Baby, Baby by Kylie Adams
(Zebra, $6.50, PG-13) ISBN 0-8217-6939-1
***
If ever there was a book custom made to become a quirky, lighthearted cable TV movie, Baby, Baby is it. Everything about this book is light and fluffy, right down to the author’s signature at the end where she dots her “i” with a heart.

Tatiana Fox is a sexy B-movie queen who is dying to break into the big leagues of Hollywood. When she hears about a hot new sensual thriller called Sin by Sin, she just knows she has to get the lead. Unfortunately, her timing couldn’t be worse. Her husband, her agent and her nanny all dump her on the same day. What she’s left with is a Latino boy-toy excuse for a personal assistant and two-year old twins.

Enter Jack Thorpe, an Australian soccer player whose super stardom was permanently sidelined by an injury. He’s just lost everything he owns, including his home, thanks to a bad business deal by his manager. Desperate for work, and knowing he’ll never make it as an actor, Jack agrees to become Tatiana’s “manny”.

Tatiana is the perfect heroine for this book. She is unapologetically self-absorbed as only a true Hollywood starlet can be. This is the type of woman who leaves her children in a running car while she dashes into a convenience store for milk. It’s only later as she waits in line that she thinks of all the horrible things that could happen to them. The phrase “it’s all about me” is practically her mantra. Still, the character fits the tone of the book and she does get a little better over time. Although I found her irritatingly shallow, I didn’t outright dislike her.

I did, however, wonder what Jack saw in her at first. Though he has his moments, Jack is a genuinely nice guy. Not only is he wonderful with children, he also doesn’t have any of that cocky pretty boy attitude so often found in Hollywood romances. Despite being dealt a raw deal in life, he doesn’t take it out on the heroine or go into jerk mode. Why then does he put up with Tatiana’s self-absorption? You know he sees it because he calls her on it quite a few times, which is another reason to like him.

This is definitely a story of the shallow world of Hollywood and Adams gets the tone dead on. Everything about it is surface and flash. For example, the name and current event dropping is egregious, to put it mildly. Adams tosses in everything from Eminem to Enron. It’s by turns amusing and annoying. The secondary characters, such as Tatiana’s assistant Enrique, are a parade of eccentric caricatures. The can be downright entertaining though, particularly when they interact with each other.

Baby Baby is a quick read, because frankly, a reader doesn’t have to do a whole lot of thinking as they turn the pages. It definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it is almost a little too light, bordering on farcical. So while enjoyable, it’s a puff piece likely to be forgotten soon after turning the last page

--Anne Bulin


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