Avon, $6.99, ISBN 0-380-80808-0
Contemporary Romance, 2002 (Reissue)
This Heart of Mine is just another stringed-along spaghetti meal of clichés. Molly Somerville is the typical so-cute-you-can-die heroine of this author – she even writes kiddie books with the word “bunny” in the titles! She has a nasty father (how novel!) and she gives her money away to charity (awwwwww!) to get rid of his overbearing presence. And get this – she has this crush on footballer Kevin Tucker for this long time now.
So to express her unfulfilled longings of being done to by a hunky studly footballer who only dates girls half his age, our discriminate, intelligent heroine creates Benny the Badger in her stories after him. Oooooh.
But things come to a head (heh heh) when Molly slips into Kevin’s bed one day, and Kevin comes home…
This author must be the only author who can get away with (a) the wrong-bed-bonk scenario, (b) the surprise pregnancy, (c) the marriage of convenience, (d) a separation triggered by a clichéd device, (e) a reunion, all in a contemporary romance and still gets praised. I am amazed, because there are times when I think I’m reading a Silhouette romance, what with all this barrage of clichés.
There are cursory and throwaway secondary elements involving gay crusades and censorship, dealt with the the in depth courage the way American politics are dealt with in First Lady (act beautiful and helpless, take care of the kids, and they’ll make you the first female President of the United States – viva la feminism). I find the secondary romance between an older couple much more interesting, but that’s because they behave with a semblance with maturity.
Kevin spends so much time pouting, stomping and behaving like a brat, while Molly, sweet giving Molly, she tries so hard to be perky and optimistic. It’s Care Bear and Gargamel the Smurf-hater in love. In fact, I feel at times it’s Nobody’s Baby but Mine all over again.
Funny? At times. Readable? Very, particularly after Kevin and Molly decide to get their acts together in the second half of the story. Five oogies? Absolutely not. I don’t find it that fabulous. I don’t even resonate with it. It’s just a rather okay trip down Cliché Central. Never like those sickeningly sugary sweet Care Bear heroines much in the first place anyway.