Ms. Taken Identity

Ms. Taken Identity

by Dan Begley

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PhD candidate Mitch Samuel's life isn't going exactly according to plan: his girlfriend just dumped him (to be fair, he did forget to pick her up at the airport), his estranged father has landed in the hospital, and his literary masterpiece-one part Shakespeare, one part Steinbeck, and all parts lyrical epic-has been rejected for the umpteenth time.

However, after a chance encounter at Starbucks with the queen of women's fiction- Katharine Longwell-who seems to take a liking to him, he senses an opportunity for literary riches, if not reputation. After telling her that his (imaginary) female cousin is an aspiring chick-lit author, he secures a promise from her that she'll help his "cousin" get published. The only problem is, Mitch needs a manuscript, and fast.

Unfortunately, try as he might to get inside a woman's head by reading Vogue and Cosmo, watching Oxygen and Oprah, nothing seems to work. That's when his roommate Bradley suggests that he try a dance class at the studio where Bradley's sister Marie takes lessons. Self-conscious about his own skills, and unwilling to reveal his true intentions, Mitch attends the first class under an alias: Jason Gallagher, pharmaceutical rep. What could go wrong?

Nothing, except that Mitch/Jason quickly finds himself hooked on dancing, and on the charming Marie. Who has no idea who he really is. Or that he knows her brother. Or why he's there. Suddenly, his novel-writing project is becoming a lot more than he bargained for...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446550611
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 06/22/2009
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 513 KB

About the Author

Dan Begley is a full-time writer who lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife Robin. He received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dan has also been a member of the English faculty at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Cor Jesu Academy, where he taught short story writing and British Literature. His interests include bike riding, soccer, and Mediterranean food. Ms. Taken Identity is his first novel. His website is

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Ms. Taken Identity 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Tricia_Benoist More than 1 year ago
Excellent book from a great new author. I have read many chic-lit books and this is much smarter than most. The premise of a guy writing a chic lit novel is a great idea and works perfectly. At first you are wondering how you are going to like this guy, but all will be rooting for Mitch by the end of the novel. Fast-paced writing, great supporting characters, and a great new setting in the city of St. Louis make this a must read. Funny at times and heartbreaking at others, it is a great read. Other favorite chic lit authors: Liza Palmer, Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What¿s this? Chick-lit written by a man? Not only did a man (Dan Begley) write this, but he did it very well. I really enjoyed the cast of secondary characters, from Mitch¿s friend Bradley to his fellow dance students. True to chick-lit form, Mitch is a bit of a bonehead from time to time, but he does try his hardest to fix things in the end. Stereotypes abound here, both for women and men, but not to the point that it¿s offensive (unless you¿re *very* easily offended) ¿ it¿s really part of the shtick. The ending was not what I was expecting from this type of story, but I¿m not sure if I¿m let down by this or not. Sometimes being different is good.
dasuzuki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I would like to say this is really a 3.5 stars rating.I really enjoyed reading this book but I have mixed feelings about it. It was pretty hilarious when Mitch, the arrogant, snob is trying to do research to write a chick lit book by watching Oprah and reading woman¿s magazines. I have to give him that he must have been very secure in his masculinity to do all that, go into woman¿s clothing stores, etc. The reason I have mixed feelings is I did not like Mitch for most of the story even at the end. The only time I liked him was when he was pretending to be Jason Gallagher. For a guy who thinks he is so smart he certainly dug himself into a hole with his best friend, Marie and his own father.Despite not liking Mitch much I think the rest of the story and supporting characters do make up for this and it¿s still a fun book to read. It was a nice change in chick lit books that this one was told from a guy¿s point of view and that it makes a point that while chick lit may not be considered ¿literature¿ it does serve a purpose of entertaining people.
reading_crystal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I used to read chicklit a lot, but it's been on the decrease lately so I just haven't read it as much. I am so glad that I picked this book from the Harper Collins imprint selections for this month. I knew it had an intriguing premise, I just didn't know it would be chicklit and so much more.This is Mr. Begley's first novel and if how I feel about it is any indication it surely won't be his last.The book starts with stuffy, stuck-up Mitch. He's a "serious" writer, he loves only authors who "make you think" and doesn't deal with any of the fluff that makes the best-seller lists regularly. He has a best friend, Bradley, who is a fairly down to earth guy, but other than that, he dates girls that are like him. They like the things he likes, they agree with the things he says. The latest in this line of girls is Hannah, who is in love with him, but as the book begins, realizes Mitch does not love her. Thus, the breakup. Truthfully the breakup does not affect Mitch very much. What does affect Mitch is the fact that his wonderful manuscript has been rejected everywhere.Here is where the chance signing by a huge chicklit author, and then a chance meeting with her turns Mitch's life around. At first he thinks it's simple to write chicklit, but he quickly learns it's tougher than he thinks. So he starts researching. He joins a dance class suggested by Bradley as his sister is in it, becomes involved with the people in the class (even though they are obviously lower than him). And he even becomes involved with a woman from the class. Wonderful, right? Well the problem is they all know him as "Jason" not Mitch and of course our deceptions always come back to haunt us.A well-planned and plotted book, this book kept my interest and made me fall in love with the characters. The dance-class characters were different yet you could see them all getting along. Mitch is a great character and you love watching him change without him realizing he is changing and I love the guy as a chicklit author angle (and it works for the author too).The twists and turns are great and hold your interest. There is fun (going out after the dance class), varying characters, romance, breakups, fights (even fist fights) and so much more in this book. There is a serious side, but the humor and lightness remains throughout. This book was just such a joy to read. I hated when it ended because I wanted to know more about the characters (but it ends in a way that ties things up so you aren't left hanging). It's just that good of a book.So check it out - it comes out today. Thank you to Miriam Parker for sending me this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
knicmo More than 1 year ago
I was late to the party on this book as I stumbled upon a review in a magazine. It was hard to find, but worth it after reading. That said, this book has all of the elements of a well-crafted chick-lit novel - humor; well-crafted, over the top characters; a predictable, but witty plot; and a love story you are rooting for throughout the book. As a first-time chick-lit author, Dan provides a fresh take on a genre many have come to love. I give this one two thumbs up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Although he's a PhD candidate, Mitch Samuel doesn't seem to be a very promising guy at this story's beginning.. He's neglected (read completely forgotten) to pick-up his girlfriend, Hannah, at the airport. So, she appears at the apartment they've been sharing not only rain soaked but lugging a purse, carry-on, and fat suitcase. She drags these behind her "not even bothering to look back when she knocks into a table and sends a vase crashing to the floor." This doesn't bode at all well for Mitch who soon is asked to leave - permanently. Of course, not much as been boding well for Mitch of late - an aspiring writer he's collecting a nice stack of publisher's rejection notices. It seems his literary talent is both unrecognized and ignored. Then he wanders into a bookstore one day and sees Katharine Longwell, a top women's writer, chick lit if you will. She's making mega dollars; why can't he? He thinks surely it wouldn't take much to write one of those fluffy novels. We read, " I mean, how hard can it be? Katharine is no Rhodes scholar, yet she does it and makes a fortune." Mitch knows he can do it, but never under his own name so he creates a female cousin, Bradley. However, in order to write the book he realizes he needs two things - one, a plot and two, he needs to know a bit more about how females think and what they talk about. Where to do this research? Watch Oprah, and a dance class, of course, where he enrolls as Jason, a pharmaceutical representative. You know the old saying about what a tangled web we weave. Well, Mitch has really gotten himself into a snarl. The fun is in seeing how he works everything out. This is light, frothy, and fun reading. Who says a guy can't write chick-lit? Enjoy! - Gail Cooke
harstan More than 1 year ago
PhD candidate Mitch Samuel writes an epic tale about life on the farm, but like all his other manuscripts, the publishing industry rejects it. He explodes ripping each paper of his book and a magazine owned by a neighbor. Feeling guilty for ripping up People, he goes to the bookstore to buy a replacement. While there he goes over the top in a fiery rage when he sees Katharine Longwell's latest numbing novel. He steals a copy of The Cappuccino Club planning to put it in a bonfire but begins to read it while sipping coffee at Starbucks. Katharine sees what he is reading and joins Mitch. He tells her that his cousin is considering writing a chick-lit tale and Katharine offers to help her. Mitch assumes chick lit should be easy - dump down. However, he cannot think like a chick lit aficionado so he tries Oprah and a dance class accompanied by his roommate's sister Marie, a hairdresser. To his shock he likes Marie and being with her though as an intellect he cannot fathom why. This is an amusing satire of gender sub-genre stereotypes using hyperbole to exaggerate the acceptable roles. This makes for a humorous story line, but also leaves Mitch as an unlikable intellectual snob who mocks chick lit and its fans as being shallow morons; he bites the hands that might feed him. Still chick lit fans contrary to the protagonist's scorn will enjoy the lampooning of their sub-genre while hoping Mitch is exposed as one of their writers. Harriet Klausner