HarperTorch, $6.50, ISBN 0-380-81542-7
Contemporary Romance, 2001
Bring Me a Dream is a bodyguard story. The twist, if you can call it that, is that the bodyguard in question is the heroine, Jasmine White. Like all bodyguard romances, however, it relies on the age-old dumb premise of the client causing more trouble to the bodyguard that the stalker. In this case, client Spencer Powell is a complete creep who makes the worst pick-up lines I can think of seem like the most romantic marriage proposal in the world.
Forget the dream, bring me a bucket so that I can throw up instead.
Jasmine White is fed up with her job. She’s a woman, so all she gets are assignments to escort bored Washington socialite wives and their teenage kids. Some protection business. One night, she tunes in to hear a weirdo threatening to sever late-night radio show jock Spencer Powell’s head. Next thing you know, she’s assigned to bodyguard him.
Spencer, however, is a creep. It is one thing to be sexist, but it is a different sort of crime to be corny, creepy, and cringe-inducing while he’s at it. He scoffs at Jasmine, upon which she challenges him to an arm-wrestling competition, during which he compliments her body (“it’s made for fu-“), peers down her dress, and complements his losing with a barrage of sexual innuendos that will make any sane woman grab for a pair of scissors and plunge it in his most sensitive spot.
Spencer, knowing that someone out there is out to sever his head, makes more sexist statements, does more stupid things, and blames Jasmine for everything, oh, and all the time, he taunts Jasmine while he’s at it.
Jasmine is a fine and strong heroine, in a way, but when she keeps apologizing and making excuses for this sorry excuse of a pig, she loses all my respect. She sees him as a challenge when it’s obvious he’s nothing but a jerk. Heck, at one scene she pleads for him to carry on their affair in a more discreet manner, since she would be fired otherwise, his response is a cocky “What’s a little danger?” or something in that effect.
In a perfect world, Spencer would lose his head. Both heads.
Oh yes, the villain is a woman who is hot about Spencer too. How nice. Maybe there is a recent heatwave that fried the brain cells of all the women in the world, if this dumbass insufferable jock-piece-of-crap is worth writing silly threatening mails and going all stalker over. If Spencer is the catch of the day, I’m Darva Conger’s twin sister.
You know, it’s a waste. Bring Me a Dream is very well-written (it’s very readable) and Jasmine is a fine heroine in her own right. Ah well, there’s always the next book.