I couldn’t bear to have the only book I finished yesterday be The Road, so I stayed up late finishing this lovely sequel to The Little Lady Agency. In it our heroine follows her love interest overseas to New York. While there she tries to refrain from doing her business (which, out of deference to Jonathan no longer includes either her blond wig or pretending to be men’s girlfriends), but gets caught up in doing so, as well as caught up in insecurities about Jonathan and his hideous ex-wife.
Browne is a good writer–I was laughing out loud over Melissa’s not understanding the “Mile High Club” and getting a colleague of her father’s in trouble–but I was a little disappointed. The things I disliked about the first book were a much more significant part of this story. Melissa’s horrible father and sisters continue to blackmail her, guilt trip her, belittle her, and, in a dreadful part, run her business into the ground. It was just too much for me. I admired Honey/Melissa so much for being in charge and in control and watching her allow her bullying relatives to ruin the one thing she was really good at was just too unbelievable. Again, that conflict of In Charge Honey vs. Insecure Melissa is, I believe, meant to be an integral part of the story, but it was just too significant a contrast. Even I would have stood up to her father and sacked her sister. Regarding the romance….
In the previous book I liked her boyfriend, and in this one I grew to dislike him. An odd switch to be sure, but I hoped it was to set Melissa up with her long time friend and flatmate, Nelson. Alas, no. It was just to play with the poor reader’s feelings.
I’m hoping for a third, which I will eagerly read, and will hope that in it there is a happy resolution for Melissa, Jonathan, and Nelson, and that Melissa gets a bit of Honey’s backbone.