by Jennifer Blake, contemporary (2001)
MIRA, $6.50, ISBN 1-55166-819-X
Clay is bad. Ridiculously bad, but unfortunately, bad in an atrociously bad way. No campy fun here, just plain blood-vessel-bursting agony of a too-stupid-for-words heroine and a plot straight out of some bad Z-grade movie.
Let's see if I can get the plot straight. Janna Kerr, single mother (MIRA staple heroine), desperate because her daughter needs a kidney transplant ASAP, decides to use the services of a black market doctor. While wringing her hands in her hideout in some swamp hole, who shows up but Clay, the twin brother of the father of her secret child, whom then Janna drugs and ties up to separate his kidney from him. Cool! How about some brain scooping while we're at it?
Clay, naturally, finds this woman hot. He actually frees himself - romance heroines like Janna tend to be two bricks short in the head - and then goes back to the woman because he is soooo aroused by the sight of her.
Meanwhile, dead bodies start showing up around town, with internal organs missing. Janna knows that there is an unscrupulous black market in organs around, but nah, surely that Unscrupulous Doctor is innocent! Yes, he must be! Anyway, back to boinking Clay...
I actually sit through Janna's really dumb mental churnings. Like how she will sleep with Clay so that he wouldn't press charges when he wakes up to find that he's missing a kidney. Oh please - is she that hot? She knows some tricks? Everyone knows this sort of contemporary romance heroines are generally frigid queens who need a carjack to pry open their legs. And then she realizes, after she has drugged Clay, that she is unable to drag Clay to the Illegal Surgery Room all by herself. Oh, no! Calamity! Calamity is how this woman is actually starring in a romance of her own, I tell you. Then the bad Dr Gower is here, to remove the kidney from Clay, which is what Janna really wants all along, right? But Janna can't tell him that there's fresh meat waiting inside for Doc's scalpel, because, oh, she just can't! And she hates this! She doesn't want to see this, or be part of this! Lady, I don't want to be part of your story either, even as a reader. Oh, the horror.
The whole stupidity ten-car pile-up goes on and on. Janna's stupidity is beyond my powers of description, really, and Clay's attraction to this woman as well as his own cluelessness to the obvious make him a perfect match for Janna. Hopefully their swamp house will sink into the bogs as a result of the vigorous bed-banging against the wall on their honeymoon night and the human gene pool is spared from their ever procreating and spreading their stupid gene.
Am I being too harsh? You bet I am. I want my time and money back too, while I'm at it. With all the organ scooping going on, I wouldn't be surprised if Doc Gower have removed the brains of our two lovebirds while they are sleeping off (Janna: "Must breathe when sleeping... must breathe when sleeping...") their sexual bliss. But nah, that's probably giving this insipid story too much credit.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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