by Jacquelin Thomas, contemporary (2000)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-126-X
When I am told that the hero Laine Ransom is sterile, I go, "Please, no, no, not that misunderstanding problem, please."
Yeah. When after a whirlwind cruise courtship and wedding (and boinkship) with Regis Melbourne, Regis gets preggers, and Laine spends the entire story assuming the baby is not his. He makes himself out like some sort of martyr, marrying a Woman with Soiled Goods or something. I put my head down at the table and wonder why on earth are romance novels this predictable sometimes.
There are early moments during the Courtship when I am convinced that Regis and Laine are human. But after the blissful honeymoon, the author turns them into caricatures. Regis is one of those perpetually-in-PMS frustrobots still reeling from a Bad Relationship. Same with Laine. Put in jealous wives, jealous exes, and stupid, transparent lies that get swallowed up by our two gullible guppies of main characters and I find myself reading a story that put the bad melodrama of Survivor to shame.
It's not even campy melodrama. It's bad melodrama, transparently contrived and relies too much on women catfighting over men to carry it off.
Mom's right: rebound whirlwind affairs can get really ugly.
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