Blind Date
by Selena Kitt, contemporary (2008, reissue)
Phaze, $4.00, ISBN 978-1-59426-682-9

Selena Kitt's Blind Date is a modern take on the Greek legend of Psyche and Cupid. Cupid told Psyche that she must never look at his face and they can only shag in the dark. Because Psyche was a sane person, she was rightfully curious about who her husband was, decided to listen to her sisters, and hence "betrayed" Cupid by following their advice and lit a light. To get back her husband, Psyche had to sort out a huge pile of grains, gather wool from magical sheep, and deliver her beauty to the Underworld. Oh, just go read the story if you're confused.

Here, our heroine Annie flees a rowdy spin the bottle game in her sister's living room only to end up talking to and having sex with a man named Eric on her sister's kitchen table in the dark. Eric insists that they only meet in the dark, her sisters tell her that she should just switch on the lights one day, and Annie does just that. So now Eric is gone and Annie is blue, searching for him until she locates his mother and ends up doing some contemporary variations of Psyche's three tests. Annie learns some lessons about life along the way.

Blind Date is not a bad read at all, although the life lessons are more heavy-handed than I'd normally prefer. However, this story requires a huge suspension on my part due to the fact that this is a contemporary romance and not a paranormal romance, so therefore it is very hard to explain why Eric will overreact to that no-light-please thing and then completely disappears or why Eric's mother will put Annie through the series of tests. And Ms Kitt's explanation of especially Eric's behavior makes her characters look like... well, let's just say her characters don't behave in recognizably rational ways.

Blind Date could have worked if Ms Kitt doesn't try too hard to pass off the exaggerated theatrics in the original Greek mythology as ordinary contemporary behavior easily explained by communication mishaps and trust issues. Maybe if... I don't know, Eric is really a vampire allergic to light, for example, then his actions will make sense. He isn't a vampire, nobody's a vampire or naked Greek god of love, so in the end, Blind Date doesn't quite translate well as an updated contemporary fable. I think Ms Kitt should've made this one a paranormal romance.

Rating: 63

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