Quick blurb: Cranky reclusive writer gets the hots for his new editor and goes on Roman Holiday.Quick review: Great premise, entertaining first half, cracked second half.Grade: C-NOTE: I read a digital ARC obtained via NetGalleyI was hooked by the title, cover and blurb, and had it on my wish list for months, so when I saw it on my first cruise through NetGalley, I kinda geeked out a little bit.It's nice that I can still be optimistic about a new book and a new-to-me author, but sometimes it can come back and bite me in the ass. (NO comments or editorializing, please. Thank you.) Galley Proof has some really good writing, but it was overshadowed by numerous distractions that kicked me out of my reading trance again and again and again.It’s two different stories: The angsty, romantic Budding Relationship in the first half and the campy, shallow Shame Spiral in Scenic Surroundings in the second half. And I didn’t like the hero in either environment.My full review is on my blog, but I'd like to highlight two specific passages for general discussion (as if anyone is going to discuss it, but I like to think of myself as influential):Issue the first: Is he making fun of us?Let’s analyze one small bit of throwaway dialogue between our writer hero and his editor:“Will there be sex?”“Sure. There is always sex.”“Good. Your readers love that. You’ve touched a lovely nerve with straight women. They, my friend, are your bread and butter. Do right by them and you will have an ever-loyal following."“They love the gays, huh?”Brock gave a quick and suggestive lick to his ice cream. “Love them!”Help me out here: Should I be amused that the author (the real one, not the fictional one) knows his audience so well and trusts us so much that he can tweak us about it?Or should I be annoyed and insulted that he’s dumbing us down?I’m confused.Issue the second: The BFF fag hag Throughout the book, we have numerous useless interludes involving the hero’s BFF Janey and her pursuit of the local Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness missionaries. It starts in the first chapter and resurfaces whenever a “lighthearted” moment is needed to break the tension.Then we get:“The good news is my sex drought is over. I had a threesome.” She paused. “With a Mormon and a Witness….So, it was a bit awkward at first. Then it got really good. Then it got awkward again. And then… um, when the house caught fire, it was just plain scary….Both Christians were blaming themselves for it, saying this was God’s punishment for their sinning. I went along with it, and said they were probably right. It was their faults. That they had led me astray and probably weren’t very good Christians in the first place. I wish you had been here. It would have been much funnier.”Funnier? Was that supposed to be amusing? I do not understand purpose of Janey’s character. Aren’t we “straight women bread-and-butter ever-loyal followers” supposed to identify with the BFF fag hag?We’ve already learned through the random build-up episodes that she’s obnoxious and impulsive and manipulative. That bit just proves she’s a horrible human being.I'm confused.Also: She’s a preschool teacher. W. T. F.I did like many, many parts of the book - but things like this just shut me down. They don't shut me UP, but that's not the issue here.