by Molly Burkhart, contemporary (2010)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-996-0
Say hello to Gabrielle Turner. She's 27, hasn't had sex in four years, doesn't have a vibrator, finds the idea of casual sex too shocking for words, and has a sister who calls her "kiddo" even as this sister insists that Gabe needs to get laid ASAP. Gabe doesn't seem to like anything. Yes, she's that kind of heroine, just the way I like them, sigh.
Because big sister Mike knows that she is right and Gabe needs to, er, loosen up, she hires a gigolo for Gabe. I personally find it creepy that we have a sister who is so determined to steamroller her "get laid" memorandum onto her sister, especially when Mike actually scrimps and saves money to hire a gigolo. I mean, don't they have doctors to address this kind of control freak tendencies?
The gigolo in question is "Blade Savage", or Jack Savage if you want to know his real name. He is an escort, which means technically he's not supposed to shag his clients, but of course, everyone knows what an escort does to his clients. Get this: he is a graduate student at the "prestigious" Mid-Missouri State University, and really, he could have gone to Harvard if he wanted to. Instead, he decides to make a quick buck by being a gigolo. In addition, he doesn't do male clients, he doesn't do drugs, he's... basically just like every gigolo that shows up in romance novels, in other words - overly educated, charming, and devoid of issues typically associated with a real life escort in an effort from the author to overcompensate for the hero's job.
The rest of the story is predictable. He starts seeing the stars and moons moving in perfect alignment as he can't stop thinking of her. She overly complicates everything and acts as if she'd die if she lets herself relax with any guy. Round and round they go, in a pretty predictable drama that I have read and been bored by so many times before.
Still, My Gigolo may not be so bad if the only problems it suffers from is a lack of freshness to the proceeding. But this story is also plagued by unrealistic characters who end up being unintentionally creepy (see the creepy big sister above), awkward and stilted dialogs, and a romantic courtship that feels as enjoyable to all parties as a poke in the eye. Something tells me that the author's style is better suited to historical romances or paranormal romances, where these flaws could actually be strengths in the more melodramatic atmosphere of those kinds of stories. As it is, My Gigolo is not a particularly enjoyable book to read.
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