Sweet Nothings
by Catherine Anderson, contemporary (2002)
Onyx, $6.99, ISBN 0-451-41015-7


Just what is it with so many contemporary romance authors and their fascination with that Horse Whisperer thing? The book sucked major lemon, the movie sucked just as much, and... just give the whole horse groupie thing a break, please.

Catherine Anderson, undisputed Queen of Trauma Rescue Fantasies, Pathetic Heroines, and Perfect Rich Heroes is back with another same old by-the-book piece of shtick she has perfected all the way to the New York Times bestseller lists by now. Readers who have followed this author know the drill.

One, abused heroine on the run. This time around, after having exploited everything from paraplegia to rape, we are back at the Abused Dumb Divorcee with No Friends, No Job, No Money, No Hope thing again. Meet Molly Wells, the recipient of this author's latest rescue fantasy. She even was once incarcerated in a madhouse and has only a kind doctor for a friend. No money, no friends, nadda, just a psycho ex-husband bent on catching her.

Molly has stolen her ex-husband's stallion Sonara Sunset and is now galloping all the way to the Horse Whisperer hero Jake Coulter's ranch. Jake knows that this woman has probably stolen the horse, but he is sure that an innocent, smart (bwahaha), and beautiful woman like Molly has no alternative but to steal the horse.

So there you go. Lots of pamper and cherish scenes, all carefully written in clinical calculation that makes a mirror look opaque in comparison. Molly is sure that she will never trust Jake. When she does, she is sure that he will never want her. When she knows that he does want her, she is sure that she will never be able to... you know, all that ee-ee-ee-I'm-so-trauma-mama-tized nonsense. There's all a rescue fantasy could have - a heroine helpless and passive after her initial show of bravado that it takes a man to make her life okay again, a perfect and patient hero who sometimes is also somewhat a control freak (but that's okay, because obviously Molly needs a control freak to control her life), and an indescribably ridiculous villain whose cruelty will make Freddy Kreuger wet his panties.

Waiter, the check please.

Rating: 52


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