Jan 23 2008
Dear Ms. Monroe:
Basically, every month I go over to the eHarlequin site and I randomly pick books based on title and cover. That’s it. I think of it kind of as a book Russian roulette or something like that. Yours was a November read that I picked because I had never read you before.
The title is a complete misnomer since the hero might be tall and dark but is not filthy rich. His lack of riches, in fact, is part of the conflict. For some reason, though, I became fixated on the idea that the title simply did not fit the book and that bothered me the whole time I was reading.
Jessie Huell specializes in catching cheaters; sometime she is hired to catch people who are in it for the thrill but most of the time, she stakes out spouses and significant other to see if they are straying. She’s asked to do an interview on a local TV show called “Just Between Us”. Jessie would like to drum up some business and she agrees only to find an old high school crush aas the producer of the popular Atlanta show. Cole Crawford is ready to trade in the rat race of producing to stay at home and parent his children which he could do if his share of the lottery money could come through. While he isn’t really looking for anyone, he can’t help being attracted to Jessie.
Jessie and Cole are very likeable people and their romance is explored in a very mature fashion. There is some sexy banter between Jessie and Cole but it lacked spark for me. I felt that because the romance had very little internal conflict, external conflict is provided in the form of a very tacked on suspense plot toward the end and reference to the lottery mess.
This book is also one of a so called “mini series” where a number of author contribute to an overlapping and continuing storyline. This mini series involves a number of employees at a local television station that won the lottery only they can’t collect because a former employee is suing for her part of the proceeds because even though she didn’t contribute monetarily, they kept playing her number and her number was part of the winning combination.
This lottery issue is an underlying theme but remains unresolved at the end which I found a bit frustrating. I was further annoyed at the ending because of the aforementioned poor suspense plot but also the introduction of the former employee’s POV which had nothing to do with Jessie and Cole’s romance and everything to do with the mini series.
While I appreciated Cole’s monetary concerns and the desire for him to take his money, settle down and appreciate the experience of being a parent because the ending was so open in that regard, I felt like there was no resolution. I also felt that there was purposely no resolution so that I would buy the next book and that felt overtly manipulative to me. I think I would like to give you another try when you are writing your own stories and not trying to fit into some predetermined storyline. C