Surrender To Love
by Adrianne Byrd, contemporary (2002)
Arabesque, $6.99, ISBN 1-58314-291-6


Okay, let's get down to the same old shtick. The faster we end this, the faster we can all go home. Right, Ms Byrd? This is a tired, predictable fare. It's the secondary romance and the decent mystery that perform a commendable job distracting me from the lackluster rescue fantasy that is the main romance.

Julia Kelley, Impregnated by Scum, Married Another Scum, Etc, is on the run. Her criminally-inclined Scum Husband is dead. Murdered! Oh! Grabbing her daughter Robin, she gets into the most run-down, battered car she can find and drive in a torrent so that she will break down in the middle of nowhere.

Applause, applause! Bravo, bravo! Magnifique! Oh bravo, I love Puccini, blah blah blah.

Sigh.

Anyway, she is picked up by Romantic Single Daddy, Carson Webber, who immediately sees through the horribly wet hair and desperate eyes of Julia to see the luminous Halle Berry's more careful driver sister inside shining through. He picks her up, drive her to this big bed and breakfast place of his sister (it's sunny again, yay!) and there, his own daughter bonds with hers, and everyone's all happy again. Yay. What a lovely, unoriginal, overdone rescue fantasy. Have a lousy car and all your problems will be solved. This is a used car salesman's propaganda at its finest.

While Carson and Julia inject each other with saccharine, the bad guys are having a better time. Also more interesting is the secondary romance between cop Tony Iaanelli and his superior's daughter. Mr Superior is quite unsure of what to make of it, because for one, Tony and Michelle are embarking on a gender-reversed Sandra Kitt romance, if you know what I mean. This one, conflicts and all, is far more interesting than the saccharine rescue-my-sorry-hide fantasy of Julia and Carson.

Surrender To Love is like a bad Catherine Anderson muzak and a decent romantic suspense squashed uncomfortably into one volume. I can't help but to wonder what happens if it's an expanded straightforward romantic suspense. Oh well, I guess I'll never know. Bye Tony and Michelle - I hardly knew you two, and that's kind of a pity.

Rating: 78


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