True Love
by Brenda Jackson, contemporary (2000)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-144-8

Brenda Jackson makes it hard for me, a novice to her books, to follow the epic saga of her related books. I find myself halfway through doing my Jay and Silent Bob act. "Who the h*ll is this guy? Who the h*ll is that guy? Dude, who the h*ll are you, man?"

Still, True Love is very good stuff, and yes, the potential big misunderstanding that builds up throughout the story gets solved in a nice, rational (if somewhat noisy) manner. It's a revenge story. Shayla Kirkland wants Chenault Electronics razed to the ground, but since arson is so unladylike, she'll get inside and play industrial Mata Hari instead. What she doesn't count on is the sultry Oh-mama's that is Glenn Kirkland. Can she do it? Can he do her? What do you think?

A lot of things happen in this story. There's an angry woman who wants the boss of Chenault Electronics to Suffer. There're many cameos from past characters ("Who the hell are you?") and (I think) future characters. But if I do concentrate on Shayla and Glenn, I will find a nice, well-written relationship about two people who just don't know whether to "Heck, screw everything, let's take off our clothes!" or be boring and play by rules.

I like Shayla, even when she comes close to being unrealistically perfect at times, and Glenn, although sometimes coming close to flatness, is also very likable. Despite all the mistrust and the potential blow-up that can occur thanks to Shayla's deception, they settle matters between them like two nice adults. It makes me believe that these two have a hope at a happily-ever-after after all.

My only dissatisfaction is that Thomas Jordache, who treats a woman unforgivably stupidly and harshly in his past, is let off pretty easily. I want him spiked on a toothpick and barbecued to crispness, but I don't know, maybe another day? Still, I'm quite miffed. Down with all these stupid pigheaded twits who see women in black-and-white Madonna/Wh*re complexes!

Anyway, while this book is an above average read, I wish someone would've thought of creating a nice character list before page 1. Or maybe a family tree? A footnote whenever a new character arrives (eg "Refer to One Special Moment")? Might cut down on the "Who the hell are you?" moments on my part.

Rating: 86

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