Simply the Best

by Karin Kallmaker

Simply the Worst…Alice Cabot’s only great love is science, but a lapse in judgment has exiled the New York journalist to the glitzy Gallerias and vapid bubble-babble of Beverly Hills. The assignment to do a flattering feature series on Simply the Best and the superficial nonsense it sells threatens to crush what little is left of her spirit.

Simply the Best…Pepper Addington can’t believe she’s moved up from grunt intern to personal assistant for Helene Jolie, the celebrity socialite founder of SimplytheBest.com. Succeeding at the job she worked so hard to get is her only priority. Keep a cynical know-it-all reporter in check? She promises Helene that she can.

Simply Irresistible…Expecting nothing but games from the beach-blond surfer girl that Helene Jolie has assigned to keep an eye on her, Alice is fully prepared to resist any and all of California’s charms. Or so she thinks. 




In stock



Genre Romance
Length 382 pages
Publication Date August 12, 2021
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642471502
Editor Medora MacDougall
Cover Designer Kayla Mancuso


GCLS Goldie Awards
Simply the Best — Finalist, Ann Bannon Popular Choice.
Simply the Best — Finalist, Romantic Blend.


"Alice Cabot’s world has been unraveling for a decade. It’s torture to make nice with the kind of people who take anything they want and close their eyes to the damage they’re doing. Pepper Addington knows the world is flawed, but she still trusts she can share in the simple rewards of life–friends who love her, a decent place to live, and pride in her own capabilities.

The attraction between them is immediate, but Alice can’t risk Pepper making her feel anything good, and Pepper can’t allow Alice to drag her off the path she’s worked so hard to be on.

Two years and the longest book of my career later, what I love most about Simply the Best is that it became the story I needed to read. Alice’s despair and Pepper’s hope are flip sides of the same coin that keeps us looking for light when all we see is dark. Writing it showed me what that coin is made of, and I truly hope it will for everyone who reads it.

It also has what I think is the funniest 60-word sequence I have ever written. Feel free to let me know if you think you know what it is!"

—Karin Kallmaker


Rainbow Literary Society
Karin Kallmaker has been writing romance novels for thirty years or so and she knows how to bend the rules just enough to keep things exciting. I didn’t read the blurb, because it’s Kallmaker and I knew the story would interest me. I wasn’t sure for a long time which characters would get romantically involved. Suspense isn’t often an ingredient in romance and I enjoyed it.

As usual, Karin Kallmaker writes excellent characters. First impressions turn out to be mostly wrong and the characters’ true personalities are unveiled as the story unfolds. Chemistry in this book goes three ways, not all heartwarming and sexy. Sparks fly at first sight and do their best to hold on despite characters being deliciously obtuse and fighting the inevitable. Verbal sparring and powerplay between uneasy enemies bring a different kind of chemistry in the arena, with awe and admiration completing the triangle.

One of the things I love in Karin Kallmaker’s books is the way she sets the scene. Her characters have real jobs, not just titles mentioned here and there. It’s part of who they are, part of the story, almost akin to world-building in sci-fi or fantasy. Neither fluffy nor too heavy, Simply The Best hits the right balance, incorporating current news and societal themes in what remains, fundamentally, a romance novel.

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