Shadow Of Love
by Marcella Sanders, contemporary (2001)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-166-9

Holey guacomoli, what the heck is going on here? Shadow Of Love is like a book the author conjures while happily tipping her way into hahaland. Not to disparage the efforts the author put into - oh what the heck, yes, I am disparaging the author's efforts. Sue me, but if she puts so much work into this book, the least she can do is not to insult me by saying that the bad guy Frank found ammunition to blackmail hero Evan from the Internet. From the Internet?!!!

Well, if that's the case, I'm off to detonate my modem, because I am going hunting for evidence to blackmail Bill Gates. Or maybe Joaquin Phoenix and Goran Visnjic into become my poolboys. Geez - I mean, really! The Internet?!!!

Tracy loves her dead husband so-ooo much and basically refuses to see any other men after his death. How touching, I thought. While on holiday in Bahamas (it's always either Bahamas or Trinidad or South Africa - why not, say, the Philippines?), she bought a bag of what she thought was cheap jewelry. What she doesn't know is that in the bag is an actual diamond necklace that comes this close to being priceless.

Baddie Frank want the necklace back. So he surfs the 'Net and finds some ammo to blackmail Evan into getting the necklace back for him. Evan approaches Tracy, and wham! It's love. I don't know why - Tracy is beyond neurotic. She's, in fact, blooming mad. For instance, to her, a man like Evan, so gorgeous, must have a gag of women hidden around. Really! At least give him the benefit of the doubt, woman! And Evan was a pirate once (don't ask) - Frank tells Tracy that Evan is still a pirate. Tracy knows that Frank is scum, but still... gee, Evan knows a lot about oceans. Apparently, knowledge of oceans constitute a healthy disposition for piracy.

Then she can't love Evan. Because she couldn't bear knowing that he may have died years ago. Yes, you read that right. She really couldn't bear living with the thought that he may have died years ago. Bear with me, but I have to ask: is Tracy two bricks short of a lunatic asylum?

I would have thought Marcella Sanders a debut author - maybe that will explain the ridiculous story. But she's not. I don't know what went wrong here, maybe the author is rushing under deadline, maybe she is having some bad times, but thing is, unleashing such a silly, badly written story with rubbish characters and rubbish plot (the Internet... HAH!) on the unsuspecting public is just a big no-no when it comes to public safety as well as the author's own reputation.

Rating: 21

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