Darby Vaughn is a successful relationship expert, having authored several books, columns, and personal appearances on the subject. At first suspicious that there is something going on with her husband and publicist Will, he is soon able to explain it all away and she embarks on her latest book tour. Nothing prepares her when her idyllic world comes crashing down when she discovers on national television that she has been dumped by her husband, as he has reconciled with his ex-wife and taken the daughters she has been raising with him. What's a girl to do? If you are Darby, you barf on Matt Lauer's shoes in full Technicolor. At first, she wallows in self pity, particularly when she is abandoned by her fans and turns into a late night joke. Then she brushes herself off and tries to do damage control deciding to seek custody of her ex's children. Her attorney prepares her for the worst. As new opportunities come her way both professionally and personally, Darby realizes that she might not be able to have it all.
Real life TV relationship guru Daily's fiction debut is a hilarious tale of a woman wronged who is forced to lick her wounds in a public arena. The dialogue is crisp and the characters are well developed. She cleverly inserts dating tips from Darby's columns to bring authenticty to her character. I particularly enjoyed her second chance at romance.
I loved Darby's voice and attitude; Daily shows that even though Darby is a dating expert, she can still be thrown a curveball by life (and men). She winds up falling hard hard hard, and then has to make a very tough decision. I loved the tension built up in the romance here, but I questioned a major turnaround Darby has at the end (I don't want to give it away). I understand why she made her decision, but it seemed slightly out of character, though was motivated by love. This is a rollicking romance but also one with a maternal emotional core, and the lessons Darby learns, as well as imparts, are valuable ones.
While I enjoyed Darby's hilarious stint on reality TV, what moved me more was her relationship with Holt and what she learns from it ("you can't manufacture love by adhering to a plan"). Perfect beach reading (or anywhere reading), it made me consider Darby's dating advice (some I agree with, some I didn't). Kudos to Daily for turning her real-life career as a dating expert into a fun novel that also gets at what being a stepmother, and falling for a family, not just a man, is all about.
on July 24, 2008
Maybe it's not realistic in that people get dumped on national tv every day, but the book does a great job in getting the reader tangled up in Darby's life as it spirals out of control. Who hasn't faced a situation in their life at some point where they thought their entire life was over as they knew it? This book allows you to see how Darby regains control of her life after her loser of a husband betrays her in the worse possible way (personally and professionally). Of course as with all chick-lit books there is a happy ending and a new love interest for Darby, but getting to this point for Darby is definitely not something that comes easy for her. She has to make some tough decisions and face her past head on.
Darby Vaughn has become America's favorite television dating expert. During a tour to promote her latest book, and teach one seminar, she is a guest on one of today's famous talk shows. When the host shows her that morning's newspaper and she learns that her husband has not only been cheating on her, but filed for divorce, Darby is blind-sided! So she does the only thing she can do: she passes out. Humiliated on national television, Darby's entire world begins crashing around her. Her husband had given Darby no clue that he was unhappy. Even more humiliating is that when Darby goes to ask him WHY, the reporters are suddenly there with their cameras clicking away.
Darby still loves her husband, but the public is now watching to see what she does. If Darby breaks her own zero-tolerance rules for cheaters and takes him back, her career will be over. Yet if Darby does not, she will lose the man she loves.
*** This is the type of story that pulls the reader in several directions at once. I felt so bad for Darby's problems, but also became so irritated at her groveling. One thing this story clearly showed me is that the public's opinion on famous people can be fickle and two-faced. The story is written well, but slows down too often for me. I kept wanting the pace to pick up. ***
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
on June 26, 2008
Darby Vaughn is a talented writer and after years of offering suggestions to her best friends on courting, she decides to write a book on dating do's and don'ts. With the success of her book, Darby suddenly becomes famous and is considered an expert on dating etiquette. All the television and radio shows want to interview her. The famous author is married to a handsome publicist and is a step-mom to his two adorable kids from his previous marriage. She is very content with her life - until she spies her husband leaving a convenience store, furtively looking around, before hopping into his car. He is supposed to be in Atlanta. Uh, oh, something is not right.
Darby leaves on a two-week book promotion tour, with interviews at the most prestigious television stations, such as The Today Show and Oprah, and various radio shows to talk about her new story. She is unaware that her life is about to change overnight.
During a coveted interview with Matt Lauer on The Today Show, Darby finds out in front of the whole world, that her husband has cheated on her. When Matt divulges information from an article appearing in the morning's newspaper, she reacts by exuding a spectacular stream of vomit in his chrysanthemums and passing out. The article, it seems, contains the details that her famous publicist husband William Bradley has filed for divorce from the world's leading dating expert. Darby's so-called fairytale life is over; paparazzi stalk her, loyal fans desert her, the famous vomit shot becomes headline news overnight, and her reputation as a love expert is down the tubes.
Darby vacillates between crying and vomiting as she tries to sort things out. She discovers that her rat of a husband went back with his ex-wife Gigi, the publicity seeker. It is difficult for her to digest the fact that Will doesn't love her anymore. She didn't have a clue that he was about to drop a bomb shell on her.
In addition, Darby loves her step-kids as if they were her own. During her three-year marriage, Gigi, their natural mother, landed a spot on a TV reality show, so she didn't have time for her kids. Will was always working late. Therefore, Darby was the one who took care of all their needs.
Darby plods along the best she can and puts her life back in order with the help from her best friends and a sharp female publicity assistant Kendall, who used to work for Will, pre-divorce. Darby does some investigative work, hires a smart, charismatic lawyer, and uncovers a web of deceit as she unravels the truth behind her cheating husband's plan. Will she ever see her step-kids again? Does Darby get back at Will and Gigi for ruining her life?
Lisa Daily is a multi-talented author who is also a TV relationship expert. Her book FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME is a tantalizing look at the many facets of a prominent author's life who deals with a dishonorable husband. The plot is peppered with many barbs and advice tips galore on what to do if your man is cheating which gives the story its own irresistible flavor. The star of the story is Darby Vaughn. She is embarrassed on live television during an interview when she discovers that her husband has filed for divorce. Darby is a wonder woman as she grapples with the ultimate humiliation and then rises above it. I think all women across America can benefit from this story as it outlines, in detail, understanding men and building your career. I was rooting for Darby all the way, as she uncovered the facts behind her dastardly husband's plan. I zoomed through the pages of the story, eager to see if she regains custody of the kids and if Will and Gigi get what they deserve. There are many surprising twists sprinkled throughout the story. Does Darby get her fairy tale ending? Rush out and buy a copy of FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME because this is one addictive, compelling story!
on December 28, 2008
So you already read the description of the book. I won't repeat the synopsis. I give this book 3 1/2 stars, mostly for its writing style.
I love chick lit. This book wasn't bad for a debut (fiction) novel. The author has writing experience as she is a true-life dating expert. I expect better writing from authors, but it wasn't terrible. I thought there were a lot of parenthesis (which kind of got irritating). I think a different writing style could have made parenthesis less excessive (but I don't know how to change that). I also thought that the writing (from the main character's perspective/first person), was ok in that at times it seemed like someone writing an email to a good girlfriend or even in a diary.
Now for the actual story: I did enjoy the story line. Poor Darby. The story had funny moments but no out-loud laughing. I was interested in how Darby grew from her divorce as a person. I thought she was being a little obsessive about getting "her" kids back, but perhaps that is biased coming from a non-mother. Some things were a little repetitive. What I liked best about this book is that for chick lit, it wasn't painfully predictable. I think maybe Will should have come back into her life a little earlier to make her "decision" between the two men a little more drawn out.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. It was a quick, easy read and good for the purpose it serves - chick lit. Recommended.
on April 2, 2008
Darby Vaughn has written bestselling self-help books and made many TV appearances, but knows she is America's dating expert by the sales of her own line of perfume. However, she is mortified when during a TV interview, she finds out her cheating spouse Will has filed for divorce. Since he was also her publicist she has no expert to help her with the media frenzy and how to spin it.
FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME ends with Darby resolute to not just salvage her life, but to make it clear it is the dummy's loss not hers. After a few days of sisterhood bonding, Darby is ready to spin the tale her way starting with her column whose first entry in two weeks is "The Dreamgirl's Breakup Survival Guide" and follows up with the Dreamgirl's Academy. She also publicly dates again at the same she hires Holt, the best lawyer she can to insure numb-nuts is cut off with no blood left in either head. Darby finds herself attracted to her new attorney, but first comes her lifestyle, then mutilating her ex, and finally dating the hunk.
This is an engaging chick lit romance that stars a courageous woman who epitomizes Frank Sinatra's That's Life; paraphrasing from the lyrics: she finds herself publicly flat on her face, she picks herself up and gets back in the race. Fans will root for her to succeed with her reengineering of her vocation and with Holt.
on April 7, 2008
This is a must read for any woman going through a divorce or having already gone through a divorce. Going through a divorce as I write, it was like I went to a counselor to help me through this time...and much less expensive, and worth every penny! I wish I would have started reading this in January when I was trying to decide to keep him or to leave him. It would have saved me from a lot of heart ache and my two precious daughters. Thank you Lisa so much! God has truly given you a talent and you are speaking and helping so many women!
on April 13, 2008
What an awesome book! It took my love of celebrity gossip, a killer romance, and a sense of humor and balled it all up into one great read! This is the book every chick needs to fill her "me" time.
At times both touching and laugh-out-loud funny, Fifteen Minutes of Shame" makes Darby Vaughn a lead character you'll cheer for!
Author Lisa Daily also slips in some great dating advice too, so who could ask for more?
on April 3, 2008
You're going to love Darby Vaughn, the heroine of Fifteen Minutes of Shame, and you'll love even more how she manages to find her way through an unenviable situation. Daily writes with style and humor, and the tidbits of information from Darby's Dreamgirl Academy are priceless. I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it's a fun, fabulous read - you won't be disappointed!