With her move into chick lit, Porter poses a question: What happens to the heroine after she's ostensibly found her "happily ever after"? As it turns out for event planner Holly Bishop, she's seen better days. The heroines in the romances she loves always find their Prince Charming, but she's lucky just to have found a decent—albeit overpriced—apartment for one in San Francisco.

So Holly's year-old marriage to fancy-pants Frenchman Jean-Marc was off-the-charts disastrous. (This tends to happen when the groom admits on his honeymoon that he's not sexually attracted to his lingerie-wearing bride.) So her mother spent way too much money on a doomed-from-the-start wedding. Holly picks herself up and relocates to the Bay City, coordinating events for pay and wallowing in self-pity extracurricularly. Encouraged by her boss Olivia to resuscitate her social life, Holly meets newspaperman Brian Fadden. But how cam she tell if he's a frog in a prince's body?

There's real heart to this book. Porter admirably pulls off Holly's transformation from forlorn divorcée to strong, resilient woman. One might call the story anti-chick lit, since her heroine casts off many suitors in pursuit of her own self-worth. Ironically, as Holly embraces single life, the story stalls. Plot points—such as Holly's mercurial relationship with Olivia—feel underdeveloped and mere devices for reaching the conclusion. Despite this, Porter's offering is enjoyable reading for those wondering what comes after the happily ever after. (May, 371 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Lauren Spielberg