A Muse Me
by SL Carpenter, contemporary (2006)
Samhain Publishing, $2.50, ISBN 1-59998-058-4

Eugene S Finkter is facing writer's block. He writes romantic erotica under the name SL Carpenter Dorris Daye but his latest romantic erotica about a woman with a case of extreme bowlegged condition - she had an accident with a circus elephant that is best left unsaid here - isn't going anywhere. On the pain of having his penis nailed to a chair by his editor if he doesn't meet the deadline, he decides to fly to Aruba and hopefully find a muse. Needless to say, he finds one in Aruba that recharges his battery, if you know what I mean.

I don't think anyone will be surprised if I say that the hero A Muse Me reads suspiciously like someone that I'm sure Mr Carpenter will recognize very well. Nonetheless, there are far worse things than a Mary Sue novel, especially when A Muse Me is such an adorable if irreverent piece of comedy. The romance isn't the strongest or the most convincing but that's fine because Eugene and Madison aren't getting married by the end of the story so there's no need on my part to make myself believe that these two are having anything more than a fun affair.

A Muse Me is a short story with not much that I can say in terms of characterization or plot. But I think it is worth a look because Mr Carpenter happily pokes fun at his own career. Even the love scenes are a hoot as the author doesn't take his characters that seriously and asks me to laugh and go along with these characters. There are one-liners that crack me up and I especially love how the author will whip out the most amusing punchline at the most unexpected moments in the story.

I like A Muse Me despite its superficial characters because of the comedy. It probably isn't much of a story and anyone who isn't familiar with this author's brand of comedy may not be amused when they expect a more conventional spicy read and discover instead something that is a mix of American Pie and There's Something About Mary, only with a milder degree of body function jokes. Personally I find that this book is something I can enjoy because Mr Carpenter's brand of comedy works with me. However, other readers may beg to differ. You know what they say. Buyers beware.

Rating: 70

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