Ready Or Not
by Anara Bella, contemporary (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-616-7


Is Ready Or Not Anara Bella's first book? I sure hope so, otherwise this can get even more embarrassing for all parties involved.

She’d really done it this time.

After a lifetime of getting into one scrape after another, Brianna had finally managed to pull off the big one. The snafu of snafus. The fiasco of fiascos. Oh hell. Might as well call it what it really was.

The worst fuckup of her entire ridiculous life.

She peeped back into the living room full of rowdy men, all impatiently waiting for her. And there, smack dab in the middle of them, was the very last man she wanted to see right now. Quinn MacRae.

The bane of her existence. The epitome of trouble. The very embodiment of the biggest pain in her ass. The absolute love of her life.

Shit.

How was she going to get out of this one?

Is Ms Bella trying to finish this story as fast as possible so that she can catch a train or something? The whole story is written in staccato-like sentences like those in the the first few paragraphs of the story that I've copied and pasted above. Maybe both Ms Bella and her editor have a train to catch.

Oh yes, the story. A stupid heroine decides to show up as a bachelor party stripper, thinking she needs the money, only to realize in the charming opening scene above that her reputation may be, er, flushed down the drain if someone in her audience recognizes her. Which may be easy, considering that she will be wearing very little to obscure her features.

Her face flamed at the thought of Quinn seeing her do those suggestive moves. He already had a less-than-stellar opinion of her. She didn’t think this latest mess was going to improve things any.

A movement across the room caught her eye, making her jump. For a second she’d thought someone else was in the room with her, but it was only her reflection in the mirror. Brianna stopped and really looked at herself.

Her hair was teased into a wild and sexy do completely unlike she usually wore it. Plus which, she’d slathered on so much makeup her own mother wouldn’t recognize her.

Feeling hopeful for the first time since she’d spotted Quinn, she stepped closer to the mirror and pushed at her breasts. You know, in this skimpy harem-girl getup she really didn’t think any of the guys would be looking at her face any time soon. Breasts pressed and plumped to magnificent proportions in the red push-up bra, even she barely recognized the monolithic pair as her own.

Nope, there wasn’t a man alive who’d be looking at her face. Not even Quinn.

Relief washed over her. She was safe. An idiot. But safe.

Is the train leaving in ten minutes? I'm torn between wanting to leave in that train and wanting to see the train mow over the heroine.

Are all those tediously constructed sentences deliberately designed to showcase Ms Bella as an amateur of some sort?

The characters are such ninnies, especially "free-spirited but worried about her reputation anyway" heroine Brianna Michaels who is too often a few atrophied brain cells away from complete braindeath. That's not good, but what makes things worse is the fact that this story is written as if it was meant to be posted on a blog instead of being published as a legitimate work that cost people money to read.

I really don't want to be meaner than I already am, so let me just conclude by suggesting to the author that she may want to work on her sentence patterns and cadence a little bit more before she charges people money for her next book. It's hard enough that the characters are being deliberately silly for cheap laughs at times, but when the whole story is at the same time constructed from monotonous staccato sentences, the overall resulting effect is the undesirable Mysteriously Published Fan Fiction phenomenon.

Chalk me up as so not ready for this baby.

Rating: 33


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