Wish You Were Here
by Christie Ridgway, contemporary (2000)
Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-81255-X


Another author manages to flee the mawksy titles of her Silhouette backlist, but unfortunately, she never could escape the specters of Ye Category Clichés. Even if this extended-category romance is set in the idyllic island resort of Abrigo, the nice tropical scenery can't prevent predictability and the inevitable boredom from setting in on this reader.

Yeager Gates - if you can't guess from that Buck Rogers-ish name - is an astronaut blinded after a motorcycle accident. Not that blindness is any handicap to our superhero except as an excuse for his growly-bear acts. He wants anonymity, so he goes to an island off California (what, too cheap to spare a ticket to Mauritius?) for some R&R. He's quite grouchy because he can't get his rocket to launch (*hint, hint*) despite having hired some professionals to test the... uhm, engines. But don't worry, innkeeper and stereotypical I'm-too-busy-I-have-no-life heroine Zoe Cash is here to save the day. And launch Yaeger's rockets.

While pushing and pulling and snarling and agonizing on Zoe and Yeager's parts (the rocket launches quite successfully, I am happy to report), Zoe's sis Lyssa is going agoogoo over Yaeger's buddy Deke. She's gonna play Catherine Zeta-Jones to senior citizen Deke's Michael Douglas. So what if Deke has reservations. Lyssa has Tweetybirdom in her side, she knew it was destiny the moment she sees Deke. I have lost my brother to leukemia and I emphatize with Lyssa's recovery from leukemia, but leukemia is no excuse for acting like a ten-year old Lolita (minus the brains) really.

Zoe may be Abrigo's matchmaker, but she makes me yawn. The usual insecure, I-know-lil'-'bout-the-dirty-S-thing, I-need-explosives-to-loosen-up woman done a million zillion times already. Yaeger may be an astronaut, but his job's just window dressing. Since he's already so rich and a celebrity, why the heck not just make him another millionaire cowboy?

There are some great humor, but all in all, Wish You Were Here is like a tourist brochure. It looks better when I'm not there. When I'm there, it turns out to be just another place I've visited before. More like Yawn, I've Been Here, really.

Rating: 70


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