Grand Central Publishing, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-446-61798-7
Contemporary Romance, 2007
Sigh. If Sexiest Man Alive is anything to go by, author Diana Holquist is determined to write “Wacky! Crazy! Zany! Hilarious!” type of romances that smack me ten different ways in the face to ensure that I get the message loud and clear that the author is demanding furiously that I laugh.
In a way, the author reminds me of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, if only because while I like Ms Phillips’s sense of humor, the books of hers that I have read convinced me that the only halfway good heroine in a Susan Elizabeth Phillips romance is one that is barbecued to crisp and comes complete with an apple stuffed down its throat. The heroine in Sexiest Man Alive, Jasmine Burns, is a woman who is so shy that she spent her time at her last party hiding out from other people. Naturally, she aims to be hot and handsome movie star Josh Toby’s personal costume designer. Normally I would say that this is like aiming to shoot for the moon when one can’t even master holding the gun properly yet, but then again, most romance heroines are like this. Were not for romance heroes, romance heroines would be on the brink of extinction at the start of the 19th century at the very latest.
Anyway, despite knowing that her sister Amy is a disgusting, lying, opportunistic, no good piece of human excrement – who makes me long for the wholesome days of Vlad the Impaler when I can have Amy’s head mounted on a pike and invite all the dogs in the neighborhood to lift a leg against it – Jasmine believes Amy when Amy the psychic doo-dah (don’t ask) assures her for a hefty fee that Josh is Jasmine’s “True Love”.
Regarding Josh, just think of any movie star hero in any romance story, reduce the amount of personality by half, and you have him. He’s pretty much a prop here anyway as the story is all about Jasmine flailing, gasping, waving her hands, and generally behaving like a discombobulated goldfish out of water as Amy proceeds to wreck havoc in this story because Amy is so funny, wacky, and screaming for an impalement like that.
So yes, this is a “Wacky! Zany! Crazy!” romance with the laughs coming from the heroine running around like a headless fool. Only, this one is too “Wacky! Zany! Crazy!” for me. I want romance. I don’t want a long and contrived slapstick reel of a crazy woman who should be seeing a shrink, rather than stuttering and stammering her way to an orgasm while waving her hands like an insane windmill as her “Wacky! Zany! Crazy!” psychotic sister runs wild. I need to lie down.