Dreaming of becoming an actress, Boston socialite Ellis Eaton captures Griff Phillips' attention. But while filling in for a look-alike friend at the telephone exchange, she overhears a call that threatens Griff's safety. With handsome policeman Jack Flanigan investigating - and her heart in a muddle - will she discover what might be the role of a lifetime?
My Review: 7.5/10
Ellis took some getting used to for me. Initially, though I found her insecurities annoying, I appreciated that Ms. Mitchell was consistent in her characterization and I respected her uniqueness as a heroine. For a while, every time Ellis despaired of not measuring up, I felt more and more irritated... until I met her family. While I didn't understand why they treated her the way they did, I (finally) did understand how Ellis got it into her head that she was a disappointment, a failure, and a constant source of exasperation.
After I warmed to her, I really enjoyed the humor she brought to most situations and appreciated her honesty. I liked that she didn't always have an answer, that she sometimes felt confused, and that not everyone liked her (and that they, in turn, weren't written off as evil or useless for not being TeamEllis). Even when I found her reasoning flawed, I still could see how she got there and I appreciated such an authentic point of view. Reading the Author's note on how ADHD played a role in this was fascinating to me and, while it made total sense, it made me want to go back and read it again with that in mind. So well done.
There were only two things that kept this book from perfection for me.
The first and most important thing: I never bought into Ellis' refusal/avoidance of Griff's affections; it just did not seem natural at all to me. I have never known someone to reject love because they thought they didn't deserve the person. I've seen such insecurities manifest themselves in jealousy, fear of losing the other person, clinginess, trust issues, etc., inevitably destroying the relationship, but I have never seen them stop the relationship -before- it starts. It's human nature to dream of the fairy tale ending (getting more than we deserve) so I just didn't buy it.
Secondly, Jack Feeney was a little (sometimes a lot) too naive/trusting. Bless her, but Ellis did not do a very good job of fishing information from him subtly, so how did he not suspect anything? Or if he did, then why didn't he do anything about it? It seemed to me that someone who was so afraid of crossing those he "owed favors to" wouldn't risk incurring their wrath by overlooking her rather obvious display of memory, interest, and connection. And what was with his somewhat random spilling of his past? I felt like they hardly knew each other and these weren't the things you confided in someone you've only hung out with/talked to a couple of times.
On the whole though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction, particularly set in the twenties and anyone who is itching for a fresh, strong female lead.