Once In A Lifetime
by Gwynne Forster, contemporary (2002)
Arabesque, $6.99, ISBN 1-58314-193-6

Slower than a snail's crawl, Once In A Lifetime is a bore, period. I read part of this book while enjoying a bubble bath and actually fell asleep soon after. Hubby had to pound on the door, convinced that I was dead after an hour later. The other time, the sucker for punishment that I am, I read this book while waiting for Farscape to come on the TV, and again, I fell asleep and woke up to see beautiful static on my TV screen. Again, I am not happy.

After a horrible horrible HORRIBLE divorce Alexis Stevenson is hired by three brothers to make their house a home. This means that Telford, Drake, and Russ have to make a time-table - Telford can do her on Mondays and Wednesdays, Drake on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Russ on Saturdays and Sundays. Friday nights are gang-bang happy hours, all drinks on the house, the bar tended by Alexis' leering daughter Tara, who is already planning a boob job and a career in porn before she hit the old age of 18.

Just kidding, people. I need to type something to keep me awake. Typing this review is already making me drowsy. What Alexis do is to make "rules", make happy ya-mama talkies, and charm the jockstrap off our hero Telford. Meanwhile, the staff of this super-duper house play matchmakers and nannies and Chinese fortune cookies, offering sage advice about love. Everyone cheer as our Alexis and Telford, perfect and beautiful and gorgeous, sweep upstairs for sex so brilliant and sagacious that my eyes are blinded from the glow they radiate from their perfect physiques.

The daughter takes way too much of this story, that annoying mutant Care Bear only making my blood pressure rise. Maybe readers more receptive to sweet kiddies with scary all-knowing eyes mouthing creepily "kiddie" thingies only adults imagine "cute" kids will say, well, maybe these readers will adore Tara and want to adopt her. I just say we ship her to some farm in New Zealand where she will be forced to milk bad-tempered cows from dawn to dawn.

Conflict? Nasty old exes, the usual.

With conflicts so flimsy a small puff can rip everything off, this is one story about two boring people finding love in a plot that tries so hard to be cute and precious but fails. Put in bland dialogs and cringe-inducing advices from busybody secondary characters and this snooze-inducing tranquilizer dart is potent enough to put an insomniac elephant to sleep. Once In A Lifetime's Pretty People In A Big, Big House story is as fun as watching a turtle marathon.

Rating: 60

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