Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Secrets" A Not-so-Steamy Romance Novel

I think I know why Harlequin has increased sales in a recession. Their books are dirt cheap. And their books are cheap dirt. Just my opinion.

Book Look Review
I tried to like this book on CD, but it was such a soap opera! I read about Harlequin publishing company having an increase in romance book sales of 32% because of the terrible economy. I felt obligated to give it a try – for research purposes. Actually, listening to the book did make me laugh but I don’t think that’s what the author Jude Deveraux had in mind. Oh it was clean, with no swearing and no sex, but no story either. Seriously, after producing 50 million best-selling copies, I expected something better from such a popular author. I kept wondering when I would hear the reader snicker as she recited incredibly ridiculous lines. For example, the beautiful heroine was described as a “real woman” – with a big top, a big bottom, and a 24 inch waist in between. Just to give you a little example.

The cast of main characters included the above mentioned womanly woman Cassandra (the raised-by-wealthy-controlling-mother nanny in love with the widower dad), Jeff (the wealthy, handsome secretive dad), Skyler (the wealthy, skinny conniving girlfriend), and Althea Fairmont (the wealthy old film star neighbor). There were a lot of wealthy people in this book which tended to give me the impression that money and love are tied together in this fantasy world. Oh wait, that is the point of escaping by reading a romance novel.

These rich and attractive people are trying to solve a very confusing murder inserted into the love story to give it some direction. Any direction is better than down being the theory here. Of course Jeff is secretive because he is actually a CIA agent which solves a lot of problems for the story. Nanny Cassie has a talent for discovering random facts and items which takes care of missing puzzle pieces. Together these two are a real bundle of sleuthing talent. I was particularly impressed with their ability to solve the predicament of a poor pregnant teenager and a rich childless neighbor. Money once again solves all problems for love.

No really, in case I am not clear enough, let me tell you what I think. This was a terrible book. While stuck sitting in my car last Friday night during rush hour I had to turn off the CD player. I just couldn’t take the frustration of a traffic jam combined with the irritation of listening to this book! For the sake of research, I turned it back on and endured to the predictable ending where the nanny and the widower declare their love, solve the confusing mystery and plan to live happily and sappily together.

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