by Amber Scott, contemporary (2007)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-59578-391-2
Oh, perfect. Now I can't get that annoying song by Rick Springfield out of my head. There is some similarities between that song and Amber Scott's book of the same name when it comes to the stories in that song and this book, as we shall see, but still, that song! Ugh. Jessie's Girl is one of the rare lesbian romances found dotting the electronic naughty romance landscape.
The Jessie in question is Jessica Hayes who gets the warm fuzzies from the first time she lays eyes on Sabrina French, the woman her twin brother brings home to meet the family. I'm not sure what to make of this bizarre family when Kyle, Jessie's twin brother, insists that she dance with Sabrina to Marvin Gaye's Let Get It On because, as he puts it, "Besides, girls like dancing with other girls far more than with a guy." Wait, is he supposed to have the hots of Sabrina or is he just angling to see some creepy female-on-female action involving his twin sister? I remember that there is an "F/F/M" advisory where this book is concerned and now I am really not sure whether to be intrigued or scared.
Don't get too intrigued by the "F/F/M" thing by the way. I think it's rather inaccurate to even mention that in the advisory as this is definitely a romance involving two women with no annoying penises around to pollute the beautiful picture.
What Jessie doesn't know, however, is that Sabrina feels that her relationship with Kyle is over in all but name, which allows Sabrina to feel that it is okay to do some heavy petting with Jessie in Chapter 2, with Sabrina telling Jessie not to let guilt hold Jessie back because Sabrina means to break up with Kyle pretty soon anyway. That's fast. And I like the excuse. Do you think "Oh, Hugh, it's okay, let me ease the pain of your recently canceled TV series - I may be a married woman but I'm planning to divorce my husband anyway so keep doing that... hmmmm!" will work with the Moral Police?
From that point onwards, Jessie's Girl never really recovers from the author's jumping the gun and forcing her main characters into a sexual situation without any logical build-up to that moment. Things just... happen. Sabrina and Jessie have a quick romp before a guilt-ridden Jessie decides to flee the scene of crime the morning after. The story then cuts to six years later when these two women are reunited again just as Sabrina is about to marry whom she believes to be the perfect husband material for her. The warning signs are there when it comes to Sabrina's future husband Chet Henry Garriston III: he is already forcing her to make career decisions and other adaptations that she is not fully comfortable with to become a more "suitable" wife for a man of his status and family background, for example. But you know how it is sometimes - the bride is too often always the last to know.
As a way to "get over" their wild ways so that they can be sober married people, Chet proposes a threesome with another woman so that he can see Sabrina get it on with another woman without having to pay... I mean, as a "one last hurrah" thing so that Sabrina can finally put her woman-snogging ways behind her. Chet is so magnanimous when he makes such a suggestion, I tell you. When Jessica shows up in her life again, Sabrina decides to make plans for some female nookie action that, unfortunately for Chet, doesn't involve him participating in any way.
While Jessie's Girl is certainly a rarity as we have currently many more gay romances than lesbian romances in the market, but the storyline is familiar and the author doesn't give this old storyline an adequately fresh interpretation. Unfortunately for Jessie's Girl, this story is quite predictable right down to Sabrina's really obvious Mr Wrong. Author Amber Scott should be commended for trying to focus on the romance as much as the sexual acrobatics in the story, but because the main characters hop into the bed without much ado, I never really get the chance to see any relationship developing between them. I'm just told by the author that Jessie and Sabrina are hot for each other. And given that these two characters have shown in this story that they will happily break off the relationships they are currently in with other people just to play nookie with each other, I'm really not convinced that these two have some kind of grand love going on.
This is a pretty readable story but the familiar storyline doesn't make this one stand out much. The characters can be on the fickle and even silly side at times, but they are fairly likable. Still, I don't really know much about them at the end of the day. Jessie's Girl is not a bad book by any means, but that annoying song is going to stick around in my head far longer than this story, unfortunately.
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