by Jules Bass, contemporary (2001)
Jove, $6.99, ISBN 0-515-13133-4

To the disbelieving ladies among you (and those who may be considering repeating the escapades contained in this book): All I can say is rent a room at the Hotel de Paris, borrow some expensive jewelry from Bulgari, dress to kill, and sit in the bar - facing the front - on a Friday evening at around eight-thirty. Someone will definitely send you a bottle of champagne and some white caviar. Trust me, it happens all the time.

Up yours, Jules Bass. With that condescending piece of smelly stuff that is the epilogue, this book flies across the room to hit the - oh, please, not the TV. Damn. Now I hate this book even more. Coming from a woman, this piece of I-wanna-be-Bridget-Jones-on-crack braindead piece of work is bad enough. But to hear the wise pearls of wisdom from a man... ahem. Up yours. That's what I will say. Up your freakin' yours. If you want to exploit the lucrative women's fiction to line your bank account, at least have to decency not to condescend your female readers. At least Nicholas Sparks doesn't tell me that his cardboard insipid heroines are what womankind should aspire to be.

Four women, this close to being retarded, did the above stint described in Mr Bass' "I think I'm on Absolutely Fabulous - do I sound like Bette Midler?" epilogue. They dress up as rich women to infiltrate a five-star hotel in Monte Carlo. There's Darlene, beautiful recently-divorced Avon lady, and her friends Eleanor (a lawyer who may have everything but she feels she isn't a woman because she wants a baby this bad), Irene (multi-married-and-divorced ex-model), and Carla (backward nurse who just wants to cook for her man). Their beauty is waning, and they want to grab life by the, uhm, eyelashes. So do they want to trick for money? No - in Mr Bass' world, a woman doesn't care about money. These women want husbands, not money. Someone they play the codependent doormat to, like the way they played the doormat to their exes. (These women even admit to doing so. Mr Bass must have worked his best to control his excitement while writing about these women chasing after anyone with a penis.)

They meet four men. Four men who are also aren't what they seem. They're tricks. Gigolos looking for rich women for their next paycheck/Ferrari/whatever. Darlene and gang, meet Maurice, Trevor, Julio, and Jean-Jacques. Incidentally, Mr Bass must have a hard time controlling himself once again as he details the sexual escapades of these men in PG-rated lasciviousness, five words to every one he gave the women's back story. He must have had a wonderful time living out his Mary Sue fantasies about a man being wanted by so many hot-blooded, moneyed chicks.

Is there any witty repartee? Playing off each other as they try to control their sexual tension? Hell, no! The women fall onto, I mean, into the men's... arms - easy, easy, easy - and spend the rest of the story in a haze of stupidity. He loves me... he loves me not...

Mr Bass has some funny dialogs here, I admit, but the story is sick. I am disgusted enough that women are portrayed not only incapable of functioning without screaming about matrimony, but worse, the portrayal of the men aren't any better. Women are stupid, men are money-mad pigs. And Mr Bass wants me to live out this fantasy.

Up yours, I'd say again. Oh yeah, they're making a movie out of this. I have a feeling though, a movie will be much more enjoyable than this book. As long as it doesn't have annoying voiceovers telling me this is how me, a woman, should behave according to Mr Bass' wise judgments. Can I say "Up yours!" once again?

Rating: 01

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