Title: So Far Away
Author: Dakota Madison
Published: April 9, 2016
Genre: Romantic Comedy
~ Synopsis ~
After being at the center of a sex scandal that made national headlines a former nanny tries to rebuild her life by becoming a personal assistant to a reclusive writer.
What happens after your 15-minutes of fame are over?
Find out in SO FAR AWAY, a romantic comedy novella by USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR Dakota Madison.
Maddie Malone is the nanny who made national headlines. She’s the temptress who broke up the marriage of two of Hollywood’s most beloved movie stars. She’s the girl everyone in America loves to hate.
Now two months after the Nannygate sex scandal Maddie is desperate to rebuild her life.
She accepts a position as a personal assistant to the reclusive writer, Jackson Drake. He’s fired every one of the assistants his manager has sent him within the first few days of employment, but Maddie is determined to do whatever is takes to make her new job work.
Maddie is able to follow every one of Jackson’s eccentric rules to the letter. That is until Emerson Drake shows up for Spring Break. He’s Jackson’s son from an affair he had with Bahamian creative writing student when he taught at UCLA. He’s the son who Jackson has somehow managed to keep hidden from his fans for all these years.
Maddie finds Emerson incredibly attractive…and Jackson has forbidden Maddie to date him.
WARNING: This book contains foul language, insta-love and a little bit of hanky-panky. Buyer beware.
~ Book Review~
Okay. I’m going to be perfectly and painfully honest here. I think I’m too old for this book. A 20-something woman who refers to a famous author who is in his 50s as an old guy? Yeah, I’m too old. Maddie seemed superficial and not very smart, despite the two Master’s degrees the reader had to hear about over and over again. I expected some depth from her after enduring the Nannygate scandal. It can’t be easy to survive paparazzi following you everywhere and becoming unemployable. Between the horoscope references and her immaturity, I didn’t warm up to Maddie. Frankly, until Emerson showed up, I was a bit bored.
Maybe it’s that age thing, but I wouldn’t categorize the book as romantic comedy. I didn’t find it funny. There were a few passages that were nearly funny, but the writing was too explanatory for the joke to work. For example, there was no need to explain the term Facetwat in detail. Without the explanation, Jackson’s use of the word is kind of funny.
I’m giving this one three stars. With some changes to the synopsis and genre so that readers are clear with what they are getting before purchase, it could be a four star read.
~ Excerpt ~
If I had a dollar for every time I heard those two words in the last three months I’d be wealthy and not so desperate to find a job.
Even though I’m wearing a baseball cap and dark sunglasses I’m still recognizable. Somehow the paparazzi always manage to find me. Today is no exception. They snap photos of me as I dash into the corner market.
I selected Gino’s, a small neighborhood grocery store, because I thought it would be safe. Or at least safer than some place like Trader Jay’s Whole Foods Organic Gluten Free Market where the paparazzi expect to see celebrities.
Not that I’m famous…more like infamous. I’m the Naughty Nanny. That’s the moniker I was given by the press following Nannygate.
“That’s her.” A young blond girl elbows her friend and points in my direction. The two whisper and snicker as they gawk at me.
People aren’t subtle when they stare. And they often say rude things about me, right to my face. I’ve even had a woman spit on me. Obviously she was a big fan of America’s Sweetheart, Annabelle Miller.
I had only worked for movie stars, Daniel Robinson and Annabelle Miller aka Dannabelle, for a few months before all hell broke loose.
Annabelle accused me of screwing her husband and immediately filed for divorce.
When two of the hottest celebrities in Hollywood split up it’s big news, especially when there’s another woman involved.
And I just happened to be the other woman.
I do my best to remember the few items I had intended to pick up at the market.
Tomatoes, pasta, mushrooms…I can’t remember the fourth item.
It’s difficult to keep my mind on my grocery list while every other customer in the place gapes at me.
Olive oil. I snap my fingers. That’s the final item on the list.
The older woman at the cash register doesn’t seem to recognize me. I consider that a small miracle. She just asks me for my twenty bucks then bags my items.
When I step out of the store there are still several photographers waiting to snap shots of me.
How many people are able to completely ruin their lives by the time they’re 26 years old? I’ve certainly done an excellent job of it.
I wave to the guys snapping my photo and then give them the finger. I’ve got nothing to lose. Everyone in the English-speaking world already hates me.
Of course no one knows the real story, and oddly enough no one seems to care. The scandal took on a life of its own and I became the target of hatred and scorn.
Two months have gone by since the story made national headlines. I thought the media attention would eventually fade, but it hasn’t yet. With the world watching Daniel and Annabelle go through an ugly divorce, my name continues to be dragged through the mud.
I realized very quickly that I would never be able to get another gig as a nanny. No woman wants the Naughty Nanny anywhere near her husband and kids. What I didn’t anticipate was that no one would hire me to do anything ever again. I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs, for which I’ve been qualified, everything from marketing to retail management. Mostly I’ve gotten thanks-but-no-thanks letters. The few interviews I have managed to snag have gone sideways the moment the interviewers realized why they recognized me.
I guess I could pose for a nude magazine and complete the cycle of public humiliation and degradation.
At least it would pay the bills that are starting to pile up.
The paparazzi follow me as I begin the walk back to the condo where I’ve been staying. Luckily my best friend, Nellie Berg, and her boyfriend, Roscoe, have an extra bedroom and have graciously allowed me to use it for as long as I need to.
I realize I’m like the rusty third wheel, and I won’t be able to stay with them indefinitely, but I really don’t want to have to move back in with my mother and husband number six.
Or maybe it’s number seven.
Honestly I’ve lost count.
Either it’s a very slow news day, or something else has happened in Daniel and Annabelle’s ongoing divorce saga and they need some new photos of the nanny to go along with the breaking story.
When did Americans become so obsessed with celebrities and scandals? Why does everyone love it when celebrities are torn down and ripped to shreds in such a public way?
Nellie is watching Hollywood Exposed when I enter the condo.
The place is very upscale, and I’m sure very expensive. It’s easily three times the size of the shitty apartment that Nellie and I shared when we lived together. That was before I become a nanny and before she met Roscoe.
Nellie never told me the entire story, but apparently Roscoe inherited quite a bit of money when his mom passed away. Enough to afford a place that easily cost three quarters of a million dollars.
Nellie and Roscoe are both screenwriters, but Nellie is a little further along in her career than he is. She’s already had one of her scripts optioned by a producer.
“What’s up?” I shout over the television.
She quickly shuts it off when she hears me. “Sorry!”
“Let me guess. More breaking news in Daniel and Annabelle’s divorce case.”
Nellie scrunches up her button nose. “A former stripper now turned model-actress claims she has a sex tape featuring you, her and Daniel in a threesome.”
I roll my eyes. “I wish I had as much sex as the tabloids claim.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to hire a lawyer? Maybe a publicist? Something?”
I shake my head. “What’s the use? Everyone is already convinced I’m a conniving whore who came between Daniel and Annabelle. Everyone loves Annabelle Miller. She’s America’s Sweetheart. No one wants to hear that she’s a mean, crazy bitch who just didn’t want to be married to her husband anymore. It’s easier to believe a gigantic lie than it is to believe the truth. Especially when it’s a truth you don’t want to hear.”
~ About the Author ~
USA TODAY Bestselling author Dakota Madison is known for writing new adult, love in midlife, and contemporary romance with a little spice and lots of heart. Dakota is a winner of the prestigious RONE Award for Excellence in the Indie and Small Publishing Industry. When she’s not at her computer creating spicy stories Dakota likes to spend time with her husband and their bloodhounds. Dakota also writes under the pen names SAVANNAH YOUNG, SIERRA AVALON and REN MONTERREY.