Those Baby Blues
by Sheridon Smythe, contemporary (2002)
LoveSpell, $5.99, ISBN 0-505-52483-X

That's it. I'm calling for a ban of all Hollywood romance stories. Who's with me? Even if I have to be the sole voice of (ahem) reason, I'm calling for an outright blanket ban on all Hollywood romances. I don't trust romance authors to do a decent Hollywood romance anymore. The collision of Hollywood and Romance Novel Land is like the mating of two grotesque gargoyles, and the resulting progeny is a brain-me-until-I'm-dead humorless cokehead case of kids and women behaving badly.

Indeed, like every other romance novel featuring Hollywood heroes, the heroine is the Ordinary Fame-free Good Woman who will Show Our Hollywood Hero the True Meaning of Life, ie Fame Isn't Everything. (But our heroine still retains access to the hero's millions, of course.) She is not like that Famewhore Supermodel Hollywood Bitches he usually consort with (Hockey or Haddock or whatever the heroine's name is has only slept with her jerk husband Jim - yes, that's a sign of "purity", people), because we all know that while men can't do wrong, in Hollywood or in Tahiti, Beautiful Women with Careers and Fame are all sluts, useless mothers, and we should just kill them all so that they will never corrupt our helpless millionaire movie star actors any more.

Hollywood superactor, Treet Miller - okay, cut. Cut, cut, cut. Treet Miller? Seriously, is this guy's agent braindead? You don't have a name like Treet and still have a career in Hollywood, unless we are talking about career as the bottom in Hot All-Male College Kids Gangbang Volume XXX here. (Treat Williams, you say? Well, where is he now, huh? I rest my case. Although my husband swears that Ron Livingstone is actually Treat Williams after a major facelift and liposuction.)

Anyway, he and our Ordinary Plain Jane, Hadleigh Charmaine - okay, cut. CUT.

Hadleigh Charmaine? What happened to names like William and Jessica or something that I can at least pronounce without wincing?

Anyway, their kids are switched. Hadleigh has deadbeat husband - in Romance Novel Land, businessmen are the male counterparts of female actresses and supermodels - while Treet's supermodel girlie doesn't care (you'd think a supermodel will know how to use birth control, oops, sorry, birth control doesn't exist in romance novel land except as Leaky/Forgotten Plot Devices), but these two care. Their kids become best friends, sort of like the Olsen Twins minus the lesbian porn thing that may make them palatable in some perverse way, and now Mommy and Daddy must love each other. They must.

Those Baby Blues then faithfully moves to a ranch - there's always a ranch in these Hollywoodian romances, I don't know why, it must be somewhere in the contract they signed with their publisher, ie "Always include a ranch in your stories or die" - where our heroine yells, pouts, stomps, and acts like a PMS Valkyrie gone berserk. I don't know why Hadleigh's like that, but if my name sounds like one of those Polish black market pills for constipation, I'll have lots of issues too. Treet is appropriately dumb and horny, the two kids are horrible gnats, and oh yeah, the Evil Supermodel tries to come between them.

There's something unsavory about these Let's-Go-Hollywood romance novels with their double standard hypocrasy about fame and money. Ultimately the women of Hollywood are the whores, while the womanizing hunks are prime catches. These stories seem to feed on resentment one believes fanatic readers of tabloids must feel towards twiggy actresses - oh, look, that slut is kissing my pure, innocent Colin Farrell, oh, oh, oh! - while painting a ridiculously unrealistic portrayal of how Hollywood works. The closest to an intelligent romance set in the world of stage, TV, and screen is Suzanne Brockmann's Heartthrob. But even that, Heartthrob is pretty naive when it comes to Hollywood idealisms and principles.

In the meantime, this book with its pathetic attempts at being cute and precious can go jump the shark and die. Or not. I'm too stupefied to care either way.

Rating: 38

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