Going Overboard
by Christina Skye, contemporary (2001)
Dell, $6.99, ISBN 0-440-23575-8


Make room, Susan Andersen, Stephanie Bond, Jennifer Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Rachel Gibson, Connie Lane - I said MAKE ROOM! and I don't care, Ms Andersen, that there is no more room and you are all squashed up like sardines in a can. Make room, dammit, for Christina Skye. She's in this biz for a long time now, and she decides to join you ladies in writing hay-pee contemporary funnies.

What's that, you say, Ms Lane? Well, Christina Skye has written about cowboys, yes, and she finds that lucrative. But inspired by the success of Suzanne Brockmann, here comes Going Overboard with a - ta-da! Navy SEAL hero! But we don't want messy actions and gunpowder in a hay-pee story. Don't want to scare the faint-hearted readers now, do we, Ms Skye? So we have Ford McKay grumbling as he takes on a bodyguard assignment on a cruise ship.

Hey, stop that catty remarks about the heroine Carly Sullivan! So she has no life and is neurotic to the point of seeing her photography career as her new vibrator. She also has a more outgoing best girlfriend - so what's your point, Misses Cruisie, Bond, and Andersen? You think you ladies have the trademarked TM sign to your neurotic heroines? Share your fans with Ms Skye, will you? And Carly asking Ford to pose as her model in her new photography stint - yes, what are you saying? No, Ms Vicki Lewis Thompson, Ms Skye is not ripping you off! That plot for your cowboy series is recycled ten thousand by your Silhoutte/Harlequin publisher long after your book is published so don't get so excited, okay, lady?

And yes, he mistakes her for a hard-up bimbo offering him $750 for sex. Not that it's the real thing - romance heroines don't go for gigolos unless they are heroines of Robin Schone and Thea Devine. And having Ford bodyguarding our heroine and her best friend is not an infringement on the Harlequin/Silhouette plot repertoire. I think. (Someone call up Ms Skye's lawyer, quick.)

Anyone ladies want to complain about the shrieky, stupid heroine who keeps putting herself and everyone in danger because she just can't to get it into her head that she is in danger? No? No one claiming patents on the Airhead Modern Woman? Not even you, Helen Fielding? I do remember something about a woman named Bridget.. stop casting dirty looks to Ms Bevarly, Ms Fielding. It's ruining your mascara.

Anyway, here we have, Going Overboard, a derivative, uninteresting story of bemused hunk-in-uniform protecting/babysitting neurotic airhead. By this very criteria, I have to agree: Ms Skye is more than suitable to join your ranks in the Contemporary Romance Authors With A Commercial Twist Club. So move over - Ms Skye, you can take the table by the window. The view of the bank is very good.

Rating: 62


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