Stay at Home
Blanket Fort Publishing, 2006 (2006)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
anie Hadley is a stay at home mom who helps pay the bills by running a home day care. The story opens with Janie cleaning the kitchen, painting a picture of drudgery day in and day out. However, we soon see Janie and her best friend Stacie dancing the night away at a club, where they are spotted by the leader of the featured band. Billy Smitts, a famous singer and actor, is known for his string of women across the country, as well as his good looks and charm. He wants to make Janie another conquest, and Stacie hopes that using Janie as bait, she can get some action as well. One thing leads to another, but Janie is not playing. She has a husband. Stacie, is married to Janie's husband's brother, but while her husband is away, she plays hard.
fter their night out, Billy Smitts arrives at Janie's door with her wallet, which he took to find out where she lived. He offers a business proposition, to use her day care services for his daughter. Janie is livid, because she doesn't like Billy at all, but she caves in when he tells her how much he's willing to pay. So, Janie is helping to care for the daughter of a very famous man, and Stacie is jealous. Janie doesn't treat Billy like a superstar. The two carry on as if they were good friends. While Janie's husband is out of town on business, Billy (in between gigs) finds himself fixing things in the house, or just hanging out after dinner, talking when the kids are in bed. There is a definite attraction, but Janie doesn't want to acknowledge it. And Billy thinks that maybe the life he always wanted was right here with Janie.
hile there is a lot to like about this book, I had a hard time getting into the story. The plot didn't ring true for me, nor did the characters, and so the premise of a superstar and a housewife forming a friendship seemed as real as a made for TV movie. I also felt that the book was trying to do two things at once and not succeeding. At times it focused on the excitement of meeting a superstar, but the other premise was that no one has a perfect life, no matter how charmed it may seem from the outside. However, the fantasy of being best friends with a famous rock star does have its appeal, and some readers may enjoy this almost impossible dream come true.
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