Hide And Seek
by Cherry Adair, contemporary (2001)
Ivy, $6.50, ISBN 0-449-00684-0


I understand that Cherry Adair has written for that Publisher from Hell before. I don't know however why she feels she has to write Hide And Seek like some grotesque hybrid bastard child of the most inept Silhouette Intimate Moments and the most awful Harlequin Intrigue category novels. Especially when she tries to tackle an ambitious suspense/espionage plot worthy of that Aidan Quinn movie The Assignment.

Can I put out a memo? If you want to write an espionage story, please don't concentrate on the heroine's nether purity? Thanks.

The plot is like this. Delanie Eastman is drop dead beautiful but she doesn't want to be like her sister Lauren and her mother, both women who are the dumb oversexed female variety. Delanie, needless to say, is the dumb frigid variety, until one night she got fed up with her virgin status and boinked one Kyle Wright while imagining that she is Lauren. You can't get more Jerry Springer-esque - or Silhouett-esque - than that.

Now Lauren, who is playing beard to some gay mob boss, is missing, and Delanie poses as a bimbo dancer with big jugs to find out what happened to Lauren. Kyle is there in the South American drug and crime stronghold too, in some secret mission best left unmentioned (because the story botches it up badly), and our twosome soon forget about the mission and concentrate on bickering whether Delanie gives out or not.

I love Kyle. His dramatically romantic entrance is marked by this line worthy of the Clark Gable school of great pick-up lines. "Well, well, if isn't Miss Eastman. I'd recognize those tits anywhere." I am taken aback. His following repertoire of witty romanticisms make me melt inside. In fact, I can feel my inner Mrs Bobbit gearing to come forth and show Kyle the true meaning of Valkyrie Love. Besides, the author has Delanie and Kyle telling me that hey, Kyle's a good catch, because he's like a Doogie Howser type of genius. If he's a doctor, I guess he'll know exactly the joy of castration now, won't he?

The plot is such that Delanie has to pretend to be a bimbo and hence be what Kyle thinks the worst of her. And oh, Delanie, Delanie, Delanie. Thou protests too hard. A mission where you pretend to be skank is bound to get you into skanky situations, so it reflects poorly on you to scream, shriek, and stutter that you are a good girl, you don't give out, whatever. Shut up and go watch how the Bond girls behave, or go back to the backward Frigid Town where you hailed from. When she almost blows the whole game away for both she and Kyle in some stupid inept bungle-up of hers, I give up on her. And on Kyle.

If there is a decent mystery and romance in here, well, they are playing the hide and seek game too well.

Rating: 45


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