cupid.com
by Karen Lee, contemporary (2002)
LoveSpell (HeartSpell), $5.99, ISBN 0-505-52482-1


I'm sorry but I can't take it. Books like cupid.com are all wrong for me. I find the premise so unbearably ridiculous that I just cannot get over it to even enjoy a little of what's left of this story. I'm sure there are readers out there that can and will enjoy this book better, but me and cupid.com just don't go together well.

Chloe Phillips is a businesswoman who runs a failing creative investment firm. When a Mr E Rose and his assistant Milo pitch a new software to her - the e-Cupid - she buys it without caring to find out anything more about E Rose and Milo or whether the software will even work. Now you know why her business is failing.

The e-Cupid software will automatically shows you the picture of your true love. It even comes with a pager thing that will vibrate when he or she is in your presence. Presumably this is because you will forget to print out your true love's face and publish it in an ad in the paper. This is a revolutionary software indeed. Anna Nicole Smith will finally find happiness, as will we all, thanks to e-Cupid and a stupid vibrating pager thing.

Actually, E Rose (Eros, geddit?) is actually Cupid in disguise and his job is to matchmake two particularly difficult people to prove to his wife Psyche that true love still exists in this world. Actually, if you ask me, Cupid and Psyche are in no position to talk about true love and marriages - their "courtship" is anything but functional. Psyche, of course, has chosen Chloe and her true love AJ Lockhart as the two lucky candidates. Again, if you ask me, matchmaking two attractive, hot, beautiful people isn't exactly a testament of love overcoming all. If Cupid succeeds in matchmaking a 600-pound hairy gorilla of a man with a supermodel, then we're talking.

AJ is the guy who will be auditing Chloe's accounts and offering her business advice. Of course, Chloe doesn't like that, even if her using the e-Cupid reveals that he is her true love. Then comes the nonsense, like every guy who uses the e-Cupid just has to fall for Chloe, much to the dismay of his female intended.

So basically, true love is preordained. That makes Cupid's nonsense about finding soul mates, et cetera null and void - why bother even trying when it's all predestined? Why not just wait for love then? At the same time, everybody here that falls in love is handsome or beautiful. I look into the mirror and sigh.

And don't get me started about Chloe. She is a typical "virtuous" businesswoman that will be humored or applauded only in romance novels: no business sense, makes her decisions solely on visceral impulses, and gets angry at the hero because he dares to suggest that she makes ruthless cuts in her budgets (she will then be hurting her friends if she turns down their eating away at her company finances - how touching!).

For a businesswoman, she also doesn't question how a computer software can detect your true love (a friend does that). She doesn't seem to care about the important issues, and she's only concerned with either finding true love or making everybody happy.

I really can't take this story. Everything is off, stupid even, and it's like being slapped into a coma by evil clowns whenever Chloe makes decisions that are as stupid as anything and she is indulged and loved for it. The software thing is all wrong and has not one iota of believability, not even within the realms of science fiction. In fact, I don't know what cupid.com has to do with this book (the software is called e-Cupid, and it's definitely not a website) other than a gimmick to tie in with a free 60-day membership with the real personals website cupid.com with every purchase of this book.

I really like the author's debut Meredith's Wish but this book is just way off and too far out for me. The characters aren't bad even if Chloe can be as dumb as rocks, but really, the entire premise is just too ridiculous for me. Nice cover though, if that's any consolation.

Rating: 50


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