Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-115-4
Romantic Suspense, 2000
What a title for a book! But no, what’s inside isn’t a story about an exhibitionist couple and their lurid snapshots. Alas, Images of Ecstasy is a very formulaic Cop/DA Boinks Prime Suspect story. Nothing in it diverges from the usual, predictable run-of-the-mill stuff.
For instance, fab mag editor Shay Hilton of the mag Love & Relationships has been betrayed by her wicked, evil fiancé. “I will never trust another man again!” she declares. I wonder if she knows that tune has been sung to death by million other heroines preceding her. But one day, she happens to find herself standing over that no-good cheating lying scum’s very dead body. Uh oh. District Attorney Braxton Steele finds her in that situation, but since she is one hot momma, he decides to boink her anyway. They make passionate wild love, all the while Shay clueless about her not-too-secure position in Braxton’s heart, until bang! She finally realizes that while he doesn’t mind giving her images of ecstasy, she is a suspect in the murder case.
The screams start and the doors start slamming. Then someone realize the murderer is still loose, and these two decides to do some sleuthing.
Thing is, Images of Ecstasy is so predictable it is boring. What is it with heroines who don’t have a clue about their men’s deception? What is it about supposedly sensitive guys who have no qualms (okay, one or two obligatory ones) about sleeping with a woman they aren’t 100% sure innocent in a murder case? And there’s not even a good grovel in the end.
And with boring characters (Shay is the typical “modern woman” with no life, no sex just ex, etc etc, Braxton is the one-dimensional supposedly-Sensitive New Age Black Dude but darn if he isn’t above breaking professional ethics), Images of Ecstasy falters. If you ask me, the only thing memorable about this book is its title.