- Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Zebra Books (22 Oct 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0821771108
- ISBN-13: 978-0821771105
- Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 2.8 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,837,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Serial dieter and personal life coach Amanda Connor will go to any lengths to make Aspirations, Inc a success. She sets up a lottery and anxiously waits at the last minute for a winner, while the TV station manager threatens to withdrawal all support of her company. She brags that she can transform any man, but secretly hopes for one with strong possibilities. So when the taxi guy shows up with the winning ticket, she finds herself making good on her promise, despite the condition of his clothes and attitude. Mike doesn't want to be on TV and he doesn't want to discuss his personal goals -- even if he had any. When she enters Mike's world, however, she has absolutely no idea how to cope with it.
Mike Cavaco finds the Lotto tickets in the backseat cushions of his taxi. He only agrees to go along with the Lotto because he "can't stand to see a perfectly nice girl lose her TV-news deal because of him." Despite his determination to be a nice guy, however, he doesn't think much of Amanda's plans for a makeover at a posh resort and a shopping spree. Mike thinks he gets all the "buff and polish" he needs every morning in the shower. Yet he finds himself swept away by Amanda, into an outrageous world of women whistling at his knees and toe waxing.
MAKING OVER MIKE is an outlandish comic delight for the poolside summer reader. Witty dialogue, pleasing characters and a humorous plot, this novel has all the necessary elements to satisfy a craving for romance. The secondary characters are also a lot of fun, including the mother with paste handprints on her pants and the creator of modern art. Such detail gives MAKING OVER MIKE a hint of depth without bogging down the narrative. MAKING OVER MIKE is great mind candy! Very highly recommended.
And on the opposite side of the ring is Mike Cavaco. Somewhat temporarily down-on-his-luck, Twizzler chewing, taxi driving and genuinely down-to-earth guy. Who also describes himself as a man's man, a guy's guy, "a John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, 'hand me that socket wrench I can fix this', pro-football watching kinda fella". (How can you not love this guy already?? And wait til you meet his 3 side kicks!) Who also happens to be the rather reluctant winner of the Life Coach Lotto.
The thing is, Mike doesn't want to get made over. He's happy the way he is. Or so he thinks! And as the unwilling Mike allows the transformation begins to take place (at times against Mike's will) he and Amanda also discover that really need each other. Of course, from the very beginning there was that "mysterious and powerful attraction between" them! But how far will Mike let Amanda do her thing? And will Amanda take no for an answer? But besides this refreshingly modern heroine and her macho hero, the story is funny to the bone and rather clever. The narration is just as comical and interesting as the dialogue! I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed over my first Lisa Plumley novel.
The owner of a struggling start-up company, Aspirations, Inc, Amanda Connor is desperate. Unless she can come up with the winner of her Life Coach Lotto promotion, she can kiss her dreams and aspirations goodbye. Her chance for success rests solely on a local news station's offer to track one of her clients through a whole-life makeover and, if successful, translate that into a weekly TV spot for Amanda.
Taxi-driver(aka unemployed chef) Mike Cavaco is just trying to make ends meet while he searches for the right employment opportunity after having discovered that "good intentions" mean nothing. However, his "good intentions" again turn his life upside down when he finds 16 tickets for the Life Coach Lotto stuffed in the back seat of his cab. Being an honest guy, Mike feels it's his responsibility to turn them in so the rightful owner can claim them. No premonition told him he was in for the ride of his life.
Amanda's first reaction to the ripped-jeans-stained-T shirt-scruffy-shaggy apparent winner of the contest, "Oh, no. Not the taxi guy," quickly dissolves into determination and resolve when she realizes what a coup this would mean for her business and her future. And determination is what Amanda needs lots of to get Mike to agree, as `makeover' is not a word found in Mike Cavaco's personal vocabulary. But something about Amanda sticks with him and refuses to leave and Mike finds himself reluctantly agreeing.
Mike's your typical macho guy and faced with pink fluffy spa robes, manicures, waxing, he certainly could have become nasty about all of it. But the author refrains from devolving him into that category, using humor instead, and for this she put me firmly in love with this guy. As the makeover progresses, and he learns more about Amanda, Mike finds himself becoming more and more attached to his Life Coach. And despite her rule to never get involved with a client, Amanda finds herself falling deeper and deeper for the scruffy cab driver.
At times the story is hysterically funny [the scene in a restaurant/pool hall where Amanda and Mike wager a game of pool with Mike's motorcycle/pool shark friends is priceless], poignant [the transformation of the Mike's friends, the dreams Mike and Amanda have and the motivation that drives them], and heart wrenching [as Mike and Amanda come to grips with what they've come to mean to each other]. Their struggle to resolve the crisis in their lives that this makeover has created leads to some difficult choices for both and to a final scene that had my eyes a bit misty even as I smiled.
MAKING OVER MIKE evoked my every emotion and made me thankful for authors such as Ms. Plumley-who proves it is possible to craft a story filled with strong, believable, sympathetic characters without resorting to the crude and uncouth. These are the kind of characters with whom I'd like to have as friends in real life. If you're a fan of Patti Berg or Millie Criswell, you will love Lisa Plumley's MAKING OVER MIKE. And thankfully, you won't have to wait too long for her next book, FALLING FOR APRIL, which will be out in March 2002. It's already on my list of books to buy in 2002.
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