by Carla Cassidy, contemporary (2004)
Silhouette Bombshell, $4.50, ISBN 0-373-51317-8
Carla Cassidy's Get Blondie is like a cartoon show. The villain of this story is so ridiculously, over-the-top creepy that I wonder why this person is allowed to go about in society. The heroine is supposed to be resourceful, but she comes off like that person who taught the Home Alone brat how to avoid the bad guys. There is only so much "Oh, will Cassandra Newton get RAPED this time after she's succeeded in avoiding that DIRE fate two hundred times already? Stay tuned for the next chapter!" melodrama I can take before I long for some Dramamine to calm my nerves.
Cassie is a police officer doing her fake kick-ass cop thing in Kansas City when her old partner from her top-secret agent days, Kane McNabb, shows up and asks her to help them take down the drug kingpin Adam Mercer by exploiting his weakness for leggy blonde bimbos. Um, Kane McNabb, huh? Excuse me while I pass out from laughing too hard. Anyway, the plot has Cassie then moving into the Adam Mercer household where the whole laughable "Omigod, will she get RAPED this time? Find out what DISGUSTING PERVERSIONS Adam has in store for Cassie and how Cassie will escape with her nether orifices still pure and untainted - coming up next!" melodrama begins to play out.
Cassie is a standard "strong" heroine in that she may claim to be strong, but she is comfortably within the romance novel formula of what makes a heroine "strong" and still "moral" - she is coerced into an unsavory situation out of a sense of duty and guilt (Crab McNabbit or whatever his name is has saved her before so she must risk her life for him, but that doesn't mean she won't make a big deal out of her sacrifice, oh oh oh, et cetera) and she doesn't particularly have to do anything here other than to defend her purity from a rampaging sex fiend like those typical damsels of bodice-rippers of yore. In the end Cassie collapses in tears in Kane McNabb's arms and he will take care of her for now, so the balance is restored, this story is still "romantic", and all is right in the world again after the heroine's anomalous display of self-preservation.
The bastard offspring of a bad TV "courageous woman in danger" movie, Get Blondie doesn't seem to realize how over-the-top silly it is. Maybe some self-awareness and the author going all-out with the campy elements of this story would have made Get Blondie more convincing than it actually is.
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