Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TBR Day: Anything for You by Sarah Mayberry

Well Internets, it's the last TBR Day. I've managed to do a review for each of them and really wanted to make this the ONE challenge I successfully completed. I had high hopes to read and review Kim Harrison's For a Few Demons More, but I'm only about 80 pages in. So, I'm doing something I normally wouldn't do- I'm reviewed a pure, no illusions about it, romance novel. And, not only a romance novel- a Harlequin Blaze. I have a long and solid history of reading romances and I firmly believe there are some great romance novels out there. This one though, this one is mediocre and formulaic. Exactly the stereotype I'd rather not blog about, but, since it's the last TBR Day, and I really really want to not fail, here ya go.

Anything for You by Sarah Mayberry was published in 2006. I picked it up because it features my favorite romance story line- two friends who fall in love. I have a small unread collection of these for days when nothing else appeals. There are no secret babies, no rich heiresses, no secretaries (well, there is a secretary but she isn't the main character), no wealthy tycoons, no sheiks. I was hoping for a growing realization that they were falling in love, something that surprised them both and they reacted appropriately. I almost got it, and I probably can't really fault the book, but it wasn't what I hoped for.

Here's the description, stolen from Amazon: "Since when was his best friend this hot?
The world according to Sam Kirk has just turned upside down. His best friend and business partner, Delaney Michaels, has returned from vacation a new woman...a gorgeous, hot new woman. Suddenly Sam is thinking entirely inappropriate thoughts about his buddy. Worse, with Delaney's changed look, she's abandoning their friendship in pursuit of the picket-fence dream. It's a nightmare come true.
Then one night finds them tangling in the sheets.
It should feel wrong, wrong, wrong...instead, it feels very right. And now Sam knows exactly what he'd do to keep his best friend: absolutely anything."

In a word, it was: OK. Because it was a Harlequin, I read it in one sitting and there wasn't anything tense or difficult to make me put it down. This isn't a criticism of the publisher, that's just what you can expect from them. The ending was happy, which is all that I required.

So, where did it go wrong? It seemed very cliche. Delaney has been in love with Sam since they met as teens. She decides she has to cut him out of her life if she'll ever get married, cause he is a bit of a playboy and clearly doesn't feel the same. She has a makeover and starts the process of disengaging. Sam flips out and suddenly they are having the sex! Um, Sam? You've never thought she was hot til this moment and now you're doin' it? Way to enforce the idea that you sleep with anyone! The book continues with them getting all hot and bothered, and even taking a weekend away with each other to try and burn it out. The author throws in every variation and slang for sex she can think of. It felt a bit like being in high school and digging out our thesaurus. After a few weeks of this, Delaney leaves and Sam suddenly "gets" it. But, it doesn't seem real to me, more like the author saying "yeah, he gets it now, book over."

Delaney and Sam were both very cookie cutter romance characters, both physically and emotionally. Take one bad haircut, make it great. Take linen pants and make it into a flirty skirt. (Who really calls their skirt "flirty" anyway?) Give him dreads (INTERESTING!) and take them away (Not so much now.) Throw in a bit of Aussie flavor, now just a little more so it sounds contrived, ok good, right there.

I read the whole thing, I enjoyed it for the time I spent, but I won't be seeking out her backlist or thinking over the book fondly.

(For a much better friends falling in love romance, you could try Annie Says I Do by Carole Buck. The only flaw in this one is the author's annoying habit of using the characters full name every couple of pages. This is easily overlooked by the falling in love part.)

1 comment:

  1. Ugh. Even the main character's name sounds Harlequinish. I see what you mean about this not being your normal cup of tea.

    They have their place though.


Thanks for visiting, please leave a comment! Whenever possible I reply to comments via email, so please leave an email address if you want a direct reply. Anonymous users, I'm sorry, but until you stop leaving spam, you can't comment.

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP