by Rachel Gibson, contemporary (2003)
Avon, $6.99, ISBN 0-06-000924-1
No, this is not a love story between a junkie named Jane and her dope dealer. This is an ice hockey love story. Personally, I always get suspicious of men who prefer to walk around each other naked to slap each other's butts while pretending to be talking about scoring with chicks, especially when these men get all riled up when a woman intrudes in their Cathedral of Great Homoerotica, but what do I know? I prefer nerds, not men whose mental capacities never developed since their high school jock days. There's a good reason why we pay sports stars so much: most of them will never be able to get a decent job once their career is over.
Is this book readable or funny? Sure. Actually, I find the hero Luc "Lucky" Martineau a pretty irresistible chauvinist SOB who is just begging to be screwed into a coma, to quote the heroine's alter ego Honey Pie. He is just begging for a comeuppance, a metaphorical kick in the chin by a gorgeous leg that seemed to go on forever only to end in scarlet red heel fuck-me shoe. Alas, Rachel Gibson doesn't deliver the Great Fall of Lucky Martineau as much as she offers an unconvincing taming that is reminiscent of how the author treated the hero in her debut Simply Irresistible. Put the hero in a few "female" situations and voila! He's tamed. If only it is so easy, huh, then my husband will be doing the dishes daily without being asked to do so.
Jane "I have small hooters, and in case you forget that, I'll remind you all the time!" Alcott is a columnist of some chick-psych stuff and she moonlights also as Honey Pie, an author of erotic stuff that made men hop around like popcorns over an open bonfire. Of course, Jane is plain, not very sexual, et cetera, the now overused "sexy/unsexy dichotomy" plot device thing. She is assigned to cover the games of the Seattle Chinooks only to act... well, in a very predictably flustered manner when the ice hockey players flash her their jockstraps.
Jane works sometimes, but mostly she's a horrible match for Luc. She rarely delivers a worthy wisecrack to answer many of Luc's crude and only sometimes funny barbs. She is also suffering from boobie deficiency motivated low self-esteem, and I shake my head when the author makes Jane more insecure about her lack of looks as opposed to whether someone like Luc is worthy of her in the first place. In my opinion, Luc isn't worthy for long-term. Short-term, oh yes, definitely. Every girl should be so lucky to have a no-strings wild nighter (and maybe even nooner) with a bad, rude, and totally unsuitable guy just for the kicks. But long term?
What do these two even have in common? One needs to push Jane really hard to get the rise out of her, she's more reactive than proactive for too many times. As for him, Luc never convinces me that he understands that there is more to life that measuring his virility by the length of his hockey stick. So now his joints are aching and if that makes him behave this way, how will he behave when he really can't play anymore? I can't see him retire gracefully, not when his mental age seems caught in a high-school jock stage. There is really nothing in common to bind these two together, I find, and after the sexual funk is over, what then? Jane better have a few more interesting red dresses in her wardrobe, for her sake, if that's all it takes (unfortunately) for him to realize what a shaggable babe she is.
See Jane Score offers some chuckles, but in the end, I don't buy the romance between Jane and Luc at all. The romance is more like an author forcing two mismatched people together. It could've worked if Jane isn't so stereotypical, if she's the girl who rides Luc like a rodeo before kicking naked Luc out of the door and driving away while waving his jockstrap high in one hand triumphantly and cooing, "See ya, sucker!"
Fun? Yup. But See Jane Score, with its heroine that never give the hero a convincing run for his money, often misses more than it scores.
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