Identity: Unknown
by Suzanne Brockmann, contemporary (2000)
Silhouette Intimate Moments, $4.25, ISBN 0-373-07974-5


I know, I said I refused to read this novel before. But Grace came up soon after and told me, "You are such a mumu! You're letting a great story go to waste! So what if the guy is amnesiac and they make babies in a ranch? At least the amnesiac isn't a pregnant virgin!"

She got a point there. Plus, no one defies Grace unless he or she wants to be pot roast.

So here I am, having read Identity: Unknown and looking a bit sheepish for having to eat my words. How is it? Well, it's not too bad. It's not too good either. Identity: Unknown also suffers from the Dumbing Down For The Audience syndrome, and the heroine who sheds tears every two pages doesn't make things any rosier.

Mitchell Shaw, in a quest to retrieve some poisonous gas thing Triple X (Dumbing Down #1 - what, we romance readers won't know something like Sarin as dangerous?), gets roughed up and wakes up in a mission house with no memory. With a .22 caliber side arm in his boots, our hero "Mish" (Dumbing Down #2 - I understand I may get confused if Mitch is called "Jacob" or "Tim") finds himself hired by Becca Keyes, the acting ranch manager for Lazy 8 Ranch.

Mish/Casey fears that he may be some sort of criminal, and refuses to get involved with Becca. Although that doesn't stop him from jumping her bones really. Becca is attracted to our Johnny Depp-lookalike, but wonders about his mysterious ability to do things MacGyver would die of envy of and there's always his missing memories to put things between them. Plus the fact that Mish's Navy SEAL buddies are looking for him, and joining the fun is a killer looking to be the next Adolf Hitler.

Lots of action in Identity: Unknown, but the relationship between Mish and Becca is strictly one that could have been written by the book. The whole love affair is uninspired, as is the action. Maybe after so many NAVY SEAL stories, I'm getting used to reading about superhuman men swimming long distances and saving the world, hence my inability to get involved in this story.

But whatever the reason may be, I just can't get involved in this story. Becca is irritating, for despite being "strong", she never does anything except to shed tears again and again. While poor Mish is always running around making the world safe again I begin to feel so sorry for him. He must be tired.

Seems as if the Tall, Dark & Dangerous is already half-way down the slippery slope to Boring Valley. What starts out as a fun, innovative, and original series is already showing signs of too-much editorial dictatorship, uninspired writing, and increasingly interchangeable heroes. If Lucky's story is anything like Identity: Unknown, perhaps it's time I jump ship.

Rating: 70


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