A Steele For Christmas
by Brenda Jackson, contemporary (2011)
Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86228-3


Another month, another book by this author. Usually when an author is as prolific as Brenda Jackson, it spells bad news to the reader because when the author turns into a book mill, the first thing to give is diversity. A Steele For Christmas is pretty much the same old story wrapped in a brand new gift wrapper - it's another story of a player coming up with a stupid plot with a heroine who had been hurt by love before, only to have the player realize that sex with the heroine is so great and so transforming that he has to have her and only her. Add in couples from the last fifty books, let it be known that there are another sixty people waiting in the wings for their own books and the family series will be expanded for another twenty books, and that's this book - and the author's last dozen "family" books - in a nutshell.

Eli Steele, of the famous Steele family, is a playboy. He wants to become the President of the Business Council of Phoenix, with his eyes set on becoming Mayor next, so that means he has to clean up hs playboy image. He decides to find a woman who would stay married to him for a year for this purpose. It will be a business arrangement, with pleasure as the icing on the cake, and after a year, both he and the wife will walk away happy with the arrangement. The fact that this move will mean that Eli will be deceiving the electorate, or that surely the people can't be so naïve or gullible that they can't see that something smells fishy when the happy couple divorce a year after he's become President - all this doesn't matter, because we need a plot for this story to take place, chop chop, as Ms Jackson has two more new books coming out next month alone, and she probably has another sixteen books to finish before the end of this year.

So in walks Stacey Carlson. She's hot, and soon she's immersed in the Steele clan, where every guy is the same handsome playboy clone, differentiated only by their jobs (that one is a super smart surgeon, this one is an amazing computer game wiz, that one is a fabulous lawyer...), and where every woman is the same hot pregnant happily married clone, differentiated only by the man they are attached to. Before Stacey can become That Hot Pregnant Wife of That Hot Guy Who Is A Lawyer or Something, she and Eli must have plenty of hot sex in the few quiet moments that they have. At other moments, they serve as bystanders as the author shoves characters from previous books down my throat, telling me just how deliriously happy these couples are as they vigorously procreate to flood the whole country with their spawns. Oh, that single fellow will get his own book, of course, and so will that one, that one, that one, that one, that one, that one, and that one. Keep buying those books, people!

Unless you really want another very familiar couple in a very familiar story that features every family saga cliché in the neighborhood, you may want to read something else.

Rating: 56


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