Out Of Sight
by Cherry Adair, contemporary (2003)
Ivy, $6.50, ISBN 0-8041-2002-1
Ah, yes, September is almost here. Time for romance novels to rekindle the patriotic sparks in us poor readers starving for reassurance that the world is still fair and free by having Uncle Sam's hero and heroine pulverizing Middle Eastern terrorists until our hero and heroine triumphantly make out while standing at the peak of a mountain of terrorist carcasses. Unfortunately, with characters that are frankly too moronic to live, Cherry Adair's Monument To Freedom that is Out Of Sight is more like What A Bad Porn Movie Plot Should Be.
The reason I bring up Porn Movie Plot is because these characters, supposedly secret super duper T-FLAC agents, think about nothing but sex when they're supposed to be destroying all the terrorists out there. Every single scene is an excuse for some sex scenes, never mind whether the sex scenes actually make sense or not. Ergo, Porn Movie Plot. Only, heroine AJ "Atrociously Juvenile" Cooper and hero Kane Wright make zoned out porn stars look like Ivy League material. The story starts with AJ trying to assassinate our evil terrorist Fazur Hessan Ali Razaaq only to freeze and end up endangering the entire squadron. Then she tries to do some scouting only to screw up and have to be rescued. Then she poses as a model to lure Razaaq only to drink the horny pill Razaaq slip in her drink, forcing Kane to step in to save her. Oh, and the horny pill of course leads to a pleasantly absurd interlude between Kane and AJ. While I admire economizing in plotting to ensure that the clothes fall off at the flimsiest of reasons, please, not the expense of AJ coming off like the Secret Agent They Took In Just To Fulfill The PC Quota For Morons. How this idiot got past the recruitment board is beyond me. She can't be blackmailing them with photos involving donkeys and Talibans, because trust me, if we make a gerbil and AJ go head to head in a spelling bee contest, the gerbil would have won easy. Blackmailing is way out of AJ's league.
Heck, even thinking is way out of AJ's league. When Kane is strategizing with the team, she is thinking about Kane naked, why Kane don't want her, does Kane want her, boo hoo hoo - all but actually listening and contributing ideas and strategems. Of course, this can explain why she's also a walking disaster in missions. AJ comes off like a complete twit, an immature teenager acting as if she's besotted with the teacher rather than a genuine agent that is recruited because she has skills or something like that. As for Kane, his attraction to AJ seems to solely because she's "wet dream" material. It says a lot that the only time AJ is tolerable is when she's flat on her back. To call AJ an agent, or even a character, is an insult to the concept of characterization and a mockery to any covert operative organization everywhere. AJ is just a dumb, buxom idiot bungling up every single time she stakes out alone and having to be rescued.
And while there are sex scenes galore, it's all Porn Movie Plot. My favorite must be those two having sex just before an explosion happens and then bad guys come and drag everybody away naked. Hmm, come to think of it, while Out Of Sight may be a horrible book, it may make an amusing T&A softporn movie on cable.
As for Razaaq, I love how the author describes him as thin, short, into S&M, pathetically horny for American women, and did I mention he is into S&M? It could be worse, of course, Razaaq could be gay. Then again, Ms Adair did describe Razaaq as "almost effeminate", so I don't know. On the other hand, Kane is tall, bronzed, amazing, muscular, hunky, not into S&M only stupid sex. Wow, Uncle Sam must be so proud that his sons are keeping the American fires alive! Unfortunately, it's the Dubby kind of fire: loud, abrasive, showy, but egad, isn't everybody dumb as a box of nails today?
By making AJ a rebellious twit who at the same time cannot even walk two steps without stumbling and falling flat on her face, by making the characters think and lust about sex and juvenile tedious psychobabbles when they should be acting like genuine agents on a mission, by inserting sex scenes in laughably idiotic timing at the most ridiculous points in the story, the only fires Cherry Adair is stoking in my heart is absolute fear. Fear of what happens when morons run the world, and trust me, sometimes, like when I open the papers every morning, I fear that this may indeed be a world run by morons. So, when I read about Kane and AJ vocally having silly sex in a shower stall right before the world explodes and bad guy comes to drag their naked bodies away - is Kane still sporting a half-mast, I wonder? - I am far from reassured.
Out Of Sight would make a great softporn cable movie - heck, with some of the lines here, it will be camp classic. Unfortunately, as a romantic suspense novel, it's neither suspenseful, the romance elements are really dubious, the characters are morons, and if I do laugh out loud, it's because the book can get so unintentionally hilariously bad at places.
Out Of Sight? Gladly.
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