Jove, $6.99, ISBN 0-515-12865-1
Contemporary Romance, 2000
Opposites Attract is an anthology that tells the story of opposites falling in love. Not that, of course, there are stories of aneroxic bimbos falling for obese nerds or something like this sort. Which is a pity, because the actual stories in this anthology are so bland that I am hard-pressed to remember what I’ve just read when I finish the last page.
Lynn Kurland’s story The Icing on the Cake takes place in Alaska. Samuel McLeod is a poor little rich boy who flees to wild Alaska to be free and with mother nature. He wants to write and cook. Oh, and the title refers to the yummy cakes he make. His opposite is Sydney Kincaid who is your typical “unfeminine, unpretty, unpopular (and uninteresting)” heroine that ends up sharing a house with him. He can’t fix cars, she can. She can’t be interesting, well, neither can he. Opposites, hmph.
This story has one silly loophole by the way – the people of the town don’t like Syd because she is unfeminine. Yet here they are, matchmaking her with the stuffiest man in town. Hmm, maybe it’s not a loophole after all. As it is, both Syd and Sam are nothing more than products of their respective clichéd upbringings.
The Short, Hot Summer by Elizabeth Bevarly has a first paragraph that has me chuckling, but the story is not only lightweight, I don’t understand why the heroine is literally terrified of the hero.
Preston Atherton IV is pretty scandalized when he has to bed down in a homely bed-and-breakfast instead of a five star Ritz affair with jacuzzi and saunas. But hey, Mamie Calhoun is here to make up for it. While Preston gets increasing bewildered as his schedule spirals out of his control, I get really bewildered at Mamie’s reaction to him. She acts more like a deer staring at an oncoming truck than any woman in heat. She stammers, drops things, jumps at his touch, and her brain stops working. I suggest some tranquilizers. And more meat to the plot.
Emily Carmichael’s Pride and Prejudice have doggies – cute! – but the two human characters are again as bland as tofu. Josie Blake and Scott McBride are dog trainers who are forced to share a hotel room together. Aha! Caught pants down! Someone call the preacher! What? This isn’t a historical romance? Sorry.
Scott’s doggie is well-trained, Josie’s doggie is… uhm, cute. They matchmake their human toys, and the humans stumble into love, and I finish the story wondering what the heck the humans are doing in the show. Don’t hog the limelight, not when the doggies are far more adorable!
Finally, Elda Minger’s The Princess and the Adventurer is a cheap rip-off of every romantic adventure movie out there. Adventurer (yawn) Matt Kincaid is macho, macho, and macho (yawn) who needs the money rich, spoiled, virginal (big yawn) Isabelle Burke offers if he would help her find her brother (SNORE!) who is lost in some Mexican jungle. The usual hijinks of hero saving heroine while teaching her some monkey see, monkey do antics take place, and everything live happily ever after in Predictibilitysville. Isabelle says exactly what a popcorn rich-town-girl-in-jungle would, and Matt responds just like what a popcorn-adventurer would. I’d take the original Romancing the Stone, thanks very much.
Opposites may attract, but it’s all due to electricity, you know. Positive and negative charges, opposite polarities, that sort of thing. Too bad the only electricity this book has is when my brain short-circuited into fuzzies out of boredom.