Secret Desire
by Gwynne Forster, contemporary (2000)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-124-3


I'm still puzzled as to why this book is called Secret Desire. To me, it's more of a case of slow, prolonged hesitation between two perfect people. It's not unpleasant, but then again, reading about perfect people isn't very interesting either.

Cop Luke Hickson is on duty one morning when he sees Kate Middleton handcuffed to her son in their bookstore. After taking care of the two robbery victims and all, he and Kate feel instantaneous attraction between them. That's it. The rest of the 330 pages are filled with moments right out of a family insurance commercial. Luke taming the hellion son of Kate. Kate and Luke wonder if his cop duty will come between them. They kiss. They sleep together. They worry some more. Kate learns to play the piano.

Thing is, I find the whole thing deathly dull. Kate and Luke are already zinging between them, so there's no build up to their relationship. Just a slow simmer of daily meetings and hesitation. I'm heard of couples taking it slow, but this is one for the turtles. It doesn't help that Luke seems to have no flaws, he is so perfect, such a catch, it is hard to imagine why Kate holds out for so long. Luke is, after all, the perfect antidote to her control freak dead hubby. Even Luke's one emotional baggage, such as not wanting to put another woman at risk because of his job (he lost his wife that way) only reinforces his saintly halo.

Secret Desire isn't bad, it's well-written, but it doesn't engage my attention at all. In fact, I find the slimy Axel Strange, the impetuous and defiant cop who gives Luke and Kate some headaches, the most interesting of this whole gang of perfect, pristine, and utterly dull characters.

Rating: 72


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