Semi-Scripted (Wanderlove #2)
Diversion Books / November 8, 2016 / $14.99 print, $4.99 digital
Semi-Scripted by Amanda Heger is the second standalone in the Wanderlove series, and let me tell you…I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. If you’ve read Without Borders, you’ll remember Marisol. She finds herself in Los Angeles, acting in her mother’s stead, competing for a grant that will help fund their medical clinic back in Nicaragua. She’s focused, determined, and scared as hell. How can she articulate the positives of the clinic and why the clinic deserves to win the grant, as well as her mother? The one positive? She might have a chance to be selected to join the audience of her favorite TV show, Who’s Got the Coconut? Though fate has other plans for her. Not only does she not get selected for Who’s Got the Coconut, she is persuaded by Wristband Guy—Evan the intern—to join the audience of the dying So Late It’s Early comedy talk show. Marisol becomes an overnight sensation when her shenanigans with Evan casts them together on stage.
Evan just wants to write for television and definitely does not want to be in front of the camera. But after Evan and Marisol’s unscripted interaction unfolds on stage, the audience is smitten. Marisol is the confident, unfiltered guest, and Evan is clueless, in much need of instructions on how to woo women.
This time the camera and lights found the right guy. “Evan? Our intern?” James asked. “Let’s bring him out.”
The audience clapped as cheesy porno music came in over the speakers and Evan lowered himself into the chair beside her.
“Evan, if we’re being honest here, you look like the kind of guy who has no clue what he’s doing with women,” James said.
Marisol leaned in. Wristband Guy had practically forced her into the audience, and then he’d tossed her onstage. Certainly, he could handle a little payback. “Nada. He needs lessons, James.” She sat back in the lumpy armchair, grinning as the rumble of laughter echoed in her ears. “He needs an internship in dating.”
So begins a new arc for the dying comedy show. Evan is charged with tracking down Marisol and bringing her back to the stage so that she can give him lessons on how to pick up women. It’s semi-scripted, of course. And the more Marisol tries to help Evan pick up women, which always fails according to the script, the more America falls for #Marivan. Much to Marisol’s chagrin, she too finds herself swatting away pesky feelings for Evan. She’s only here for a short period of time, focused on trying to win the grant, and then she’ll return to Nicaragua. Nursing is her trade…not acting.
And when she turned, Marisol had a perfect view of the hopefully, messy guy looking back at her.
Looking at her like that.
She inched forward, feeling more like the old Marisol. The one who kissed who she wanted, when she wanted. The one who was always ready for an adventure. Or three…Maybe it was the rush of standing on the stage of her childhood dreams. Maybe it was nothing but proximity and the loneliness of travel. But Marisol wanted to kiss him mid-sentence.
Marisol’s not the only one falling. But Evan’s charged with creating this fantasy for the television. The scenes are contrived and perhaps like the script, Marisol has zero interest in our doomed wooer of women. Or would she think the arc twist of Evan and Marisol coming together is only to save the show and boost the ratings?
Stupid, Evan. Stupid, Evan.
He did regret something about those stolen minutes on the game show set, but it wasn’t that he’d been away too long.
Should have kissed her. Instead, like a chump, he’d acted like the whole thing was a setup, posed for one of Penny’s Instagram photos, and then high-tailed it down the steps and back to the rented set.
Watching how these two navigate their relationship from the script versus reality is gooey fudge melting in my mouth. The fans LOVE Marivan. And friends, I do too.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Semi-Scripted by Amanda Heger, available November 8, 2016:
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Tanya is a fanatic of all things romance, dabbles in Happily Ever Afters under the pen name of Lily Kay, and teaches sociology part-time. You can follow her on twitter @tamushamu, @AuthorLilyKay, or on facebook.com/Authorlilykay.