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Robin Wells

REVIEW: How to Score by Robin Wells

REVIEW: How to Score by Robin Wells

Dear Ms. Wells:

It’s hart to recommend a funny book because everyone’s idea of funny is different. Jayne didn’t love Between the Sheets and I would be hardpressed to argue that she would like How to Score. I did, however, enjoy this book and I’ll try to articulate why I liked it so readers can judge for themselves whether the funny works for them. Or not.

How to Score by Robin WellsHow to Score relies on physical and situational comedy which ordinarily I don’t like but worked for me in this book.

The heroine is this art curator who is super nice but having  assertiveness issues and relationship issues. She sees an ad for a  life coach and a free session and calls up Luke Jones. After one  session though, Luke has to go into witness protection after seeing a  mob hit. His brother, an FBI agent, takes over as the life coach,  pretending to be Luke. Chase owes Luke because Chase is the reason  why Luke has to go into protective custody anyway.

Chase had been staking out this one restaurant because of purported  mob activity but nothing panned out. One night when Luke and Chase  were christening Chase’s new plasma TV, they decided to go and get  pizza. Chase tells Luke about this restaurant and Luke ends up seeing  the mob hit. (Luke tells him that the next time he wants pizza, they  are getting it from Dominoes).

Luke goes into witness protection after the mob tries to off him  and Chase, feeling guilty, undertakes to keep Lucas’ business afloat. Lucas does life coaching all over the phone. Luke writes Chase copious notes on what each one of his client and provides step by step instructions on how to handle each client. For example, if the client asks you what to do, turn into a question.

Sammie was one that Luke told Chase to pawn off on someone else since she had just had the free consultation. But Chase is caught off guard by her sexy voice and continues the session. During the session, Sammie reveals that her life is in disarray and that ever since she caught her boyfriend cheating on her, she has felt unsure of herself.

She explains that every guy she’s been attracted to she’s injured and  provides Chase with the theory her sister gave her — Sammie is  subconsciously trying to sabotage relationships.

Chase decides he’ll try out his own “life coaching” tecniques instead  of Luke’s mamby pamby ones and orders Sammie to start running in the  morning. He then goes out in the morning to see what Sammie looks  like. Sammie has a dog who has a leather fetish and while Chase is  running past Sammie, the dog attacks Chase’s back pocket and rips his  shorts down and runs off with his wallet. Sammie collapses on top of  Chase and a cop comes by and accuses the two of them of indecent  contact. I thought it was very funny, but that’s the type of physical
comedy that is in the story which might turn people off.

Sammie really falls for Chase and Chase falls for Sammie, but he’s  stuck in this lie. He is afraid to come clean because he is sure that  Sammie will hate him, but he also wants to help boost her self  confidence. On the one hand we have Sammie telling Luke, her life  coach, how much she likes Chase and we have Chas knowing Sammie’s feelings. I think it works because Chase feels just as strong for Sammie. (He refers to her as the Yeti because he never thought he’d find just the right woman for him).

Sammie is not a very assertive woman when it comes to her personal life. She’s had bad relationship after bad relationship and her confidence is at an all time low.   I enjoyed seeing Sammie blossom into becoming more self assured in all aspects of her life.   

There is also an interesting dynamic between the current curator of the museum, who Sammie has been hired to replace, and Sammie herself.   Arlene was the mistress of the man who owned the mansion that houses the museum. (Think the Frick Museum, my favorite museum of all time).   Arlene has her own path of self discovery and discovers new romance by the end of the book.

Chase keeps up the deception overly long and Sammie could have been more assertive at times, but all in all, this book left me with a smile on my face.

This book can be purchased in mass market from an independent bookstore or ebook format from the Sony Store and other etailers on June 1. I know. I hate that there isn’t simultaneous release and I’ve let Hachette know how much I dislike this policy.

REVIEW: Between the Sheets by Robin Wells

REVIEW: Between the Sheets by Robin Wells

Dear Mrs Wells,

wells-bsheets-drm.jpgWhat happens when you take an intriguing idea and mix it with nice characters but throw in very standard plotting? A reader who ends up feeling manipulated. Oh, I know that’s what a romance book is supposed to do – get you to root for the characters and sigh at the HEA – but I just don’t want the strings to be that visible as they’re pulled.

How would you like to be Monica Lewinsky? For Real. And deal with white hot spotlight of public ridicule? Yet know you were innocent and still not be able to prove it? Emma is a detail oriented woman who’s made her way in life, built a business, takes pride in who and what she is and it’s all torn away. During a public relations trip, President-elect Ferguson visits the house where she’s the temporary hired butler. Her business supplies them but she also does some of the work herself, especially for long time clients. Ferguson is a sleaze who demands that the Secret Service supply him with a call girl for the night but the extended whoopee brings on a fatal heart attack. Circumstances fall just right and Emma, who conveniently resembles the call girl, gets tagged by the press then made into the fall girl by The Powers That Be. Despite all her efforts, no on believes her story of innocence and no one associated with the Ferguson debacle who’s in the know and could help her will help her.

Sick of being the national joke, Emma heads to the convenient small town in Louisiana where her grandmother lives in order to try and salvage what she can of her life. But of course no one will leave her alone. She’s snubbed, insulted, sneered and snickered at where ever she goes. Until the golden day when hardworking “straight as an arrow” town DA Max Duval comes to her rescue. Only Max is also engaged in a hard fought reelection battle with a local well-to-do, though sleazy, lawyer who will stoop to any level to win. This is only one of the many plot threads that any romance reader will recognize and know what’s coming during the final 1/3 of the book.

Emma’s grandmother, aka “Grams,” is a delightful, meddling old coot-ess. She truly loves Emma and does want the best for her though I don’t think she ever once stopped to think about how her little stratagems to maneuver Emma and Max together was stealing away Emma’s self determination just as the press/public did. But still she’s patient with Max’s grandfather Harold’s – also conveniently living in the same retirement home – forgetfulness. I applauded how she stood up for herself and defended those she loves but got terribly annoyed at the sort of patronizing humor gained by “Grams-speak.’ My mother isn’t that much younger than Grams and never mixes up slang and common turns of speech and after reading 5-7 Grams-speak slip-ups on one page, it got old. Really old. And we all know how Gram’s little manipulations on Emma’s behalf will backfire at the appropriate points in the plot.

After being treated like the town pariah to the point of tears, Emma’s public rehabilitation at the hands of the kindly town hair stylist begins. There is some initial resistance but then seemingly with no effort at all Emma’s kindness and saintliness start to shine through. Max is already on the Emma-didn’t-do-it bandwagon and engages the help of his friend the PI to look into things – and here’s another thread that will become apparent right when Max and Emma’s budding relationship needs to be nipped. But Max’s interference – excuse me helpfulness – sparks hope in Emma and she heads off for one final, and completely TSTL given her reputation, attempt to discover the truth after which all is fixed, life is rosy, the good guys win and the bad guys go down in public humiliation.

It’s not that I didn’t like Emma and Max. It’s not that I didn’t want Grams and Harold to assert their independence and find a secondary romance. I enjoyed seeing Emma rebuild her life, gain confidence and make new friends. I just didn’t want to know by page 200 how it was all going to happen. Exactly who would do what and how it would all be achieved. This isn’t a bad book. These aren’t horrible characters. The writing style is fine but as a 10 year romance reader, I’ve seen it before. C

~Jayne

available in mmp or ebook (and currently on sale at Fictionwise)