Record Time
by Beverly Brandt, contemporary (2002)
St Martin's Press, $6.50, ISBN 0-312-98184-8

This book is gruesome. The heroine is a complete mess. Kylie Rogers is a heroine who gets naked accidentally, rips off things and blames the hero for distracting her, daydreams while walking in the middle of the street and then wondering why other car drivers are so nasty to her, can't find a job to save her life, can't handle coffee machines (the hero has to replace all the machines in the company to suit her mood), cannot say no to nasty men (she has to climb out the window and needs rescuing by the hero), and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Sure, I may be the only reader in the world who thinks this book is repulsive. But I lose it when the hero David Gamble yells at Kylie to just think for once instead of screwing up and then weeping over it, he gets punched by Kylie's father. And she tells him, "I like who I am and I'm not going to change."

If this is female empowerment, I'm opening a trust fund for women who want to undergo a sex change out of embarrassment of her own gender.

The hero David is an under-40 year-old multimillionaire - the perfect matrimonial candidate for a notoriously high-maintenance bimbo like Kylie - who ends up employing Kylie in his company after kissing her after rescuing her from falling out of the window (see first paragraph), and that is before she wrecks havoc, weeps on his shoulders, wrecks more havoc in her incompetence, and whines why things aren't going right for her.

In the mean time, other women - with career, competence, and financial stability - are underhandedly and ruthlessly cut down and portrayed in an unpleasant light - anything to do an SOS on the wreck that is Kylie, I guess, and after a strong enough dose of hemlock, I may just start buying this author's telling me that Kylie is the Most Special, Good Woman - and every bad man out there treats Kylie like a round robin "Victimize That Dingbat" game. And since Kylie is "special" (read: brainpower-free), she makes it so easy for them. Save her, David, save that poor special child, and yes, have sex with her on an office desk.

At one point in this story, Ben, David's lousy younger brother, yells at David, "F**k you!" I find myself going, "Yeah, and your momma too!"

Yeah, yeah, the Anna Nicole Smiths of the world need love too. But I doubt Kylie will be so smart as to marry a dying old lech and get herself a TV show starring a very funny interior decorator. So yeah, when the romance heroine makes Anna Nicole Smith looks like Aaron Spelling, that's when I pull the plug on this braindead vegetable of a story. There's some unintentional comedy from Dave's ranting about CD piracy when he owns a company that makes downloadable music or a rather bewildering assumption that Dave has the rights to sell downloadable music of any artist in America, apparently, judging from his sales pitch, but in the end, ugh. That's a pity, because this romance is set in the music industry (albeit the music industry is portrayed in a very idealistic manner) - I haven't encountered many of those.

A flat line never looks this good.

Rating: 31

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