not be more current! Politics and misbehavior fill the news and Alycia makes it sing.

We get to know our main character Josh Maxwell in the first paragraphs – ‘I remember when I was just a little kid, and I’d asked my uncle why I always saw men out on the golf course on the weekends. I couldn’t understand what they were doing or what the point of hitting a ball into a small hole could be. He’d told me that it was something that adults do when they wanted to unwind. He said it was a way to get away from the desk, to breathe in some fresh air and to let off a little bit of pent-up steam. Of course, I hadn’t understood a word of his explanation. I remember thinking that the whole thing was silly. When I was a teenager, I lived near a different golf course, one that was bigger and required good money just to be allowed to play. I knew that because I’d once gone with a friend, the two of us drunk out of our minds, and we’d been turned away. We were not a part of the elite club. We were too young, too poor, and way too low-class. I’d looked at my friend and promised him that I would never become ‘one of those men’ who wasted hours moving a ball from one place to another. And yet, here I was. Golfing had just become part and parcel of my life now. It really was a good way to spend an entire day away from the office. Every now and again I’d look out at the huddles of men and laugh at the absurdity of it, but I kept coming back. I saw a boy standing with his father and looking depressed as his father tried to teach him how to golf, and I was sure that one day the boy would be the one trying to teach his own son. “What are you laughing at?” Kason, my best friend and work colleague asked me. I chuckled. “I used to think that golf was for losers.” “You did? I didn’t know that. I thought you always loved the game. Since when?” “Oh, not now, but when I was younger. The whole thing seemed so pointless. Grown men hitting a ball into a hole. I remember thinking how ridiculous it looked. I used to tell myself that I would never be one of those men that spent an entire day moving a ball around a field. I mean, what for? It just seemed so ridiculous.” Kason laughed. “I guess you’re right. I’d much rather be at a bar drinking beer all day.” “We can do that afterward.” “Trust me—we will do that afterward.” “Is that why we play? So we can enjoy a drink without the whole world watching us? I mean, it’s the one place that allows us a decent amount of secrecy.” I now understood why it was good to be part of the golf club. It was nice not being in a public space and having to watch what you say.’

Into the fray steps Reagan and the plot follows: ‘Josh Maxwell is a senator in Sammamish, Washington. He’s good looking, brash and extremely outspoken. He’s the sort of guy that you either love or hate, but never anything in between. When a scandal breaks out involving another senator, a public relations officer is hired for damage control. She’s also asked to help rein in Josh and help smooth out his rough edges so that he can become better received by more of the public. She’s a pretty, no-nonsense sort of woman who doesn’t find Josh intimidating in the least, a point that Josh finds both frustrating and intriguing all at the same time. She’s the first woman he’s met who hasn’t shown any interest in him, and it’s driving him insane... Will he be able to get her?

Fun writing and a fast read about people that seem so familiar….Another success for Alycia Taylor. Grady Harp, December 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.