Island Magic
by Bette Ford, contemporary (2000)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-113-8


This book came to me when Grace called me and said, "You know that Hollywood clinic where all the stars go when they want to pretend they're not drugged up or drunk? Well, the boss has written a romance novel!"

I guess Grace confused Betty Ford with Bette Ford. As it is, Island Magic is a very beautiful travelogue of Martinique Isle. If I am wallowing in cash and in need of (can afford) a vacation, I will put Martinique at the top of my list! The food, the atmosphere, the walk in moonlit beaches - all sound like heaven on earth.

But since this is a romance novel, I guess I have to say something about the romance. Well, it's about this two people who have been in a long-distance relationship for so long, the woman starts dreaming of commitment. Alas, the man has some severe case of confusion - see, he once had a lousy cheating, no-good evil bitch of an ex-wife, and nowadays whenever he sees a pushy woman, he confuses her for that said female dog woman.

Instead of sending him to a shrink, our heroine runs away in anger. Then one day she goes to Martinique and stays at a resort owned by the said Confused Dude. Confused Dude tries to convince her that living-in is better than a marriage. She flirts with token Other Guy who don't deserve any further critique because he is dispensable.

Anyway, does the romance matter? It's not much of one. Heroine Cassy pouts, Gordan the hero says no, they boink, repeat. There is obviously no plot, I can practically see the obvious attempts to stretch arguments and sex scenes longer and longer to fit the word count. Besides, I'm with Cassy - it's always better to marry a multi-millionaire like Gordan (think of the money if the marriage works, the divorce settlement if it doesn't!).

Island Magic is a flimsy love story sustained by a thin line of a plot - he can't commit. But I say, the scenery, the food, the dance, the sand. Life sounds better in Martinique. Excuse me while I go rob a bank. I wanna go to Martinique too.

Rating: 52


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