Paper Rose
by Diana Palmer, contemporary (1999)
MIRA, $5.99, ISBN 1-55166-539-5


Paper Rose huh? That's too obvious a target for jokes about how bad this romance is. Put an alpha beyond alpha hero without brains and a whiny, immature doormat, and the result is a book that reads like a train wreck - I just can't stop reading out of bizarre fascination. How worse can it get? Believe me, much worst. Really much worst.

Tate Winthrop is your quissential Moron Virile Savage hero - the stereotypical jingoistic Sioux Indian who often mistakes stupidity as pride. Once, when he actually had some semblence of braininess, he rescued heroine Cecily Peterson from her drunk wannabe-rapist stepfather. Not only that, our hero actually financed our heroine's education. Wowee.

Somehow our heroine graduated with top honors. I'm afraid to ask how. Anyway, she finally realizes that it wasn't a scholarship that funded her studies, it was Tate! So what does our brainy heroine do? Dump a bowl of crab bisque on his lap on national TV. Really, Sissy, sorry, Cecily, it's much easier to just be an infamous White House intern. At least the latter would give you a book deal.

Turns out - surprise - that Cecily has the hots for our well-endowed (everywhere but upstairs) hero. But Tate, the he-man he is (grrr, you tiger you), doesn't want to pollute his precious pure pristine 100% true-bred manly seed in Cecily's inferior WASP fertile soils. Just when I though maybe Tate has some braininess - he managed to read some Nazi literature, didn't he? - the author ruined it all by making Tate carelessly spread his manly tribute on the willing receptacles of a really hilariously cartoony Other Woman, who's also WASP. And the Other Woman is rabid in her dislike of Tatey's O Precious Roots.

Play the stupid song, band.

Cecily is worse. A top degree holder who, in a fit of righteous anger, goes off to work with a senator (you know how politicians are, evil and scummy) whom she knows is Tate's enemy. Actually, that's why she works there.

Play the stupid song again, band.

They fight, boink, fight, boink, fight, boink, fight, boink... hmm, I believe I see a pattern here. Cecily loses her brain cells even more - along with her clothes - the moment Tate exposes himself to her. Tate never speaks normal, using crudities in what seemed like sexist innuendos gone haywire, and his precious reservoir of Future Generations Of Pure Sioux gets spilled indiscriminately left and right. A complete waste of XY chromosome if there ever is one.

There is no decent plot in PR. The whole friggin' thing wouldn't happened if the two main characters would just grow a brain or get a clue. There's nothing romantic, everything dysfunctional, and just plain annoying characters in here. You won't get anything out of PR except that physical beauty would get you anywhere and anything, no matter how moronic you are mentally. Look at Cecily and Tate. They got their story published, didn't they?

Rating: 10


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