What is the best thing that could happen to a down-on-her luck ex-career gal in London? Besides landing a job several notches above leaflet hander-outer? Meeting a big Hollywood producer who offers to fly Sadie Nelson to the States is probably the best hand Lady Luck has dealt her in recent months.
Out-of-work Sadie bunks with a friend, ekes by on small checks from temp assignments, and can’t even afford to shop in thrift stores. Once a formidable woman with a posh financial job, Sadie is as close to the end of her rope as she can be without letting go altogether.
Everything changes when she meets Gil McGann at the London Book Fair. Instantly smitten, they begin their courtship with a photo op that culminates in an open-ended invitation to the States. Despite her better judgement, Sadie goes.
Amid a series of ill-fated mishaps, bad timing, and obligatory brush-offs, Sadie turns to her newly acquired, and defiantly gay, friend/client for companionship. Tavis Jones quickly becomes all things that Gil is not to Sadie– a true friend who is always there when she needs him. Too bad he is gay, right?
Gil’s not-so-ex-wife seems to have a knack for stealing him at the precise moments Sadie needs him. While he loves Sadie, Gil feels responsible for his lush of a wife (estranged) and always rushes to her assistance. Gil actually misses picking Sadie up from the airport on her arrival to the States. Then, to make matters worse, Sadie loses her luggage and is forced to camp out on the lobby sofa of a seedy, but full, hotel while trying to track Gil down. Not the way to start a blazing romance.
Who does Sadie end up with, Mr. Hollywood (who left out a few things, namely wives) or Mr. Oh-So-Handsome? Or does she just give up and sulk back to England when the same company that fired her begs Sadie to come back -- with a substantial pay raise?
The Sweetest Taboo is a lyrical novel, interesting and beguiling, that plunges the reader into the somewhat-alien world of Hollywood. Carole Matthews gives us compelling characters and definitive plot twists, and revamps the age-old love triangle predicament.
I found it easy to sympathize with Sadie throughout this novel. What would I do, given that the perfect romance I envisioned kept getting poo-pooed by the fates? And how, exactly, would it feel to fall in love with a man you could never have, unless he suddenly starts batting for the other team? How would I choose between Mr. Hollywood and Mr. Right-but-for-one-little-detail?
Matthews has given is a great book for lounging on the beach, to take on vacation, or just for reading while sipping lemonade on the porch. Of course, I read my copy while waiting out a thunderstorm, which was also a worthwhile method of passing the time. You can read it wherever you would like– just be sure to read it!