Alex Sheldon is an author whose writer's block is the least of his problems--he also happens to be flat broke and owes Cuban loan sharks $100,000. The thugs give Alex an ultimatum: pay up in 30 days or wind up dead. The only way Alex is going to get that kind of money is by finishing his novel, which is currently less than one sentence long. He's got some idea of what he wants the story to be, but he just can't seem to get it out onto paper. Now lacking both inspiration and a laptop, Alex secures the services of opinionated stenographer, Emma Dinsmore, to help him complete the novel and get paid by his publisher in time to save his skin. The story of Adam Shipley soon begins to emerge. The fictional Adam is a romantic young writer who has been hired to tutor the children of Polina Delacroix, a chic, gorgeous French woman in dire financial straits. The story that reveals itself is of the obsessive love that Adam develops for Polina, while ignoring the potential for true love with Polina's au pair, known in successive incarnations as the stern Swede Ylva, Elsa the bawdy German, Eldora the Spanish beauty, and down-to-earth American Anna. Meanwhile, Alex and Emma spend their days and nights working together on the novel. Emma challenges his ideas at every turn, and her initially irritating but undeniably intriguing input begins to influence Alex and his story. Soon, real life begins to imitate art--and art, to imitate life."