Brava, $14.00, ISBN 0-7582-0084-6
Contemporary Erotics, 2002
Quick, how many erotic premise can you think up as a plot for a Brava romance? If you want to be predictable, you can always do the stereotypical lawnboy/poolboy/handyman stud fantasy. How about the rapist robber that emanates beautiful Stockholm Syndrome? Or the sleazy affair with your office colleague in the elevator, in the store room, and on the photocopy machine?
Lori Foster presents the virgin shy-shy pity-shag fantasy. Anyone want to bet that she probably took her manuscript meant for Harlequin Blaze, padded it up with an extra ten or twenty pages of love scenes, and sent it to Brava? Of all the varied sexual fantasies one could present, she chooses the most irritatingly overkilled one and presents it in a way that is as exciting as stuffing turkey gibbets in a factory.
Noah Harper is angry when he discovers his woman Kara in bed with another man. Noah and Kara don’t love each other, but see, Noah’s granny is like their most favorite tyrant family member ever, so they must do everything to please granny… zzzz. If this is not Lori Foster’s secret SOS to her readers to save her from the Granny that is the Harlequin Tyrant Chief Editor, I don’t know what is. Anyway, Noah goes rampaging onwards, intent on sleeping and dumping a woman just to get over the blues, when he ends up sleeping with Kara and Noah’s mutual friend Grace Jenkins.
Grace describes herself as “fat”. Noah thinks she’s as sexy as a pin-up. I think it’s nice that Lori Foster is writing about the select niche of guys who subscribe to the Big Heavyweight Amazon adult catalog. At least, I’d like to think that, because I love overestimating an author’s potential. So I’ll delude myself into thinking that this is a story about Rubenesque Rump-smacking Love and not about some stupid dim-witted heroine with so low self-esteem all it needs is a penis to perforate her worthless hymen so that she will realize that wa-hey, she’s a dead ringer for Karen Moss!
So it’s sex. And sex. More sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sexzzzzzz. Punctuated by (a) Grace’s whining that this is only temporary because nobody can love a dowdy stupid woman like her, surely, (b) Noah patiently persuading that stupid Grace to give out, and (c) other men chewing scenery, no doubt heroes of future sequels which I hope will be worth at least a fraction of the $14.00 price, unlike this one.
And the sex? How do I put it, uhmm… you read Harlequin Blaze books? You know, the one where romance authors write about robotic virgins doing stupid things to have sex? Put in a few “cock”s and “vagina”s here and there, and that’s it. Your robotic-unerotic romance called Too Much Temptation – yes, it’s that hot, it will melt an ice cube in, oh, twenty million years from now.
I don’t know Noah at all. He’s just an erection. Grace? I know her too well, unfortunately – get lost, go peer at an incoming truck, you no self-esteem cluelessly asexual twentysomething dingbat who doesn’t even know what an erection looks like. And the whole plot about pleasing granny is just whacked in a contemporary setting.