A Girl Walks into a Bar: Your Fantasy, Your Rules by Helena S. Paige
Morrow  •  $14.99  •  ISBN 9780062291974
published February 4, 2014

I had a Pavlovian response when I first saw this book. Like so many other kids growing up (way) back in the '80s, I regularly devoured "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, so holding one written for grown-up women about an adventurous single gal's night on the town . . . well, it sure sounded like a lot of fun to me! Author Helena S. Paige (actually a pseudonym for three writers: Helen Moffett, Sarah Lotz and Paige Nick) opens the book with you getting ready to meet a friend at a bar—your first choice will be what kind of undies you'll put on (which reminded me of the "absolutely enormous" knickers scene from Bridget Jones's Diary). Which of the four options you choose will set you on your way to an unforgettable adventure.

The book is described by the publisher as a "choose-your-own-erotic-destiny novel." There are indeed erotic parts, but they're balanced with plenty of fun and humor. Fans of Maya Banks, Sylvia Day and the Fifty Shades series will most enjoy this one—particularly if they gather with friends and a bottle of wine, and read it aloud.

Here's a scene to draw you into the adventure:

A taxi pulls up in front of you, interrupting your thoughts, and the driver gets out and leans over the roof of the car.

"Finally! That must have been the world's longest five minutes!" you say to him, hands on your hips. 

He looks at a piece of paper he's holding, his face confused. "Mr. Cornetto?" he aske.

"No!" you snap. "I called you almost half an hour ago. Your guy said you'd be five minutes!"

"I'm afraid this taxi is for a Mr. Cornetto."

"I think you must mean me," says a voice from behind. You whirl around, ready to confront whoever is trying to steal your taxi, and you're taken aback when you see the sexy salt-and-pepper guy who rescued you from Chest Wig earlier. Mr. Intense. The guy who smells like a blend of cedar and leather. The one who could give George Clooney a run for his money. Miles, was it?

"Oh, it's you," you say. Then redden with embarrassment. At this rate, you're going to slay him with your wit. 

"Is everything all right?" he asks, looking from you to the taxi driver.

"Everything's fine. I was just waiting for a taxi, but this isn't it."

"Well, there's no reason it couldn't be," he says. "Why don't we share it?"

"No, I wouldn't want to impose—it's fine, really. He offered me a ride, too," you say, indicating the bodyguard on the corner, who's having some kind of altercation with whoever's on the phone. "And anyway, you already helped me out once tonight."

"Are you sure? Your friend looks like he's got his hands full."

He's so attractive that you struggle not to stare. Dropping your head, you notice you're still clutching the "Immaculata" invitation. Your thoughts buzz as you try to decide what to do next. 

• If you go to the art exhibition, go to page 52.

• If you share a taxi with the George Clooney look-alike, go to page 105.

• If you take a ride home in the sports car with the bodyguard, go to page 162.

What are you reading this Valentine's Day week? 


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