Coming Home To You
by Fay Robinson, contemporary (2001)
Harlequin Superromance, $4.25, ISBN 0-373-70961-7


I picked Fay Robinson's Coming Home To You because one, the plot doesn't sound like the usual category baby-secret-agent-protect-me overkill, and two, the cover is just so romantic. (Oh, and that he looks like Brendan Fraser doesn't hurt either.) Too bad the whole story fails to keep me riveted. It's boring. Sorry, but it's like a boring TV movie thingie.

Kate Morgan has always wanted to do the biography of legendary (dead) singer and songwriter James Hayes. Once, James Hayes paid special attention to shy, bullied lil' mouse Kate (not that way, people, we're not talking about Almost Famous here) that led her to be accepted by her peers. Today, Kate wants to repay James by writing the biography that will remind the world that so what if James was a zoned-out druggie, he had talent, y'all. I guess Kate wouldn't be eating dinner with Andrew Morton anytime soon.

Anyway, Kate faces a brick wall in getting the cooperation of anyone who knew James. Finally, she decides to crash the life of the reclusive, surly Bret Hayes, James' brother, for a story. Surely James' brother knows something. But she soon learns that not everyone remembers James fondly at all. Bret and Kate, however, spark, have sex, talk about guilt, and finally go off to a happy ending.

I can't be any more bored.

I'm sorry, I really want to love Coming Home To You, because it's not your usual derivative Silhouette/Harlequin nonsense. But at the same time, the characters just don't come to life to me. Kate is a persistent groupie that never shagged her idol, Bret is grumpy guilt-ridden rancher with kids to look after, and that's it. The characters talk, but my attention keeps wandering away. Why is it? I don't really know exactly why, but I can hazard a guess.

It's because James Hayes is one of the most boring dead star I have ever read. He's not even the overrated but charismatic Jim Morrison. The author just doesn't succeed in making him charismatic or even memorable - and when Ms Robinson insists on whitewashing and moralizing the one interesting aspect of James, his drug addiction, James becomes ultimately colorless. He's a poster boy for the Don't Do Drugs campaign. And things can't get any more boring.

Kate talk. Bret talk. They do fun charity work. They walk around beautiful green acres, and they discuss James and Bret's angst. At the end of the day, though, while I wish Kate and Bret well, I do wonder who on earth will go all the way to find out about James, Boring Dead Star, in the first place. And trust a romance heroine to write a censored, happy, Pollyanna-esque biography of that guy, as if he wasn't dull enough already. Fangirls don't make interesting romance heroines, really. How sad.

Rating: 69


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