Zebra, $6.50, ISBN 0-8217-7148-5
Fantasy Romance, 2003
Simply Irresistible is best retitled Help Me, My Deadline Is Looming! Or maybe, Watch Out, I’m Blowing Ideas Out of My Behind and You’re Paying $6.50 for It! This book has a decent premise but towards the end, the author just pulls the whole show from under my feet, stumbles and loses the plot,and slap on a rushed ending that bewilders me more than anything. Maybe next time the author should be nicer to her editor and ask for an extension of deadlines instead of producing a rushed, choppy book like this.
Oh, and I really don’t think this book can stand alone. It’s filled with characters from the author’s previous novels that just don’t really do anything but to take up space, sort of like the typical “Let’s get Xander, Willow, Giles, Kennedy, and Anya to sit around while Buffy and Spike go out and make me puke” contractual-obligation screen time thing in Buffy the Vampire Slayer nowadays.
This book’s premise is that our world coexists with another magical one where mythical gods and creatures aren’t so mythical after all and sometimes denizens from the latter world cross over to the former. In this book, Vivian Kenneally is psychic, but little does she know that she is actually a woman of superpowers. She just hasn’t come into her power yet. She learns all this when she moves in to her late eccentric aunt’s house to encounter three women who call themselves the Fates. Apparently there is a political fiasco in the other world: Zeus, the neverending womanizing idiot, has agreed with nasty Eris and her son Strife to let “new blood” into their Mount Olympus White House. The Fates are fired in favor of Zeus’ daughters. Deciding to reapply for their positions, the Fates have willingly forsaken their magic and come to the more mundane world to get the necessary experience needed to qualify their old jobs. This is just what Eris and Strife want: now they are hunting down the Fates and the Fates have no choice but to seek the few powerful mages in this world for protection. Alas, Viv’s aunt is dead – murdered by Eris and Strife – and now Viv must find the powerful mage Henri Barou.
Since Zeus is a slut and the real power seems to belong to his wife Hera, I guess Ms Grayson has still haven’t gotten over Bill Clinton draping the White House in a stained dress. Well, why not just move on and concentrate on Dubby now, Ms Grayson? Wait, that may be Strife, an idiot whose momma makes all the decision. Maybe Ms Grayson is a Green Party member.
Henri Barou is now living as a pet supply storekeeper and his name is now Dexter Grant. Like this author’s previous books, reference from really old movies are rife here. Viv finds here, they fall in love in ten seconds flat, and everything descends into zany tomfoolery. Or at least, things promise to. I don’t mind the rushed romance if this book is a great romantic fantasy (emphasis on fantasy), and it seems like Simply Irresistible is going to be just that, thanks to the hilarious Interim Fates and other wacky events that make me laugh. But then comes the dead weights from the previous novels just to take up space with their petty arguments, and poor Viv and Dex end up playing second fiddle to these people and the wacky plot. The Fates are annoying here when they are cool and funny in previous books. If I’m Viv, I’d be more than happy to toss these women out the window. Remember, the whole story happens because these idiots give up their power, get into trouble, and need the hero and the heroine to save their sorry hide.
As the story progresses, the author seems to lose focus of her story. The villains are stopped in an anticlimactic non-event, lots of plot threads are left dangling, and I wonder if the author is going to tie up the loose ends in the next book or something. The rushed resolution, the characters that fall victim to too many zany scenarios, and this underwhelming feeling I get from this half-baked book makes Simply Irresistible too forgettable and too easy to say no to.