Arabesque, $6.99, ISBN 1-58314-411-0
Romantic Suspense, 2003
This uninteresting tale of incessant misunderstanding drama adding up to a mountain of agony is part of Arabesque’s special “Army Folks are Heroic; Army Folks in Love Make Me Lots of Money” series (a previous book Top Secret Rendezvous by Linda Hudson-Smith is also reviewed here).
If Navy SEAL commander Haughton Storm and American Airlines pilot Roxanne Allgood have read at least one third-tier Arabesque romances out there, they will realize at once that the whole Dem Jealous Ho Sisters and other nonsense are just that – a misunderstanding. But no, instead, these two give each other the finger. It is only ten years later they are reunited when fiends that have created a computer game of mass destruction (yes, you read that right) kidnap the both of them and force Storm to reenact a third-rate War Games man-versus-machine thingie or they will kill Roxanne. Interspersed with these nice wholesome moments are flashbacks to Roxanne and Storm’s Ho, Lies, and Stubbornness soap opera of yore.
I find it already very difficult to empathize with one-dimensionally simple-minded creatures that so easily bite into the big misunderstanding trap. I find it harder to care when these two fall into “got pregnant once, shame on you; got pregnant twice, let’s lobotomize!” trap. But the last straw is when the author introduces issues like abortion and a woman’s choices in career versus family only to have Storm acting like a complete, selfish, chauvinist jerk. I really don’t care anymore. I don’t even want to bother. The problem with The Glory of Love is that its characters rarely come to life, stilted as they seem to be most of them, and also these characters also rarely behave sensibly and accordingly to the conflicts they encounter in their relationship. At the end of the day, this book just comes off rather dry and disjointed, populated that irritatingly dry and not-too-bright characters.
Oh, and is this book even edited? There are some glaring continuity errors in the final edition that I’m reading that a halfway sober editor would have caught at once. Then again, an evil part of me empathize with the editor somewhat. It may be hard to stay awake, much less conscientious, during some of the more plodding portions of this book.