One Night Stand
by Julie Cohen, contemporary (2008)
Little Black Dress Books, £4.99, ISBN 978-0-7553-3483-4


In One Night Stand, we meet Eleanor Connor. She writes steamy erotic romances for a living. Now, if you have read enough romances by now, you will know at once that the heroine's occupation is a red flag warning you that there is going to be a sexually dysfunctional moron with the intelligence capacity the size of a pea, because "romance author" is a clearly code used by romance authors to mean "blathering moron woman". If the heroine's romances are steamy, then her blathering moron quotient is doubled.

So, back to the blathering moron named Eleanor. She lives next door to Hugh who is so hot that he picks up women all the time and have loud sex with them, the sounds of those activities reaching poor Eleanor's ears on a regular basis and tormenting her into a state of utter distress. So much so that shortly after the story opens, she has a one-night stand. Now, if you have read enough romance novels, you know that the heroine having a one-night stand is like walking blindfolded into a warehouse full of uranium without any protective gear. So, ta-da! Not only does Eleanor ends up feeling embarrassed that she'd had sex with a guy who looked like George Michael in the 1980s, she also didn't use any protection and she is now - da-da-dum - pregnant.

As she scrambles to locate the baby daddy, Hugh goes creepily ballistic and maybe even jealous over her. If you are a fan of Harlequin Blazes, I'm sure you have read this story before. Now all you have to do is to add a few dollars more and you can get a longer version of your favorite Harlequin Blaze plot line! Isn't this fun?

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Ms Cohen has a great way with humorous and sexy scenes, but I don't know why she writes as if someone had pressed a gun at her forehead and insisted that she included all the horrible clichés she can think of in the most uninspired manner in her stories. Here, Hugh can be ridiculous in how over the top possessive and jealous he can be, but it is the kinetic energy of Eleanor's blathering moron antics that keep the story going. She is so oblivious to the obvious, so in love with playing the very needy victim is she that she refuses to believe that the hero has any feelings for her because he doesn't tell her those three words. Sure, you can argue that maybe Eleanor is irrational because she's pregnant, but if I want to enjoy the company of hormonal women gone batty, I'd volunteer to babysit my pregnant niece.

Maybe one day I will enjoy a book by this author. One day.

Rating: 69


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