Everything To Gain
by Marilyn Tyner, contemporary (2001)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-128-6


Evil ho's, big misunderstandings, reunion, workplace romance... yup, it's the standard Arabesque du Mediocre showtime hour again. Filled with the usual Arabesque plot devices with none of the interesting ways to making the old refreshingly readable, Everything To Gain reads like a textbook for aspiring authors wishing to write saleable, cookie-cutter romances.

In college, Derek thought that his sweetheart Caroline had aborted their baby. She thought that he was engaged to someone else. They were over soon enough. Fast forward to the present, where Derek and Caroline meet again in Conneticut. They each believe themselves the wronged party, and somehow they assume the other some sort of mind-reader, because they never talk. Just bicker. Worse, they end up at the same workplace.

Oh yeah, there's a secret baby thing too. Only this baby is now a teenager.

Bicker, spat, sex, repeat and rinse. And since Derek is a man, he can't be the one in the wrong. Caroline ends up making concessions, all the blame is relegated on jealous Other People, and nobody learns anything about Communication for Dummies by the last page. And I thought Big Misunderstanding plots are dead like dodos. (Then again, I hear Eloisa James has a new book out...) Next!

Rating: 32


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