When famous conservative radio host Ross Mannon skewers liberal Macie Grahams latest article and costs her magazine one of their biggest advertisers, she launches a plan to enact revenge. Ross needs a full-time nanny to cart around his teenage daughter? Macie will just transform herself into the new Mrs. Cleaver, complete with apron and pearls, for the inside track on her judgmental enemy’s life, just long enough to get the dirt and expose him for the hypocrite he surely must be.
The Verdict: While I totally understand and relate to Macie in many ways, I was never quite able to wrap my head around Ross, and that’s probably the main reason behind my only being able to give this book three stars.
Macie works for a big time women’s magazine, and her latest article about how parents should just go ahead and get their teens on birth control sets Ross off. He’s super-conservative, and his value system is nothing short of archaic. When he notices the article in a magazine his teenage daughter has been reading, he goes on a radio show rant, urging his listeners to sound off at the magazine’s advertisers, and that’s what gets the ball rolling for Macie.
In an effort to pretty much save her career and possibly make even splashier headlines, she reinvents herself as Martha Jane Gray (which happens to be her real name) and draws on her conservative, small, hometown memories to play the part. Ross thinks he’s found the perfect woman to not only cook dinners and clean house but also serve as a kind of role model to his daughter. Of course, Macie’s just there to find out what skeletons Ross has hiding in his closet and use them against him, but then that pesky little thing called love rears its head.
Macie sees Ross’s more human side, the loving and responsible parent who just happens to be ridiculously good looking and charming. Despite his old-fashioned attitude about things, she begins to fall for him. Ross does quite a bit of falling himself, only he’s falling for the illusion. The truth is that Maddie can’t cook to save her life, doesn’t clean, and is a *gasp* card-carrying Democrat. She’s pretty much his definition of the wrong woman. Except he doesn’t know that because she’s pulled off the almost perfect con.
My issue with the book is more an issue with me, I guess. To be honest, I’m a big fan of traditional gender roles and am probably on NOW’s hate list, but Ross’s close-mindedness wasn’t something I could get past. I’d be fine if he preferred to have a wife who wanted to be the perfect homemaker, but to act like a woman with modern values, someone who was liberal and realistic about things was some kind of threat to society was too much for me to take. His vehement opposition to the idea that a sexually liberated woman who didn’t spend her days cooking and cleaning was a big turn-off. To me, there’s a fine line between embracing tradition and forcing limitations on someone, and with Ross, it felt like the latter. By the time he fell in love with her, only to realize Macie was not at all the woman he thought she was, there’s just wasn’t enough time left in the book to convince me that he loved her for the real Macie.