Occupation: Casanova
by Alexandra Sellers, contemporary (2000)
Silhouette Desire, $3.75, ISBN 0-373-76264-X

I'm wandering aimlessly down the aisles of Borders, looking for some nice reads to get over my Drats, Back To Work blues when look here, there's this dark, handsome rogue looking at me like that. Ooh, naughty, naughty, but hey, it works. After checking and double checking that this book isn't a member of the Baby Factory or Texan Cowboys or Ma, I'm Secretly Pregnant series, Occupation: Casanova (godawful title, I must say) goes right into my book bag.

Someone should've warned me that this story is not only short, it has no plot.

Okay, there's a plot, a very flimsy one. Dedicated playboy Jake Drummond seduces virgin Bel Venables in a few short weeks after Bel's sister's wedding to Jake's best friend. That's it.

Now, I don't usually comment on a character's sex life (or lack of) because it's rude, but since Bel's virginity is mentioned in every page right until the Grand Big OooOOOOooOOO Scene, I guess it's fair play to comment on it. Bel's a virgin. Good for her. But the reason she's a virgin? That's because she hasn't met any guy who makes her burn. Fair enough. Since Jake makes her burn, she wastes no time jumping into bed with him. So there's the years of principles (I supposed she has some to keep celibate for so long) down the ... uhm, drain... the moment she feels the itch. So what does that tell me? That the first man to get one's hormones singing's the Right Man? Girlfriend, you're lucky this playboy happens to be the right man, or else it's yet another country song playing on the radio cursing That Cheating Lying Illegitimate Son Of A Female Dog Who Stole Your Doughnut at 3 am in the morning.

Okay, so Bel's the typical Token Virgin heroine. I can get over that. Jake's a rather appealing rogue, even though he comes close to being Sexual Harassment Lawsuit material most of the time. But since this story runs out of steam quickly (they do the deed almost immediately), the story has to resort to a Big Misunderstanding (He only wants me because I'm a Virgin! He's proposing because I'm a Virgin! Boohoo! Woohoo! - pass her the gun, somebody) to make my eyes roll up even higher in boredom. It doesn't help that Bel's so ready to jump into bed with Jake at the slightest self-justification for sleeping with him. When she starts her pity-party theme song, I can't grab my coat and run fast enough to the exit.

Anyone got that cover hunk's number?

Rating: 50

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