Greer Davis is a bad girl. No matter what she does, she can’t stay out of trouble. The rock star is a combination of Courtney Love before rehab and Lindsay Lohan before rehab. She can’t seem to stay out of the tabloids. So when she meets up with good girl pop star Macy Rivers, she’s hoping to clean up her own image just a bit. But when she and Macy head off to a party, things end up anything but better for Greer. She’s left with problems far worse than a bad hangover and Macy’s career is over. For good.

Ainsley Farraday is a control freak with her eye constantly on the prize. A hotel manager who knows how to please the A-list customer, Ainsley gets a chance at her brass ring and goes for it. The opportunity is not one to pass up–an extreme makeover, hotel edition, in which she is asked to transform a small, rundown hotel into an A-list boutique “meet and be met” kind of place. Off Ainsley goes to the Land of Enchantment–New Mexico and turquoise laden-Santa Fe.

The flight out is anything but ordinary when Greer–in disguise and fleeing the worst publicity of her entire career–ends up in the seat next to Ainsley and the two consider joining the mile-high club.  Romance ensues.

Taite, a regular on the romance beat and a Lammy finalist, starts out very strong with what begins as a highly compelling story melding mystery and romance. But then Taite totally drops what had appeared to be a major storyline–and with no closure. When Greer (who spends a significant portion of the story doing pseudo-transgender role play as Tray, the identity she takes on while in hiding) and Ainsley hit Santa Fe, the action starts to sputter.

The main impediment in “Do Not Disturb” is Greer Davis. Bad girls are great in fiction, but Greer is more bad than most. What she runs away from–and how she does it–will make her unlikeable as a character to many readers. And her virtual molestation of Ainsley on the plane also raises an eyebrow. (The rule should be “if you’d call the police if a man did it, then women shouldn’t do it either.”)

These factors make Greer’s personality change once she gets back home to Santa Fe and her family–plus her seeming sudden recovery from her addiction issues–hard to comprehend. Even more difficult to explain is Ainsley’s attraction to her. Are looks really everything?
by Carsen Taite
Bold Strokes Books
Paperback, 9781602821538, $16.95

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