by Dee Davis, contemporary (2002)
Ivy, $6.99, ISBN 0-8041-1976-7
Dark Of The Night is Dee Davis' poking her finger into the eyes of Democrats. Of course, she, like all romance authors out there who write about politics, doesn't tell me exactly what party the Daddy's girl heroine and her father are affiliated to, but since Daddy is pro-abortion, I'd say they are more likely Democrats than, say, Pat Buchanan groupies. Never let it be said that with all this Democrat bashing, Dee Davis doesn't know where the politico winds are blowing.
Of course, heroine Riley O'Brien isn't pro-abortion. She has to force herself to smile because she's like, loving Daddy forever and ever, so Daddy says jump, she asks how high. Hypocrite? She even admits it. Hmm, wait, maybe Ms Davis is doing a Republican bashing? I don't know. This is what happens when an author waffles around with political beliefs. The reader gets confused.
I keep waiting for the term "axis of evil" to show up, but well, no luck though. Maybe the next book?
Of course, Daddy is scum. Daddy gets it on with every big-boobied woman in his political campaign party staff. Hmm, definitely Democrat bashing, but seriously, Bill Clinton is out of the office for two years now. Why flog a dead horse?
Riley O'Brien doesn't know that Daddy is personally inspecting the privates of his lady staff. She doesn't even seem to be aware that Daddy is ten cents short of a bus ticket to Maniacsville. She doesn't know anything. She doesn't even want to be here. She is just here because Daddy Forever And I Must Love Him Forever N Ever N Ever. Oh, and Riley's 29, if you're starting to think that this is a clingy eight-year-old girl we are talking about.
And like too many "political" romance novels, parallels are drawn between Riley and Jackie O. Look, can someone tell me what good did that Jackie O woman ever do to politics anyway? Hillary Clinton may be a bitch if the press is right, but at least she is one proactive bitch. Jackie O? Please. But Riley is not at all a proactive woman, so I guess maybe Ms Davis has a point there.
If we are to break away Riley from one daddy, we need another daddy or Riley will just waste away in the middle of the highway (unless a bus gets her first). Hello, Jake Mahoney. He's a reporter out for dirt. But when Riley's car goes kaboom, he finds himself alternating between insulting her and telling me that their lovemaking (I quote) "transcends normal". I guess this means Riley let him do the butt thing? Not that I care, to be honest. The idea of Riley and Jake getting it on makes me rather ill.
Riley has to now prove to Jake that she may be the "princess" he and everybody calls her (but seriously, Ms Davis, the last I check, USA is still a republic and not a monarchy), but she is not that cock-teasing bitch Jake thinks she is. Oh Jake, let her prove it to you! Let her get down on her knees and do a, uh, great job in proving it! Okay, no job thing either. Pristine ice princesses fresh from sorority groups don't do the job thing, at least in romance novels.
If you can't tell by now, I am not at all enamored with Dark Of The Night. It's a complete by-the-book romance filled with the usual tired plot formula of a "political romance": reluctant Daddy's girl heroine (toss politics, all she wants is a home, a man to love, and Barbara Bush's hips), a supposedly hard-hitting reporter hero, evil Democrat daddy, the electorate's inexplicable fascination with this loyal-daughter thing that daddy exploits for votes (are Americans really that stupid?), and Evil Daddy's descend into complete megalomania by the plot's climax to make Jake come off smelling like roses, never mind a complete absence of chemistry between Jake and Riley ("Hate you! Sexually harass you! Sleep with you! Hate you!... etc").
In short, Dark Of The Night dares not bite, it does not hit hard, and heck, it doesn't even dare to make a statement. All it is is one testicle-free by-the-book whimper of a so-called romantic suspense that misses all the necessary target. You have no idea how hard I have to dig in just to find things to make fun of. This book is that nondescript.
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