Model Behavior
by Janie Mason, contemporary (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-60504-211-0


Okay, let me try to get this straight. In Model Behavior, Molly Birchfield disguises her hot body because she was a victim of sexual harassment in a previous job. Our heroine currently has the hots for new colleague Scott McDowell. He seems to like her well enough to ask her to join him for a lunch. It is during that lunch that she learns that Scott needs five hundred bucks ASAP. The poor guy had to bail a brother out of jail so he's now short of cash to pay his landlord. Of course, he won't accept her loan, he only wants ideas on how to find $500 quick.

So what does our heroine do? Instead of suggesting that Scott perform in those online gay sex show websites or even pausing to wonder whether Scott is using the oldest trick in the book to hit her for money, she invents a twin sister (played by herself, of course) who will pay Scott if Scott will pose nude for "Mary" the sculptor.

Shouldn't Molly see some kind of shrink before she starts doing stupid things in this story? Offering to loan a hot fellow who is still a stranger to her $500 because she knows he is a trustworthy man (because he's hot, you see) is bad enough, but pulling such stunt just to get laid is really pushing it. And speaking of someone who is worried about a repeat of her unpleasant experiences with a male colleague, Molly seems to be asking for trouble when she starts comparing Scott, without any prompting on his part, to Chippendale dancers because he has a hot body.

I have to give Ms Mason credit, though, because despite the fact that her characters are running around behaving like hormonal silly kids in this story, I am surprised to discover how readable this story is. The characters are silly, but they don't become stupid in any particularly toxic manner, and therefore I can even enjoy parts of the story without rolling my eyes up too often. I also appreciate the author's effort in trying to show me that there is more than lust in her characters' relationship. For a story this short, I think she has done a pretty good job in that. The premise doesn't completely work for me, but I walk away from this story thinking that I could very well enjoy future efforts by this author, which would hopefully come with a less ridiculous premise.

Rating: 73


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