Mar 19 2008
Dear Ms. Cabot:
You know that I love your work, right? That I have an inappropriate girl crush on you and all? So it’s with some dismay that I have to write this letter which talks about why I didn’t like this latest reprint of yours. Part of the problem was that the voice of the narration was too juvenile for the age of the main protagonists. The other part of the problem was the leaps of faith that you required me to take. I was just too reluctant to jump with you this time.
Lou Calabrese wrote a smash screenplay for Hollywood called Hindenburg. It was a “vehicle” for her boyfriend of 10 years, Barry aka Bruno di Blase. Bruno pays her back by running off with his co star, Greta Woolston. Woolston is the girlfriend of the silver screen action hero, Jack Townsend. Jack is in Alaska shooting scenes for Copkiller IV also written by Lou.
Lou and Jack have a past. They’ve known each other for years. Worked together on Copkiller I. Jack dated and supposedly stomped all over the poor heart of Lou’s best friend, an actress. Despite this long history and lack of respect for each other, for some reason, Jack and Lou can’t stop their instant lusting, an instant lusting that never reared its head in the past.
As I told one of my friends about this book any “Hollywood” type of book requires some suspension of disbelief, particularly when there is Alaskan gun scenes involved but the romance required some suspension of disbelief as well. But a reader had to suspend disbelief that everything was so coincidental. First, there was the convenient pairing of the two after their respective “others” ran off. (Of course, with Lou, Barry leaves her, but with Jack, he was tired of his girlfriend). Second, there was, of course, the aforementioned Alaskan gun scenes. Third, places of shelter kept appearing whenever the two needed them giving them ample time to “shack up” together. (my poor attempt at a pun). But what finally drove me over the edge was the contrived way in which the couple falls in love.
These two don’t hate each other. They lack respect for each other and thus it didn’t seem plausible that all of a sudden they would be in instant lust. Jack is a standard man who can’t keep his pants zipped and had already moved on from Greta’s defection. She wanted marriage and he just wanted to get laid. I’m to assume that Lou is going to fall for this guy just because he put his arm around her when she cried? And that Jack suddenly finds that matrimony might be a great idea because he spent a few nights in the snow with Lou?
At times the story was fun and funny:
Almost all of his relationships with women were flirtatious in nature. Lou Calabrese was just about the only woman he’d ever known-’with the exception of his mother, of course-’who had always seemed completely oblivious to his, er, charms. Not oblivious to the fact that other women found him attractive, of course. Otherwise, why would she keep writing all those scenes in which Pete Logan was required to drop trou?
Lou is very likeable. She’s the sister of four cops. Her movie, Copkiller, is like an homage to her brothers and her father. She’s a success in a male dominated industry. But many times I found the mental lusting and instant attraction so out of place that it was distracting. (Plus, Jack is kind of a tool) It had some trademark Cabot cuteness, but I think was too cute, too contrived and ultimately not for me. C.