Trust In Me
by Melanie Schuster, contemporary (2008)
Kimani, $5.99, ISBN 978-0-373-86095-1

Melanie Schuster's Trust In Me is a disappointing read because this is one of those stories where day-to-day minutiae and filler scenes designed to advertise related past and future books take the place of actual romantic developments. Oh, I know that authors like Brenda Jackson make a career out of writing long-standing series involving families and friends, but that doesn't mean a book should be used as an advertisement for upcoming or previously related books without offering readers a halfway decent romance as well.

I don't know how to give a synopsis of this story because at the end of the day, I'm still not sure what exactly constitutes as conflict in this story. The characters just talk and wander around interacting with sequel baits day in and day out, the whole thing is like watching a Real Housewives Of Wherever episode, only this time the episode is full of tasteful, drama-free, and beautiful people with good taste. In other words, a most boring episode indeed.

Set in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina has struck the area, this story is supposed to be about how Lucien Deveraux falls in love with Nicole Argonne. Nicole is naturally perfect - she sings like Whitney Houston without the crack addiction, she has Miss Sasha Fierce's body and legs without having to starve or spend ten hours a day in the gym, and she is a very talented interior decorator. In other words, the only way you can tell her apart from the other Miss Perfect Thangs in this story is that she's the Interior Decorator. Lucien is hot sex on legs, a player to the wazoo, and so perfect, the only way you can tell him apart from the other hot sex on legs and players to the wazoo is that his name is Lucien.

So, Lucien wants Nicole. Nicole had a cheating ex-fiancé before, so she's not keen on playing with the players, but when the alternative is sleeping with yet another accountant, she'd choose the player any day. Lucien's ex-girlfriend shows up for some minor drama, but for the most part, this story is all about Lucien and Nicole interacting with so many secondary characters that the whole thing is like one long reunion and I'm the only person who has no idea what is going on.

It's a shame that this story turns out to be a fluffy story with way too many filler moments that do nothing to advance the flimsy barely-there plot, because Ms Schuster is a better writer than this. This story has some pretty good moments of charming banter and witty repartee, but on the whole, Trust In Me lacks a compelling story line and contains too many flat characters to work.

Rating: 60

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