Beginner’s Greek by James Collins

This romance’s first sentence caught my attention: “Whenever Peter Russell boarded an airplane, he always wondered whether a beautiful young woman would sit next to him and, if so, whether, during the flight, he would fall in love with her, and she would fall in love with him.”  As you might guess, eventually a beautiful young woman does sit down next to Peter.  He is sure that she is, indeed, the love of his life, but he becomes completely tongue-tied.  After a long struggle to think of something to say to her, when she finally asks, “What takes you to Los Angeles?” he manages to respond with only one word, “Work.”  Despite this awkward beginning, Peter and Holly eventually have a delightful five-hour conversation.  Moreover, when he asks for her phone number, she gladly gives it to him. But—when he later reaches into his pocket for the piece of paper bearing this crucial information, it’s gone, and he realizes that he forgot to ask for her last name!

After Peter has unsuccessfully searched every crowd for his true love for several years, his best friend introduces him to a woman; amazingly, that woman is Holly!  However, circumstances make it seem impossible that Holly could ever return his love.  And—to make matters worse—his boss is determined to find a way to fire him.

Despite the setting in present-day New York City, reviewers compare Beginner’s Greek to a 19th-century romance.  You’ll be turning pages, hoping for Peter, a thoroughly likeable guy, to win Holly and to emerge triumphant from his job problems.

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)


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