Private Passions
by Rochelle Alers, contemporary (2001)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-151-0

Good grief. If Private Passions comes with a bottle of Instant Sniff-Me Sedatives, the marketing couldn't be any better. With this latest installment in her The Legacy dynasty story, this author has finally plummeted into an all-time low in boring storytelling. Her characters can't be any more superhuman in their talent and beauty. It's definitely soap opera time with ageless beauty and decadent riches.

I mean, yes, it's fun to be gorgeous, super talented, and rich, but reading about these people pouting and acting up over trivial, petty problems... ah, now that's a tall order for me.

Emily Kirkland is an ultra-successful, mega-beauteous, super rich heroine who is naturally an expert in her field - political analysis. She is also in love with her brother's best friend Christopher Delgado, the super rich, super killer abs, super talented, super intelligent, ultra charismatic mega politician running for governor in New Mexico. They finally give in to their super perfect, ultra pure, surely can't-go-wrong passions of the heart in a beautiful melding (not tangling) of well-aerobicized limbs, flat stomachs, and - excuse me while I go throw up.

That's it really. The story could have ended right there with a super perfect ending and ten super perfect super beautiful babies who could read by age one, sing by age three, and win the Nobel Prize by age nine. But there are one hundred pages more to fill, but really, what sort of problems do super perfect people have that can fill these pages adequately?

See the problem here? There's no way Emily and Chris can pull a drinking problem out of their tight, taut behinds and I don't think the PC crowd will like it if these people display any human insecurities or neuroses. So what do I get? Emily hissing at Chris - "I am my own woman! No man can control me!" and Chris roaring back, "Woman, I hate playing games!"

There's really not much meat I can sink my teeth into in Private Passions. The author has backed herself into a corner with her own set-up - how on earth can people who have everything - and have even love coming to them so easy - be interesting enough to warrant 250 pages of story? There's only so much descriptions of fashion, nail manicures, hair treatment, and scenery chewing from other characters from previous Legacy books that the author can get away with before the story loses all its steam and breaks down like an old engine.

In Private Passions, perfection rules. And perfection, as it turns out in this case, is stultifyingly dull.

Rating: 50

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