by Wendy Wax, contemporary (2003)
Bantam, $5.99, ISBN 0-553-58613-0
Great sexual tension and rapport makes Wendy Wax's 7 Days And 7 Nights worth checking out if you love books by Rachel Gibson and Meggin Cabot and have a thing for heroes that really behave like all the bad boyfriends in your life. There are many flaws in this book, but it has its charming moments.
WLTK Radio has two feuding DJs. Olivia Moore hosts Liv Live, a talk show all about "women's stuff" (read: too much psychobabble about commitment and stuff). Matt Ransom hosts Guy Talk, a show where all your lousy ex-boyfriends that never called gather to listen and exchange exploits. Matt slept with and then dumped Liv when she was an intern in the radio station. That was then. Today, Matt routinely humiliates Liv on his show, and when she realizes what is going on, she fights back on her own show.
Unfortunately, rising costs will mean that one of their shows will be axed from the radio station. To make the "correct decision", the radio people will lock these two up in an apartment together, broadcast the feeds live to listeners, and listeners will vote at the end for whom they want to see escape the ax.
Matt is... I don't know, sheesh. He's a player, and I do mean "player" in every sense of the can't-grow-up, can't-commit jerk player sort. The author is pretty good if she can make me laugh and chuckle at a guy who, in real life, will probably get a horse's head, still dripping with blood, sealed and sent to his door, signed most lovingly with my name. He's a jerk. He's an adorable jerk. The biggest problem of this book is the heroine, Liv, who is a stereotypically prim and frigid type. She not only is no match for the hero's sense of unsportmanship, she is so brittle and cold that I am hard-pressed to understand what Matt see in her. I can understand why he dumped her, but taking her back? Not in this lifetime.
There is a secondary romance that mirrors Matt's and Liv's relationship. JoBeth and Dawg are two faithful listeners. She listens to Liv and follows everything Liv advocates, while Dawg worships Matt. Needless to say, JoBeth wants commitment and Dawg doesn't. She dumps him, Dawg does the very typically stupid high school things to win her back only to make things worse, but all's well ends well. Since Liv is no match for Matt, eventually JoBeth's story becomes more interesting to me than the main romance. JoBeth undergoes tremendous character growth as she dumps that useless man and gets on with her life. Unfortunately, Dawg doesn't grow at all as a character. If I ask JoBeth, "Why do you take him back? Why not just dump him?", I don't think even Ms Wax knows the answer.
Love, in this book, is absolute. Apparently, once you love him, jerk or no jerk, you will forever keep loving him even when he breaks your heart for the millionth time. It doesn't make sense and it seems even quite depressing as a philosophy to live by.
Because Liv and JoBeth ultimately love their men not because of anything they learn but because they are too weak (and pathetic) to stop, 7 Days And 7 Nights is a well-written failure. I enjoyed reading it, but if you ask me whether any of this couple will last the fortnight, my answer will be an unhesitating and confident "No."
This book at Amazon.com
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