Silhouette Desire, $4.25, ISBN 0-373-76519-3
Contemporary Romance, 2003
Suzanne Brockmann must really need the money bad if she is desperate enough to release this horrible book under her name. Reading Scenes of Passion, I have a pretty good idea why that Meteor Kismet line goes breasts-up in the blink of an eye. What happened? Did she money for the leaking roof? New shoes? A nail gun for hubby? The author doesn’t have that “the evil publisher is reissuing my crappy books, I just wrote the foreword, so don’t look at me!” excuse Sandra Brown has – she rewrote this book for publication, after all.
This silly book has Maggie Stanton spending the entire chapter one telling me how she is a wimp and a doormat. Silly me, I thought she was being facetious. In hindsight, I should have dropped the book and not waste one hour of my life reading this book. Maggie has a lousy suitor that is cheating on her with her alcoholic sister while her parents take shameless advantage of her. But what does she do? Whine and moan that she is a wimpy doormat. Self-awareness without any pro-activeness on her part doesn’t mean much, though.
Then into her life comes Matthew Stone, theater-loving Maggie’s best friend’s ex-boyfriend. Matt has his spine vaporized by the Brockmann Proton Cannon or something, because he must marry or, thanks to his late daddy’s will, he will have to close shop and many people will be unemployed. Matt also has an illness that he finds inexplicably shameful that he’d rather be known as a drug addict. I can excuse this if he is suffering from a combo of at least six STDs, but no. I won’t reveal this illness, but it’s a ridiculous plot device just to keep the two lovers apart, this insecurity of his.
It is stupid enough that Maggie and Matt go around acting like small kids, playing silly mind games with each other. The author also introduces other equally juvenile plot devices – the Jealous Ho Girlfriend of the heroine, the Big Lie to Drive Him Away, for example – to make the party even more livelier. I’d find it less painful if Ms Brockmann will just spike the cocktail with weed poison, but that’s just me.
Filled with inane plot twists and turns and bad characterizations that drive home why series romance novels are (rightfully) ridiculed in the 1980’s, Scenes of Passion is the the equivalent of the author’s dirty linen sold for $4.25. For what? Do we readers really need to know how horrible Ms Brockmann once was? What was this whole exercise for? To reassure romance authors that if they suck, they can improve and be Suzanne Brockmann too? To make readers so grateful that she’s writing Navy SEAL soap operas instead of more Scenes of Passion that they should just quit complaining about the direction of her Navy SEAL books? College education? Preparation for a long vacation to Monaco?
I don’t know, but I’m seriously annoyed that I wasted some time of my life on this utter drivel of a book.