by Marie Ferrarella, contemporary (2007)
Silhouette Romantic Suspense, $4.99, ISBN 978-0-373-27542-7
My Spy is the first book in a multi-authored series with a cheesy title called Mission: Impassioned. There is an overlying story arc involving some great intrigue taking place in a covert operations team based in the UK called the Lazlo Group that will eventually culminate in a showdown between the gang, led by one Corbett Lazlo, with the bad guy gang led by Corbett's ex-lover and archnemesis Cassandra DuMont. The problem with My Spy is that I find this storyline much more interesting than the main storyline, which is about our hero, Joshua Lazlo, has to track down and rescue the Prime Minister's daughter Prudence Hill (with a name like that, can she not be British?) and how these two fall in love.
The problem with the main storyline is that while this is a simple story of two people on the run and all the drama associated with the run, the author decides to have the heroine behaving like a wisecracking smart aleck from the moment she gets rescued. Prudence is the kind of heroine who "thanks" Joshua by being a pain in the rear end. She complains, whines, blames Joshua when things go wrong, and finds fault with minor things when things are going fine. While I can understand at first if she's just being prickly because she's scared, her relentless one-dimensional caustic bitch act becomes really tiresome when she just won't quit it. Joshua, of course, loves it, calling her "feisty" and all, but he's a secret agent and you know how strange these guys can be at times. Pru has more hot air than anything else anyway. Early in the story, she insists on jogging alone without any bodyguards nearby to watch over her when we all know that her father is an important person with many enemies. I don't find it worthwhile to have to muster the patience to deal with her antics in this story because girlfriend here is a dim-witted cow.
The subplot about Corbett and Cassandra, on the other hand, is most intriguing as it is a soap opera that comes complete with secret babies gone evil twists. Cassandra is mean and evil but she's an interesting kind of mean and evil. The whole thing is so much like a campy La Femme Nikita-style storyarc to me that I hang on to every word and every moment with relish. After reading My Spy, I find myself purchasing the rest of the books in this series because I find myself seized by this urge to know what will happen next. I can care less about Pru and Joshua - they can send their car flying off a cliff and straight into the bottom of the sea for all I care - but I must know what happen next in the Lazlo Group soap opera.
I suppose, in a manner, My Spy has done its duty well as it had me buying the rest of the books in the series. Mission accomplished?
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