Arabesque, $6.99, ISBN 1-58314-243-6
Romantic Suspense, 2002
I’m not sure how much this book can stand alone, because the heroine Solange DuPree and the hero Rupert “Not the Buffy Guy” Giles meet during one of the subplots in this author’s A Second Chance at Love, and For Your Love is like a very long epilogue to their story in that one.
In this one, Solange is more neurotic than I thought regarding her infertility issues, and Rupert Giles’s mommy issues run a bit deeper than expected. But the story is so slow-paced for so long that I wonder how the heck can a story starring an agent dude and a archaeologist can be so lacking in swashbuckling excitement. The Raiders of the Lost Ark-like prologue raises so much hope in me… sigh.
When the story starts, Solange and Rupert are going on holiday to Ethiopia. Woo. And pages after pages, chapters after chapter, we have Ravishing Rupe and Sugarmama Solange frollicking, enjoying the tourist attraction, making perfect and beautiful love, and generally promoting Ethiopia as the new spot to make babies on honeymoon trips more effectively than any tourist brochure ever could. A part of me wonder where these two get their ever-ready supply of condoms without depleting the entire stock in the country. They must have packed a very large suitcase or something.
Eventually Solange will get kidnapped, but even then, the whole kidnap angle comes off like another “Come Visit Romantic Ethiopia and Make Love under Our Stars!” publicity stunt. We have around 100 pages – the last 100 pages – devoted to stuff like jewels and danger, but by then it’s a case of too much stuff happening in too short a time.
There is a subplot regarding another couple that is much more interesting because they are actually doing something other than making love and sighing over the stars and the moons and what-have-you’s for close to 150 pages. In the end, this book would have worked so much better as a novella. There’s so much pleasant, idyllic scenery chewing here that things can get a little too placid. Rupe and Solange are decent characters, but I’m sorry to say they bore me to sleep. Ethiopia, though, is very, very nice.