Monkey Love

Monkey Love

by Brenda Scott Royce

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I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce.

If you are very lucky, you get to do the things you love. In my case, they would pay me to shop for shoes and lay on the couch. I haven’t figured out how to turn that into a career — yet. Ask people about their jobs — you’ll probably get “I dream of the day I can never come back,” and “I love what I do, and I never even knew this was a job until I found it.” Not too many of us pick something at 18 and stick with it. If we all did what we wanted to do when we were kids, there would be a lot of princesses and firemen, and a lot of marine biologists and movie stars. I personally would have been the world’s foremost dolphin trainer slash crime solving ballerina. That’s why I think college should be reserved for those over 30, when you can appreciate it, and when you know for a fact that you really don’t want to be a sociologist after all. When you are finally out in the world, the struggle remains to do something with your life that has something — anything — to do with your degree. My degree in telecommunications qualified me nicely for a job at Radio Shack, for instance.

Brenda Scott Royce is a little luckier — although she’s no crime solving ballerina — she turned her degree in Primatology and a working knowledge of power tools into a very amusing first novel. Monkey Love follows the adventures of Holly Heckerling in the big city, and even though her 6th floor apartment in Manhattan doesn’t have an elevator, she’s still gotta pay the rent. So during the course of this book we see Holly cutting hair, pet sitting, transcribing, and doing standup comedy, often all at the same time, and I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting something. She’s also got a big Italian family who don’t mind giving their opinion on her life, friends who live from crisis to crisis, and of course Talullah the helper monkey, who is in love with Regis Philbin. The book is a little slapstick, a little romantic comedy, and a little snapshot of trying to make it in New York City.

I spoke with Brenda from her office at the Los Angeles Zoo.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce.

Holly is a modern girl living in New York City. Her specialties include hair styling, power tools, transcription, pet sitting, and standup comedy. And she’s got a degree in primatology from Columbia, or as her Aunt Kuki calls it, monkey school. I knew I was going to like this book because the first chapter, a series of domestic disasters, is titled ‘Theater of Carnage.’ Monkey Love finds Holly taking her whirlwind life in stride, until she has to babysit a monkey with a penchant for swiping  jewelry, and finds herself  falling for the mysterious writer of one of her transcription jobs. That she’s never seen him and doesn’t know his name makes him all the more fascinating. Does he have anything to do with the actual nice guy who asks for her number in Starbucks? Will love conquer all in the big city? There are a few surprises along the way to a happy and satisfying ending. Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce, I’m Kim Alexander on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute.  The book is Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce.

We meet our heroine, Holly, in the midst of breaking up with yet another guy. He just can’t keep up with her frenetic lifestyle, and I actually don’t know if I could, either. Holly needs to make ends meet in Manhattan, and does everything from carpentry to standup comedy. Her passion is for pets, and at one point she has a cat, a rabbit, a rat, a boa constrictor and a helper monkey named Tallulah living in her apartment. She must have the most understanding landlord ever. Holly is also at the mercy of her bossy extended Italian family — I was totally craving Aunt Kuki’s special marinated meatballs — and the constant demands of her needy friends — she just can’t say no, not even when her nutty cousin Gerry wants her to help him expand his celebrity sock collection. Monkey Love is heavy on slapstick comedy and mistaken identity, and continues it’s breathless and very funny pace right to the happy ending. Monkey Love is by Brenda Scott Royce. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce.

In the first chapter of this book, our heroine, Holly, prepares dinner for a guy who about to dump her, does a home perm in the sink for her cousin’s fiancée, Monica Broccoli, and takes Monica’s cast off her broken ankle with a power saw — after all, Monica can’t go to an audition in a cast. Oh, and her best friend comes over with a home pregnancy test she’s afraid to use alone. So Monkey Love  is a somewhat action-packed book. Although that kind of life would quickly drive me nuts, I loved whirling around with Holly, solving everyone’s problems, and watching her slowly figure out she deserved to figure out some of her own. The monkey of the title — Talullah — is a pickpocket and in love with Regis Philbin — Holly also has a pet sitting service. By the end of this very funny book, all the elements of Holly’s life come together — except maybe for the power tools — as Holly find love, and purpose, in the big city. The book is Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce. I’m Kim Alexander on Fiction Nation, on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce.

Holly is a single girl in New York, and she’s got it all — if  by all you mean a large and meddlesome Italian family, an unreliable standup comedy partner, an unexpectedly pregnant and frantic best friend, 5 animals including a boa living in her apartment, and at least 6 careers all going at once. Monkey Love is the fast-paced and funny story of how Holly, while solving everyone’s problems, learns to take care of herself, with the help of something rarer than a unicorn — an actual nice guy in New York — he’s almost divorced — and a helper monkey named Talullah who loves jewelry almost as much as she loves Regis Philbin.  Royce takes good advantage of her New York City setting, tossing in celebrity sightings, big family dinners in Brooklyn, and so many trips to Starbucks that I think there was some product placement involved. After a few real surprises, by the end Holly finds love and a purpose. The book is Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce. I’m Kim Alexander on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


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