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Crazy Hot: Au Pairs    by Melissa de la Cruz order for
Crazy Hot
by Melissa de la Cruz
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Crazy Hot, the fourth in the popular Au Pairs series, offers easy summer reading set in the Hamptons, whose inhabitants (as portrayed here anyway) are rich, glamorous, and often larger than life. The series leads are three young women whom it's impossible not to immediately like.

Eliza Thompson's family came down in the world and then back up again. Now Eliza pursues her passion for dress design and is opening her own all-in-pink boutique, helped by her gardener-boyfriend Jeremy. Her parents have separated and her dad is living in his new divorcée girlfriend's megamansion. It turns out that Eliza's quasi-stepmother Suzy has five wunderkids, including a six-month old baby, and her au pair promptly quits.

Mara Waters had arranged the perfect summer, traveling Europe with her boyfriend David and writing travel guides for Lonesome Planet - but a last minute complication causes the plane to fly without her. Brazilian Jacqui Velasco plans to attend NYU in the fall and expected to continue working for the Perrys through the summer to pay for college - but the best-laid plans go astray when she discovers that her employers are leaving the country. Luckily, Eliza steps into the breach and recommends her two friends to Suzy.

They move in, sharing childcare duties for Suzy's brood - that is until Jacqui morphs into a super-model, leaving Mara to deal with diapers on her own. Eliza's boutique takes off and she struggles with her feelings for Jeremy, whose plans for their future catch her off balance. Mara, who's started writing a popular blog, resents being left on her own so much, and still hankers after ex-boyfriend Ryan, even though he's started calling her dude.

Though this Au Pairs series is fairly fluffy, it's also very well done. We see the trio enjoying first loves, separating illusion and reality. Though success comes rather too easily to them (much more so than in real life), they all pursue their dreams, but it seems they are still working out exactly what those dreams are. A quote at the beginning of the book pretty well sums it all up - 'Don't waste your youth growing up.' Crazy Hot is super summer fun.

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