Best Laid Plans
by Cat Kane, contemporary (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-483-4

Best Laid Plans is a gay contemporary romance but I'd swear that I'm seeing two young ladies romancing each other on the cover. I... hey, wait a minute. Is the cover artist trying to warn me about this story? Fortunately, this isn't one of those gay romances with overwrought young girls wearing strap-ons and pretending to be gay men. Still, I have my reservations about this story.

When the story opens, our hero, a wedding planner for the upper crust society named Elliot Bailey, is sweating buckets because his most recent gig ended with a hawk - yes, a hawk - escaping from its trainer and scaring the poor bride silly. Is his career over? Well, he may have one more chance to make things right when he finds himself hired by a rich old coot to give his daughter the wedding of a lifetime. Then again, Elliot just has to go ahead and fall in love with the bridegroom-to-be Dylan.

This is a short and pleasant story with the happy ending more easily attained than I would expect it to be. Even when I consider the limitation of characterization in the novella format, however, I find Elliot a pretty painful character to follow. This fellow is such a bag of nerves that I can only fear that a massive breakdown is going to happen one of these days. It is exhausting just following a scene with Elliot because he is full of nervous tics. He swallows, he blinks, he gasps, he stammers, and he stumbles and behaves like a klutz. Sometimes he's worried, flustered, and convinced that the end is near. Poor Elliot. Maybe a nice long stay in a white padded room with Hayley Westenra playing softly in the background is in order.

Apart from the hero who can sometimes be too much like a cartoon character with his exaggerated tics, Best Laid Plans is a pleasant story that may be what you need if you want a quick read.

Rating: 74

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