The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

Here is a fun rom-com with two appealing main characters, a modern setting and a classic will they-won’t they slow burn, all showcased in The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun.

Dev is the producer for long-running dating reality show called Ever After (think The Bachelor). He truly believes in happy endings and loves the idea of helping two people find true love. As a new season is getting started, the lucky bachelor is Charlie, a tech wunderkind. Charlie seems perfect – he is handsome and wealthy and smart, but the production crew soon learns that there is a problem – he is a wreck in front of the camera.

Charlie stumbles over his words and is awkward and shy with the contestants. This does not make for good television. So Dev is assigned to work with Charlie, help him relax and enjoy the adventures the show sets up for the program. And it works. Charlie learns how to steady his nerves and what to say to the women when he goes on dates with them.

But now there’s another problem – the more time Dev and Charlie spend together and get to know each other, the more they begin to fall for each other. This is not what the television show had in mind. The show insists that Charlie continue as outlined in his contract.

Will Dev get his happily ever after and will Charlie have the courage to go after his true love?

This is a quick read that’s lots of fun with witty banter and appealing characters who work against stereotype (including the women who are contestants on the show). Recommended for a lazy weekend read!


boulevardAfter the tragic passing of Robin Williams on August 11, 2014, I found myself going back and watching some of my favorite movies that he starred in (Can’t get enough of that genie in Aladdin and Good Will Hunting has Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, AND Robin Williams, so you can’t pass that up!). I also found myself wondering what would be his last movie, found this article detailing what they would be, and made a note to check them out. I was finally able to check one of them out! One of his last movies was Boulevard, starring Williams as Nolan Mack, a married, yet closeted, bank employee in his 60s and what happens when he decides to take a different way home one night.

Nolan has a lot on his plate. He has been working at the same bank for 25 years, has been offered a promotion to branch manager which requires a lot of prep work, and has an elderly father in the hospital. His home life seems to be idyllic, except for the tiny fact that he and his wife, Joy, sleep in separate bedrooms and seem to have entirely separate lives. On his way home after visiting his father in the hospital, Nolan finds himself driving down an unfamiliar street. Sitting at a red light, he decides to turn around. After almost hitting a young man crossing the street, Nolan offers the young man a ride to wherever he was heading, discovers he’s a prostitute, and finds himself in a hotel room with young Leo, confronting issues in his life that he had hoped to keep buried. Needing Leo in his life more than he realizes, Nolan soon finds himself deviating from the comforting and familiar bearings of his life, his work, and his marriage in order to fully become his true self.