Love At Last
by Rochunda Lee, historical (2001)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-211-8

Rochunda Lee's Love At Last may as well be the romance novel the term "paint by numbers" is coined for. It's beyond predictable, it's a veritable sunrise, and I'm not talking about the nice beautiful picturesque sunrise thingies here.

Casey James is a social worker who will never love after her father abandoned her and her mother for some life for hardships, blah blah blah. But the man she meets at a bar, Alfred Willingham, is ooh, girlfriend, her eggs are fryin' for this sexy hot brother, woo-hoo. And when she is appointed the Big Sister (some sort of support mentor) to Alfred's daughter (he's a divorced single father), she's given a chance to find love. But dare she take it?

Let's see, Alfred is burned before too, because his wife is such a harlot, no siree. And don't be fooled by the back blurb: Casey hardly interacts with Alfred's daughter, she's too busy running around giggling with her gay hairdresser, feeling sorry for herself, and whining to her mother about what a bitch life is. And of course, at the end, Daddy comes home - it's all a case of his evil, rich family keeping them apart, yo, so Casey eats her words and says, hurrah, men aren't such dicks after all.

In the meantime, Casey's best friend turns jealous, skanky ho because she too wants Alfred, Alfred's first wife's reputation gets dragged through the muddy ground, and we all go home happy, secure in the knowledge that here, at least, is one romance that doesn't stray from mediocrity. Familiar characters, familiar plot, familiar resolution, and oh yeah, all men are Gods even if they treat women like smelly stuff, and all women are out for your man, those skanks. Yea, I do feel so rejuvenated, my enthusiasm rekindled and fired up by this exciting story. Yea. Excuse me while I go water my plants.

Rating: 50

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