Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 1-59998-534-9
Contemporary Romance, 2007
I never imagined seeing a straight romantic comedy with Liberace in the title. At any rate, Jane Lovering’s Reversing over Liberace is probably best appreciated by readers who know their British pop culture references – or at least know who Jarvis Cocker is, heh. This story is written in a chick-lit style although the sentiments of love and life are more optimistic here compared to a typical chick-lit novel.
Our heroine Willow, or Will as her friends call her, is in a dilemma. No, it’s not about the nose of her late grandfather that she inherited. It’s about Luke Fry, the bloke she used to sigh over from afar during her university days, who happens to show up in her life acting interested in actually pursuing a relationship with her. Can this really be real or does Luke have a more sinister reason to pursue Will? Then there is the nerdy guy Cal who is really cute. Because he is a friend of Will’s gay twin brother Ash, however, so Will assumes that Cal is also gay.
Despite its title, this one isn’t a gender-oriented comedy that relies on gender stereotypes to carry itself to the finish line. Will is just being silly assuming that Cal is gay. This story is actually a pretty formulaic chick-lit novel right down to Will going eenie-meenie where the men in her life are concerned. Will is actually a pretty sane and sensible heroine unlike some of her more neurotic and desperate counterparts, which often causes her prolonged cluelessness where Cal and Will are concerned to seem out of character.
To be honest, I enjoy reading this story because of Willow’s interactions with her most amusing siblings (children of ex-hippies who grow up to be oh-so-typical Generation X’ers) and her friends. I can care less about Cal and Luke. These two men are easily the most uninspired and uninteresting characters in this story and they drag Willow down to their level every time she interacts with them.
At the end of the day, I have a pleasant time chuckling over some good funny lines in Reversing over Liberace but I can’t help feeling disappointed that for the most part Jane Lovering’s lively voice and prose are wasted on such a formulaic story.