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‘Do Not Disturb’ by Carsen Taite

‘Do Not Disturb’ by Carsen Taite

Author: Victoria Brownworth

November 2, 2010

Greer Davis is a bad girl. No matter what she does, she can’t stay out of trouble. The rock star is a combination of Courtney Love before rehab and Lindsay Lohan before rehab. She can’t seem to stay out of the tabloids. So when she meets up with good girl pop star Macy Rivers, she’s hoping to clean up her own image just a bit. But when she and Macy head off to a party, things end up anything but better for Greer. She’s left with problems far worse than a bad hangover and Macy’s career is over. For good.

Ainsley Farraday is a control freak with her eye constantly on the prize. A hotel manager who knows how to please the A-list customer, Ainsley gets a chance at her brass ring and goes for it. The opportunity is not one to pass up–an extreme makeover, hotel edition, in which she is asked to transform a small, rundown hotel into an A-list boutique “meet and be met” kind of place. Off Ainsley goes to the Land of Enchantment–New Mexico and turquoise laden-Santa Fe.

The flight out is anything but ordinary when Greer–in disguise and fleeing the worst publicity of her entire career–ends up in the seat next to Ainsley and the two consider joining the mile-high club.  Romance ensues.

Taite, a regular on the romance beat and a Lammy finalist, starts out very strong with what begins as a highly compelling story melding mystery and romance. But then Taite totally drops what had appeared to be a major storyline–and with no closure. When Greer (who spends a significant portion of the story doing pseudo-transgender role play as Tray, the identity she takes on while in hiding) and Ainsley hit Santa Fe, the action starts to sputter.

The main impediment in “Do Not Disturb” is Greer Davis. Bad girls are great in fiction, but Greer is more bad than most. What she runs away from–and how she does it–will make her unlikeable as a character to many readers. And her virtual molestation of Ainsley on the plane also raises an eyebrow. (The rule should be “if you’d call the police if a man did it, then women shouldn’t do it either.”)

These factors make Greer’s personality change once she gets back home to Santa Fe and her family–plus her seeming sudden recovery from her addiction issues–hard to comprehend. Even more difficult to explain is Ainsley’s attraction to her. Are looks really everything?
by Carsen Taite
Bold Strokes Books
Paperback, 9781602821538, $16.95

Victoria Brownworth photo

About: Victoria Brownworth

Victoria A. Brownworth is an award-winning journalist, editor and writer and the author and editor of nearly 30 books. She has won the NLGJA and the Society of Professional Journalists awards, the Lambda Literary Award and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She won the 2013 SPJ Award for Enterprise Reporting in May 2014. She is a regular contributor to The Advocate and SheWired, a blogger for Huffington Post and A Room of Her Own, a columnist and contributing editor for Curve magazine and Lambda Literary Review and a columnist for San Francisco Bay Area Reporter. Her reporting and commentary have appeared in the New York Times, Village Voice, Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation, Ms Magazine and Slate. Her book, 'From Where We Sit: Black Writers Write Black Youth' won the 2012 Moonbeam Award for cultural & historical fiction. Her new novel, 'Ordinary Mayhem,' won the IPPY Award for fiction on May 1, 2015. Her book 'Erasure: Silencing Lesbians' and her next novel, 'Sleep So Deep,' will both be published in 2016. @VABVOX

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