by Amanda Brice, contemporary (2006)
Freya's Bower, $2.00, ISBN 1-934069-13-2
Poor Diana Wyatt. She's thirty-three, a Legislative Counsel to a Congressman, and yet she's terrified of attending her high school fifteen-year reunion due to the issues she had about fitting in back in those days. Nonetheless, she allows herself to be persuaded by her more outgoing younger sister to go. However, that pest refuses to let Diana borrow any clothes so Diana decides to "borrow" some anyway while the sister is away. Unfortunately, she hears a cab stopping outside her sister's place just as Diana is happily trying on all those designer clothes and forgetting to keep track of time, so Diana flees after grabbing some clothes blindly. Needless to say, she ends up grabbing the ugliest shoes ever.
Westfield High hasn't changed much - the same old annoying people have just become older, Diana soon realizes, so she decides to ease the pain using a tried and tested method: alcohol. Then comes deliverance: the guy she had a crush on, Greg McCauley, fortunately hasn't changed much since he's still hot as ever - or maybe even hotter - and he still gives Diana butterflies in her stomach. This time around, he seems to be interested in her and his annoying Mean Boys and Girls clique weren't around, so when he asks her her name and invites her to dance to that awful Color Me Badd song I Wanna Sex You Up, Diana happily agrees to hit the dancefloor after telling him that her name is Elaine Benes. Then she realizes that it's almost midnight when her sister will be coming home and no doubt will be counting the number of clothes in her wardrobe so "Elaine" here pulls a Cinderella on Greg. And Greg, who knows that it is not likely that he'd meet someone who just happens to share a name with a character of his favorite TV show Seinfeld, pulls a Prince Charming on Cinderella here.
Amanda Brice's She's Got Legs is not a romantic erotica or a sexy paranormal, it's actually a straightforward contemporary short story written in a chick-lit style although I get points-of-view from both Diana and Greg here. This story is also a rather familiar story. Naturally, the poor tormented nerd back in high school will turn into a va-va-voom babe that will get the hot boy of the school, and naturally the hot boy, after having married some nasty woman in the past, is now looking for Depth and Intelligence along with a hot side of Sexy (of course) so the Va-Va-Voom Nerd will meet all his needs just nicely. This Revenge Of The Nerds meets Cinderella tale is nonetheless a very enjoyable story with an extra bounce in the humor.
There's an "Eeeuw!"-inducing sentence on page 13 - "Every time he walked by the pool in his condo community he'd see a bikini-clad teenager with long legs and he'd immediately go rock hard as he thought of the spectacular image of 'Elaine' bending over." - because Elaine is an adult and Greg knows it so I don't know what this is about teenaged girls suddenly popping up in his R-rated daydreams about Diana. Aside from the mystifying moment, I have a good laugh when Greg can't even watch Seinfeld reruns anymore because everytime he sees Elaine on that show he thinks of his Elaine. At least now his taste in TV shows will hopefully improve, I must say, thanks to Diana. I don't know whether to be worried or amused that he in the end manages to locate Diana thanks to something he's seen Seinfeld did but the happy ending is so sweet, it's like watching a very sweet romantic comedy movie where I know it's all hogwash but it's such an adorable kind of hogwash that I cheer nonetheless like those silly people that always do and clap as well in these kinds of romantic comedy movies when the hero sweeps the heroine into his arms at the end as the credits roll.
She's Got Legs is a funny and romantic short story and because I've had fun reading it, I wish the story is longer so that the good time will last a little while more. Nonetheless, I realize that I really enjoy the author's voice, her sense of humor, and her ability to balance cynical humor with unabashedly romantic happy endings so these these two apparently contradictory elements end up complimenting each other very nicely. Give me more, give me a longer story, just give me - I want to read more from this author.
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