It feels really strange to finally be posting another one of these romnov reviews. I wrote this one in May at the absolute most recent. The cat that I mention in the first paragraph belongs to my sister, and I haven't lived with either of them since then. What I'm trying to emphasize is that I wrote the review prior to July's great fiasco. I have one other review that was written before then, and then we'll get into some new reviews that I'll try to be more careful about (but I haven't actually written any of them yet). Hopefully we can all still have some fun with this, anyway. -M.R.
Pairing: wedding planner and paparazzo
First Sentence: "All rise!" (*snicker*)
Climax: And then they were gone.
Horrific. One of the more depressing feelings I've had lately is to be in the mood to curl up on the couch with a book and a cat, and this is the book. Kills the mood pretty quick. Makes me wonder, yet again, why I'm doing this to myself.
This book took all the overblown writing of Apache Nights and the plot holes of Twin Temptation and then took it all way too seriously. For example, the following: "And then she broke. Senseless words erupted. Suddenly she was begging him, her shattered mind coming completely apart, like broken glass. Like a ribbon, she was undone." I know, right? But I really don't think Jule McBride is kidding.
The macroscopic view of the book "makes sense." Jimmy Delaney waltzes into Edie Benning's wedding planning business, Big Apple Brides, calling himself Seth Bishop. He's using her to get pictures of the wedding she's planning for a wealthy hotel owner's daughter and her NHL hockey player fiance. Of course Jimmy throws his plan out the window pretty much instantly when he falls for Edie... pretty much instantly. This seems to occur chiefly because they are both "[h]eadache rather than stomachache people," a distinction I wasn't even aware of, which is belaboured in the book to an extent that I wouldn't've thought possible.
It turns out that the wedding is actually Edie's dream wedding, so it's pretty convenient when, the evening before the ceremony, bride-to-be Julia Darden, gets fed up of receiving threats, thanks to an 11 year-old taking the role of the paparazzi and one of the hockey players being an idiot. This is all way too complicated for a 200 page book about sex, and is mostly covered in about four pages of exposition at the end. But yeah, Julia Darden gets fed up, and decides that she still wants someone to get married.
By this point, Edie and Jimmy have known each other for two weeks, and Edie has just discovered his deception. She's angry at him for his lies, but still wants on him, so when the wedding opens up, she of course forgives him in a matter of minutes and then they get married and make plans to have lots of babies. Oh, and by the way, Jimmy only started taking pictures of celebrities to pay his mom's medical bills, so he's really not such a bad guy after all. And universal health care scores another one.
Like I said, that all makes sense, in the twisted parallel universe where all of these romnovs take place. The nonsense is in the details, such as the Rate the Dates reality show where Edie or her twin sister appeared opposite "Cash Champagne," or the mysterious "Benning wedding curse" that is alluded to but never explained. I have to cut the book a bit of slack, because it's the third in a trilogy, but good Lord. Also, there were about as many clothing descriptions in this thing as you'd find in a bad fanfic.
When he'd first seen the identical twin sisters together, he'd been able to tell them apart immediately. The women were identical, yes. And yet, there was something so different about their essence. Both were about five foot five. Both had worn their feathered blond hair blown straight, and both had blue eyes the color of robins' eggs on a foggy morning.
Edie shrugged as he used the chopsticks to further fish around the platter, her throat tightening as his knee suddenly knocked hers under the table. It instantly corrected itself, pulled away, changed its mind, then found hers again, this time pressuring firmly. He had nice knees, too. Big and hard. More square than rounded.
Even from here, he could see the pulse vibrating in her throat, and now he realized she was chattering because she was nervous. So was he. Especially since he was lying to her about his identity.
A romantic at heart, she'd read countless novels about love, and she'd even memorized some of the world's greatest poetry.
He'd always been so damn artistic for a guy, too emotional. Passionate. (NB This is Seth/Jimmy's interior monologue. -M.R.)