by Barbara Sheridan, paranormal (2000)
Jove, $5.99, ISBN 0-515-12804-X
This story is basically Sleeping Beauty with a role-reversal twist - the hero's the sleeping beau here. Years ago, Alain Devereaux lost his one true love Brigette to an evil curse of the latter's dead hubby. A sorceress takes pity on him and puts him into a magical sleep, where he would awake from when Brigette is reborn in another time and place.
Alain in his crystal coffin gets passed on the sorceress Odette's descendants. The coffin ruin quite a many of these women's lives. Now, in New Orleans in year 2000, Danielle Curtis sees her boyfriend head for greener pastures, thanks to a big conflict about that Thing In The Coffin Upstairs. Dani has seen her parents' marriage detoriate thanks to That Thing, and Dani has to sacrifice her Olympic Gold Medal in Gymnastics, again thanks to That Darned Thing. She's had it with responsibilities. She takes a knife in an impulsive attempt to mutilate that... you know, but lo, Sleeping Beau awakens.
Alain now has 30 days to find Brigette and marry her before he disappears from existence. Dani finds herself helping him, and things get a bit sticky when Alain identifies the new and improved Brigette as Cate George, actress. And Brigette's evil hubby may be also reborn in the present. And of course, Dani feels the hormone thing about Alain too. Oh dearie me.
Silver Rain is an entertaining story about magic, but as a romance, it kinda flounders. I sympathize with Dani's initial hostility about that darned man in the coffin business ruining her life. I would ma that man with the hardest rolling pin myself if he ruined my life the way he ruined Dani's. And come to think of it, when Alain asks me to help him find Brigette, my first reaction would be to kick his butt out of the door. Dani is a better woman than me, I must say.
The trouble is, very little of the story is devoted to Alain's point of view. Hence for the most time I'm subjected to Dani's thoughts. Which means Alain is trying to woo Cate, not Dani. Then, suddenly Alain is sleeping with Dani while mooning for Cate. My eyes narrowed into tiny slits of annoyance at this point because since I have no idea what makes Alain tick, he comes off a horny, flacky creep. And the abrupt confession of love from him at the last few chapters don't ring true because frankly, I have no idea what is going on in his head.
And to be honest, I don't find Alain a sexy hero. He is always befuddled and making Dani do everything for him from setting him up with Cate all the way to showing him the wonders of modern plumbing. A lost, hapless St Bernard doggie who keeps requiring my constant pampering and time and help isn't what I would call hero material, no matter how adorable a St Bernard Alain reminds me of at times. Guess Dani likes her man that way, but I find Alain more of a lost child than a sexy hero. Worse, a child who doesn't seem to be able to take care of himself or do anything. (I'm old fashioned in that I like my heroes to be able to do things, you know.)
The romance in Silver Rain isn't very absorbing, but I must say everything else in the plot is very engaging and entertaining. Silver Rain makes a better book as a paranormal story with some romance-lite thrown in. It's entertaining, but as a romance, it misses the mark.
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