Bantam, $6.99, ISBN 0-553-57602-X
Contemporary Romance, 2000 (Reissue)
In a Class by Itself definitely shows its age. Frankly, I have no idea why Sandra Brown isn’t doing her best to stop Bantam from reissuing her series romances. It’s like your parents releasing your potty training years on video on the unsuspecting public – very embarrassing indeed.
Psycho hero, dimwitted heroine, sex for the sake of sex (he) or saving the kids (her), big misunderstandings, small misunderstandings, attempted rape, secrets, more misunderstandings – yup, the 80’s are back in fashion. And I must say In a Class by Itself does this campy badness with style.
Logan Webster and Dani Quinn were once married when they were teens, but Dani’s father had Logan arrested and Dani shipped far, far away before these teenagers can even enjoy a wedding night. Bad Daddy, bad Daddy. That was more or less ten years ago. Today, Dani gears up to return to her high school reunion, and she has to bump into – who else – Logan. Logan is pissed that he still didn’t get his wedding night, and he makes enough remarks to give any woman ammo for a lifetime’s supply of sexual harassment lawsuits. But Dani, she wobbles inside and seethes with jealousy when she sees Logan flirt with a disposable other woman.
Then later Dani discovers that Logan owns the land where she wants to build some happy home and camp for handicapped kiddies. Okay, strip, Dani, it’s time to do it for the kids. Will she win the Mother Teresa Humanitarian award? Will Logan get his wedding pumpies? What happens to Lana, the other woman? Why is it that everyone here cheerleads Dani and Logan on, even when it is apparent that Logan is a psychotic obsessive control freak? Shall I wear disco togs for this weekend’s dinner party?
In a Class by Itself is pretty bad, because all the silly clichés and contrived misunderstandings are trotted out and liberally applied in an over-the-top manner. Most amusing is Logan, whose behavior that in real life will have him hauled off to jail for being a potential sex fiend on womankind, is excused because he is “arrogant”. And Dani, who strips and suffers painful multiple orgasms for the sake of Wheelchair Timmy, must be commended for her royal sacrifice. I still don’t know whether this is a story of Pussy Power (to quote Prince) overcoming Neanderthal Brutes or a story of Doormat Heroines, Inc.. It’s hard to be sure, because more often than not I’m laughing my head off at the ridiculous over-the-top macho posturings and feminine swooning in this story.
In a Class by Itself is just like your friend’s potty training years home video. No doubt it will haunt Sandra Brown, but for me, it’s fun at her expense (though my $6.99 may go some way in soothing the author’s red-faced blush). What a hoot.