Book Review Club ~ April 2012

Life marches on, and so do I. My Avon Walk training is getting BRUTAL! Yesterday, we were all set with a planned route to walk 20 miles, and a mile in, it started pouring down rain. Luckily, we were only a little ways from one of my walking buddies’ houses, so we ran back, got in the car, and went to walk the mall. That’s right. I am officially a Mall Walker. We arrived at the mall at 7:30 am and didn’t leave until around 10:30 am, when the rain stopped. That is a LOT of laps around the mall. We did make time to take a quick photo with the Easter Bunny though.  After that we walked over the freeway (scary!) to lunch (we totally could have eaten in the Food Court…) and back, discovering that there aren’t really any sidewalks around the mall. So guess what we did… We walked the perimeter of the mall parking lot! Over and over again until we reached a total distance of 20 miles. It. Was. Brutal. Whew! Only one more long training walk before the real deal. Thank goodness!  I can’t handle much more of this.

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@Barrie Summy

That was a digression. We are really here for Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club, and for April’s meeting, I’m reviewing PERFECT ON PAPER by Janet Goss.

The story begins with artist/crossword puzzle aficionado Dana Mayo learning that the love of her life–a married man she’s not even had contact with for twenty years, has died.  This inspires her to take stock of her life, to start being less picky about men and open herself up to romance.  Almost immediately she stumbles over Hank, a hunky contractor who is sweet and gainfully employed, owns a pristine vintage panel truck, which gets Dana’s heart beating faster, and a pig.  Named Dinner.  Hank is restoring a old brownstone in New York City, but from the looks of things, he doesn’t know much of anything about the project.  Plus, he uses words and phrasings that Dana, a word guru, cannot abide.  Meanwhile, Dana is inspired to paint a picture of Dinner wearing pearls, and the owner of the vintage dress shop below her apartment demands to be allowed to hang it in her store–for a commission, of course.  The painting is snapped up and more are demanded, so Dana keeps painting Hank’s pig, trying to figure out if he could possibly be the one for her.  Then she meets Billy, a sexy crossword puzzle  contructor who is about fifteen years her junior.  She’s torn.  She has so much in common with Billy (he even asks for her help constructing crossword puzzles!) but she can’t see a future with him, and yet, Hank is not quite what he seems.  While all this is going on, she finds out the love of her life is actually still alive, her paintings are selling like gangbusters–which makes her worry over whether the imaginary artist story her downstairs neighbor concocted might put her at risk of fraud, and her friend is dealing with sudden agoraphobia.

I am not doing this novel justice at all.  There are so many twists and misunderstandings and secrets and mysteries, that I was wrapped up until the very end.  Plus, Dana Mayo is very funny and conflicted and savvy and smart.  It was a pleasure to be in her head.  All of the characters were well-written and ‘real.’  And the insight into how crossword puzzles are created was rather fascinating.

So.  If you’re looking for a twist on a romantic comedy, this book is for you.

And if you’re interested, I’m chatting about AUSTENTATIOUS, Austin, and whatever else comes up over at Jennifer Crusie’s Cherry Forums this week, so come for a visit (and a chat!)



Posted in book review club on 04/04/2012 03:00 am


  1. This sounds like a fun read. Glad you enjoyed it.

    And I’m so impressed by your walk training. My feet hurt just reading about the 20 miles! Good luck on the Avon walk.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Thanks, Linda! I hope my legs don’t give out on me before the 26 miles are up! :)

  2. Wow, that sounds like a very original romance! Dana should dump the guys and run off with Dinner, obviously.

  3. Alyssa Goodnight

    Totally original, Sarah! And your idea would make an interesting twist… 😉

  4. Alyssa–Thanks so much for the great review! I’d be remiss if I didn’t steer your readers to my website,, where they can read the first chapter.
    Sarah, you have a point–Dinner is a very endearing pig.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Janet! Thanks for stopping by! As you can undoubtedly tell, I loved Perfect on Paper! I will be looking out for your next one! :)

  5. Thanks for the review, Alyssa. And good for you to continue with the walking. Never slow down and never grow old, right?

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