St Martin’s Griffin, $13.95, ISBN 0-312-32592-4
Contemporary Romance, 2004
Goodness, are they still trying to milk that Welcome to Leo’s thing dry? Does anyone still remember the characters from that anthology to run out and grab this latest sequel? Let’s Get It On is a wooden anthology. The characters are underdeveloped, the plot is threadbare, and everyone seems to be going through the motions from the drawing board to the bedroom to me putting this book into my UBS bag.
In Rochelle Alers’s Love Lessons, Tyrell Chapman, the chef of Leo’s Supper Club, decides to contribute his time to teach children at the local high school culinary arts. Schoolteacher Viola Chapmen, about a decade older than Tyrell, catches his eye. They mechanically go through the motions of falling in love. Food and sex should be a potent mix but here, Tyrell and Viola are one-dimensional characters so alas, the combination doesn’t work as well as it should have. The idea of two magazine cut-outs of beautiful people reenacting some erotic scene may be a great idea for a new lowbrow humor website but it doesn’t translate too well into a short romantic story.
Donna Hill’s Lady in Waiting has Tara Mitchell getting fed up of Noah Hardcastle’s lack of commitment in their two-year relationship and walking out. Just in time, Noah’s ex, Rachel Beaumont, waltzes back in to cause trouble. Since Rachel and Tara are one-dimensional and Noah comes off as just one flat fickle loser, I am rooting for Tara and Rachel to ditch the loser and become best friends. Alas, I guess romance heroines have to have a man somehow, even if he’s a flakey, whiny baby.
Irresistible Attractions by Brenda Jackson pairs Sydney Corbain and Tyrone “Roni” Hardcastle who, when they meet in Columbia and decide to finally mate like rabbits. Good for them. But I still think the whole cut-outs reenacting sex scenes thing is better off on some humor website than on an anthology. Look at how successful Lego porn is, for example.
Finally, to complete the monotony, Francis Ray presents Blind Date. If I can get a dollar every time this author comes out with an outlandishly outdated premise straight from the romance novels of twenty years ago, really! Here, some stupid woman pretends to be dating some one-dimensional fellow to placate her intrusive friends because such complicated Greek tragedy is easier to carry out than telling said friends, “Get lost, busybodies, or I’ll shove my pen up your nostrils!” The guy overhears this, likes what he sees, and insists that they go on a date. Painful hilarity-free nonsense follows, which is always what happens when stupid people in silly stories do ridiculous things to each other.
Let’s Get It On… well, I’d rather not.