Harlequin Temptation, $3.99, ISBN 0-373-25894-1
Contemporary Romance, 2000
Note: this book is reviewed together with Jordan.
Romance is fun. Sex is fun. Ergo, romance and sex are fun. Simple, right? I find many romance authors are increasingly losing focus of that equation, wrapping up sex in some convoluted labyrinth of duty, guilt, and hysteria that sometimes I wonder if hair suits are back in style.
I’m afraid Gabe and Jordan are two of the latest in the long line of romances that seem to imply that sex is fun for the guys, but a means and something a lady has to endure to get out of problems, poverty, and inertia. If this is what the future of romance is heading, I’m off to read some good old Anaïs Nin.
In Gabe, town Romeo Gabe Kasper gets interviewed by Elizabeth Parks who wants him as a subject to her thesis about heroes. She has lots of baggage. In Jordan, Jordan Sommerville saves Georgia Barnes, a reluctant showgirl (in romance, is there ever a happy showgirl?), from poverty and despair.
Hero kiss, heroine wavers and degenerates into mental hysteria (disturbing, really) is the plot of the day for both books. The heroines fret, worry, and submits reluctantly to their jollies (which, by the way, is fun… until sobriety and denial hit them post-coitus, ouch). They can’t keep up with the seduction (at one point, Elizabeth asks Gabe, “Am I being seduced?” and I slap my forehead – duh!). Hence, these heroines are easy meat. Aren’t they lucky the men decide to keep them for reasons unknown?
Jordan and Gabe are trademark predatory heroes of this author, but really, when the humor-free heroines treat their seduction with all the glee and anticipation of being slashed by a masked lunatic, what’s the point? The whole thing doesn’t seem real, and hence, not at all interesting.