Lola Carlyle Reveals All
by Rachel Gibson, historical (2002)
Avon, $6.99, ISBN 0-380-81439-0


I have this feeling that Rachel Gibson's Lola Carlyle Reveals All will alienate all those readers who don't like their heroes rough, potty-mouthed, and potentially dangerous, but me, let me throw the confetti up into the air and uncork the champagne. It's time to celebrate the wholesome goodness of boat sex, secret agent yummies, and sexual tension and chemistry raised to a pitch so feverish that spontaneous combustion seems inevitable.

Lt Commander Maximilian Javier Gunner Zamora is an unhappy man. With a name like that, no wonder. Worse, he is a secret agent dude who does the government's dirty jobs like ferrying Jenna Bush away from the scene of her late night drunken binges - just kidding, people - actually, he does things for the government that you and me shouldn't know. While infiltrating a drug cartel, however, his cover is blown and he is on the run. Yeah, run, Maxie, run!

He runs onto the boat where a underwear model named Lola Carlyle is enjoying some R&R. Lola is still traumatized by her ex plastering her nude pictures on the 'Net and charging people $15 to view those 15 pictures. I'm traumatized too. $15 freaking dollars just for 15 Kodak photos? What a rip-off. Anyway, Lola and her doggie Baby Doll find themselves hijacked by this bad, mad, and looking worse for wear superhero. In the ensuing scuffle, the gun goes off and the boat almost burns down.

So here they are, pursued by drug dealer gangsters, nobody to rescue them, and they are drifting right down the road to boinkums. Can't blame them for lusting after each other and shagging like rabbits staring at the end of the world, really. Power to the shaggums, boinkums, pokums, and all that, you know.

And oh, Maxie sexy baby, what a hunk. Rude, arrogant, and oh so alpha while laying that roguish charm so thick, he makes me feel like an airhead teenage girl all over again. Sure, Ms Gibson hasn't mastered the act of creating arrogant Mr Wrong heroes I just have to run off with no matter what Momma said - Susan Andersen is still the undisputed Queen there - but Sexy Maxie comes close. I want to be a bimbo so that Sexy Maxie will have to keep pawing me out of trouble. I can't believe I said that - quick, knock me unconscious before I become Britney Spears' mutant younger sister.

But Lola isn't bad - in fact, she's cool. She's gorgeous, but she also has depths: she has survived bulimia and damn it, she takes no smelly stuff! Okay, she's also loopy and halfway bimbo, but hey, she does it in a most winning way: at least she isn't whining that she's butt ugly, her daddy hates her but she loves him the mostest, or other nonsense heroines can get up to. An endearing mix of bimbodom and braineyhood, Lola rules. Bonus points for her wearing fugly dresses that only make Sexy Maxie wanna rip 'em off her.

Hot? Hot! Sexy? Sexy! Funny? Funny, yup. By the way, I don't know, but I sorta sniffle a bit when Sexy Maxie does his "I'm a secret agent, baby, ain't no woman can tie me down, because I'm such a loser!" act, because I'm actually touched. Good Lord, put a sexy hero before me and I lose it completely.

Lola Carlyle Reveals All won't be the epic romantic drama of the year - it's actually pretty much a standard secret agent hunk story to be honest, but it is sure one fine, fun, and sunny romp to savor to. Chemistry's everything, of course, and Lola and Sexy Maxie have enough to start a nuclear reaction. Getting singed is never this fun.

Rating: 88


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