Don't Make a Scene

Author: Valerie Block

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Release Date: July 2007

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4

Format: PRINT

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Diane is closing in on forty and feeling unsettled with her life. Her friends are all firmly on the marriage/baby/career track, and are becoming brutal with their matchmaking and pity for Diane’s marriage-less state (no one seems to care that Diane isn’t really looking for marriage). What once seemed like a dream job for a film buff like Diane – manager of a revival house cinema – is just another piece of her life that no longer seems to fit. The one thing Diane has that fits like a glove is her apartment – until the day she receives an eviction notice.

The board of directors at Diane’s theater decides to expand and add another movie screen just as Diane is swinging into full apartment-hunting mode. Juggling her time between work and real estate gets interesting when she meets Vladimir, one of the architects that will be handling the theater expansion.


Vladimir is a handsome Cuban exile with a bitter hatred for the current regime in his homeland. He’s attracted to Diane, but has learned from past relationships to be up front with the news that he’s married. His estranged wife, still in Cuba, refuses to grant him a divorce, no matter that the two can’t speak without arguing and haven’t laid eyes on each other in twelve years. Vladimir can’t offer Diane a real future, and she must decide whether she’s willing to make do with the small part of himself he will share. Over the course of a year, Diane learns exactly what she will and won’t accept when it comes to love and real estate.


Filled with timely references to cinema classics, Valerie Block’s tale of a woman unwillingly thrust into a life crisis will leave you in the mood for popcorn, Bogart & Bergman. Diane’s New York wit and attitude and Vladimir’s political convictions are an interesting combination that will keep readers turning pages. The secondary characters are deftly woven into the story, and their stories add appeal and humor without overshadowing the main couple. This is a wonderful life-change story with plenty of humor and drama, and a setting that film enthusiasts will enjoy.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Leigh

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