Cinnamon And Roses
by Heidi Betts, historical (2000)
Leisure, $4.99, ISBN 0-8439-4668-7


As much as I love to give some breathing space to new authors, it's my $4.99 we're talking about here. Cinnamon And Roses is well-written, but it has two characters who must be the Steve and Ginny of the 21st Century.

The whole story seems to follow this route:

Hero boinks heroine.
They decide to fall in love.
Something comes up.
They hate each other.
Hero boinks heroine.
Repeat and rinse.

Let's see. Our heroine Rebecca (not her real name and this is the excuse for Big Misunderstanding #1) is a seamstress. Our randy hero Caleb Adams arrives in Leavenworth, Kansas with his mistress in tow and orders a new dress for her from Rebecca. He thinks the dress is too expensive and refuses to pay.

Our spunky heroine storms his office, demanding payment. Caleb, who hasn't boink his mistress in five days and is hence horny like Old Nick himself (frankly, it's only five days - don't tell me, that guy needs it everyday?) sees Rebecca in a "new light" and decides to hang around.

Rebecca storms his hotel room again after the man didn't pay for a second gown (you'd think any woman would notice a cheapskate by now and wisely stay away), foot stomping and petulant pouts and all. Caleb stands up naked from his bath tub and they get down to it in a speed that would make Austin Powers sheer livid with envy.

They want to get married, but Rebecca, daughter of a prostitute, refuses to divulge her real name. That's the start of this beautiful I hate you you scheming whore/miserable son of a bitch, come on, let's boink! relationship. Lots of clichés here, flying around like pillows in a girls' pajama party.

Man who distrusts all women after a relationship gone sour. Bingo. By the way, most men call their sweethearts Sweethearts. Caleb calls his Whore. Nice.

Woman who vows never ever ever ever - EVER! - to have anything to do with that scum again, only to fall right into bed - naked - with him upon first contact. Houston, we got a problem.

The cheerleader squad - people who just can't seem to get it that the nice spunky woman shouldn't end up with a moron like Caleb. But hey, since the cheerleading squad is Caleb's sis, maybe that can be forgiven. The silly girl's probably prejudiced in her judgments.

Lots of silly excuses to bicker and keep the plot moving, with choice snappy dialogs like
You scheming bitch!
Bastard!
You cheating whore!
Bastard!

When two people supposedly in love think the worst of each other so easily, I hate to see what will happen when the bills start piling and the babies start popping out. Since I can't see these two people in love and harmony for long, I don't feel much satisfaction from reading it. I don't trust the happy ending, I keep expecting someone to blow up and start hurling silly accusations in mean words. Hence, this book gets 31.


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