1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bells are ringing,
This review is from: Just the Way You are (Mass Market Paperback)
Christina Dodd's first venture into contemporary novels didn't stray so far from the style and plotline-development techniques used in the hugely popular historical 'Governesses' series. In several of these novels, Dodd picks up and works from the basic premises of classic movies e.g. versions of 'The Sound of Music', 'Sabrina (Fair)' and 'Le Retour de Martin Guerre'... and the basic plot device used here is no different.
The story revolves around Hope Prescott, a telephone answering service worker, who becomes overly interested in her subscriber's lives... even falling in love with one of them. This time the plot borrowing comes from the Judy Holiday-Dean Martin vehicle 'Bells are Ringing'... and the nature of the borrowing is a plot problem which Dodd doesn't really resolve. The problem lies in the fact that the 1950s stage show and movie centred around a telephone answering service - but there is little/no need for such kinds of service in the era of mobile phones and answering machines. Even as the alleged last service of its type in Boston, the nature of Hope's employment is hokey.
Otherwise, this is a fun, comic romance... albeit one that is heavily laden with nods to screwball/romantic comedies of the 30's, 40's and 50's: for example when the hero, multimillionaire Zack Givens, becomes annoyed by Hope's assumption that rich people can't be bothered to pick up their own messages, he pretends to be his own butler. This leads to a tangle of identities and emotions, as Zack succumbs to the temptation to find out whether someone can genuinely be attracted to HIM rather than his cash...