Annie, Get Your Guy
by Lori Foster, contemporary (2001)
Harlequin Duets, $5.99, ISBN 0-373-44113-4

Messing Around With Max
by Lori Foster, contemporary (2001)
Harlequin Duets, $5.99, ISBN 0-373-44113-4

Is it me or Annie, Get Your Guy a bastardized mutation of that Aerosmith song Janie's Got A Gun? Trust Harlequin to take a song about a sexually abused girl shooting her father and change it into a clichéd, tired, and utterly forgettable story about woman-in-love-with-brother's-friend. A typical Harlequin/Silhouette staple story, I know, but then again, I don't know. And I don't want to know.

Annie Sawyers is the heroine, she's a virgin, she's always been in love with Guy Donovan since he kissed her that Mother's Day, and now she asks her more sexually knowledgeable best friend to supply her with sex books so that she can seduce Guy away (eeek, seduction, oh, she doesn't want to - so shy-shy is she, but if that's what it takes... oh she wants to, no she doesn't... she wants to... no, no, oh the pain...) from the Other Woman he is going to marry just to save him from that evil woman, you know...

Oh, just go rent My Best Friend's Wedding.

Then it's Messing Around With Max. Annie's brother Max's dog Cleo is in love with not-dog-loving Maddie. So by extension, Max loves, sorry, wants Maddie too. Maddie is doing some sex research using her friend Annie's supply of sex books (can we say "blind leading the blind"?) but decides that Max is a better teacher. I mean, why read Satisfying Alternatives To Intercourse when one can play the neurotic "Huh? Am I being seduced? Oh the pain!" coy Bridget-Jones-on-her-way-to-LSD-overdose to a hunky guy?

It's pretty sick, really. So many sex manuals peppering both stories, and I don't even get one scene of kinky adventurous sex. All I get instead are two pretty clueless vestal virgin rejects inexplicably getting two sexy, roguish guys. What a waste of Kama Sutra. Romance heroines - bah.

Rating: 40 for Annie and 74 for Max (the latter gets higher points for readability because it's not as direly clichéd as Annie)

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