In a Portland publishing house, idealistic young book editor Natalie Holland is working on her current manuscript. This project, though it won’t sell millions, is one she considers an important literary contribution. Another editor expresses her desire to edit a popular book that would sell millions, a book written by bestselling romance novelist Beverly Wilcox. Natalie choosing quality over marketability is not impressed. She’s certainly no fan of Beverly Wilcox. Natalie stops working and heads out to meet Josh, her current romantic interest, for dinner. Josh has been offered a job promotion and has something special to announce tonight. Natalie can’t wait.
At Goldstein Publishing, a high end Los Angeles publishing house, ambitious and stylish owner Avery Goldstein is on the phone with the Cruella de Vil-like Beverly Wilcox. Avery is trying to find an editor for Beverly’s new book and, thanks to Beverly’s horrific reputation, isn’t having any luck. Avery gets an idea. She’ll call an old friend.
Back in Portland, Natalie is deflated upon hearing Josh’s big announcement: He’s turned down his job promotion, plans to leave the country and would like Natalie to sublet his apartment. As Natalie reels from this - she’s picked the wrong guy again - her cell rings. It’s her old friend Avery with an offer: Relocate to LA and become an editor at Goldstein Publishing. With life in Portland going nowhere fast, Natalie accepts.
Looking very Portland chic, Natalie arrives in LA, a fish out of water. In Avery’s ostentatious home, she discusses her relationship woes. Avery offers dating advice, telling her to follow her head, not her heart and to seek out men based on attributes and ambitions, men who look “perfect on paper.” Natalie asks Avery what her first book editing assignment will be and Avery changes the subject. While apartment hunting, Natalie meets Coop, a scruffy, but handsome surfer type who helps her find an apartment. There is an attraction between them, but Natalie hesitates when learning that Coop, though a compassionate soul, is an apartment manager and surfer, whom she thinks as another underachiever.
The next morning, Natalie arrives at her swanky new office at Goldstein Publishing, still dressed for Portland. As Natalie eagerly awaits her first assignment, Beverly Wilcox – powerful, sophisticated and ominous walks in, straight out of “The Devil Wears Prada.” Natalie is mightily chagrined to learn she will be editing Beverly’s new book, Desire’s Love Unbound, the last book she’d ever want to edit. Beverly is as put off by Natalie’s Portland appearance as Natalie is by Beverly’s LA glamour.
Natalie and Beverly have lunch in an upscale bistro. The meeting doesn’t go well and Natalie tells Beverly she does not want to edit her book. Natalie begs Avery for another assignment, but Avery explains that Goldstein Publishing needs Beverly Wilcox. She is their superstar author and they’d fold without her. Natalie reluctantly commits.
Natalie furnishes her new apartment with some help from Coop, who invites her out for a casual dinner. Avery shows up, reminding Natalie about her editing deadline and steering her away from guys like Coop who don’t look perfect on paper. Natalie begins editing the book, but is interrupted by the sound of Coop playing basketball with a 13 year-old boy named Eli. Coop introduces Eli to Natalie and she promises to lend him some sci-fi books.
Back at Goldstein Publishing, Beverly insists that Natalie accompany her to an important charity event that evening. There is a fashion emergency. Natalie’s Portland attire and style will not suffice and Avery rushes her out for a complete LA makeover. At the party, reporters swarm Beverly. She delivers publicity statements and introduces them to Natalie, her new editor. Natalie, now looking LA ultra–chic, addresses the reporters, who quickly lose interest. Only Bob pays attention. A charming LA attorney, Bob asks Natalie out and she accepts, just as Beverly calls her away.
Natalie has not eaten all night. After the party, she goes to a burger joint and runs into Coop, who she assumes is the cook. She tells him she’s trying to make better dating choices and that she’s looking for someone who looks perfect on paper.
The next day, Bob takes Natalie to lunch in a swanky bistro. Natalie shares that Beverly is a terror to work with. Beverly learns that Natalie has removed a character from her book and threatens to fire Natalie if she doesn’t put him back in. A day later, Avery begs Natalie to keep Beverly’s character in the book. Bob shows up at Goldstein Publishing and invites Natalie to an impromptu lunch. Avery emphatically approves of Bob and is happy that Natalie isn’t considering the surfing janitor.
As Bob’s Mercedes pulls up to the restaurant, Coop and Eli are playing miniature golf across the street. Bob and Natalie join them and there is tension between Coop and Bob. Eli senses that the two men are competing and tells Coop that Bob is wrong for Natalie.
Later, Coop and Eli prepare to do volunteer work at a community garden in a low-income section of the city. Eli invites Natalie and she goes along. Eli tells Natalie that creating this community garden, a pleasant oasis amid urban decay, was Coop’s idea and also that Coop is Eli’s mentor. They all eat lunch from a taco truck. Natalie enjoys this change from the snooty, high-end eaterie s she’s been frequenting. After dropping Eli off at his house, Natalie moved by Coop’s charitable work and kindness kisses Coop, but then backs off, hurrying into her apartment.
Beverly is furious over further edits Natalie has made and gives an ultimatum: Restore the manuscript to its original form, or she will leave Goldstein Publishing. Bob convinces Natalie that Beverly is bluffing and Natalie submits the manuscript, leaving in her edits.
The following morning, Natalie finds Goldstein Publishing in ruins. Beverly has left and signed a deal with another publisher. It’s over. Natalie decides to locate Beverly and try to change her mind. Natalie finds Beverly having lunch with Bob, who is a rep for the new publishing house Beverly has signed with. Natalie has been duped.
Natalie looks for Coop in the hamburger joint. Instead, she finds a frazzled Eli. There has been an emergency involving Eli’s mother and Natalie drives Eli to the hospital. On the way, Natalie admits she’s made a mistake not choosing Coop and Eli discloses that Coop despite his surfer-like appearance is extremely wealthy, an ex-Wall Street fixture who walked away to live a more meaningful life.
When they arrive at the hospital, Coop is already there. Eli’s mom is going to be fine. Natalie apologizes for the way she’s acted and expresses interest in a relationship with Coop. Thinking Natalie is now only interested in his wealth, Coop turns her down.
Natalie is packed and moving back to Portland, when Beverly shows up at her door. Beverly shares personal information, confessing she is unhappy about losing the integrity she like Natalie had when she arrived in LA. She leaves Natalie with a spy thriller manuscript, something she’d written under her real name, Margaret Bunn, years ago, before she sold out to become a famous romance novelist. Natalie starts reading the manuscript and can’t stop. She’s still reading it as she’s sitting on the plane waiting for take off.
Working in the community garden, Eli tells Coop that Natalie expressed interest in him before she found out he was wealthy. Pleasantly stunned, Coop races to the airport, frantically looking for Natalie’s flight. Natalie completes Beverly’s manuscript and decides to get off the plane.
Coop turns to find Natalie standing there, holding her luggage. They come together in a dramatic, movie poster kiss.
In a hotel ballroom, an event is taking place. Avery stands at a podium, announcing that Coop has entered a business partnership with Goldstein Publishing. The new company will be called Goldstein Cooper Publishing and they will be publishing Beverly’s spy-thriller - the book she’s always wanted to write under her real name, Margaret Bunn, due to contract restrictions. A dressed down almost Portland style Beverly offers thanks to Natalie for making this possible. Natalie and Coop kiss.
©2014 HALLMARK CHANNEL (USA) / CROWN MEDIA HOLDINGS, INC.