Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Confessions of a Lingerie Addict by Jennifer Ashley
Back in 2003 I read Jennifer Ashley's The Pirate Next Door and enjoyed it very much. Many of my favorite authors have been leaving historical romance behind to ride the current trend toward writing contemporary, chick lit, or other genres. While I have not been ecstatically happy about this, I'm willing to give them a try if these books have some element of romance. So when I saw this lovely book cover with the cute Victoria's Secret-like bag and read a good review over at AAR, I thought "why not". Unfortunately, I was disappointed.
COALA is marketed as a contemporary romance. Brenda, a DJ for a San Diego radio station, tells the story in first person POV. Nick is also a DJ for a competitor's radio station. They 'meet' when both wake up in bed together after a wild party with too much booze. The book goes downhill from there.
Brenda is extremely insecure and afraid of relationships so after waking up in bed with Nick, she goes on a wild buying binge of fancy women's underwear: bras, corsets, thongs, garters, stockings, bustier, etc. The reasoning behind this never made sense to me. I just did not see the connection. Brenda with her insecurities, fears, and underwear fetish was just plain irritating. I have no patience with women in contemporary romances who don't have a spine. I kept waiting for her to tell off her boss (a real jerk), her controlling ex-boyfriend, and grab onto a good thing like her relationship with Nick. But no, she's afraid!
Our hero Nick was a problem for me as well. Brenda confesses her love to Nick at least three times. He doesn't believe her. What? I don't get this. Nick was the most flip-floppy 'hero' I have come across in a long time. He breaks up with her twice in the course of this book and I wanted to strangle him. Part of the problem may have been the 1st-person POV since we never get inside his head.
In fact, I pretty much wanted to murder every character in the book. Especially David, Brenda's brother, who was the most immature, self-involved twit. He and Brenda's continual childish squabbling was so bad they rivaled the squabbles between my two kids when they were in junior high school. I wanted to smack them both upside the head. The rest of the 'quirky' characters were just plain annoying.
Brenda's mother started an affair with her son's friend Jerry who was 18 years younger than her! You know I really like older woman-younger man stories but this one just was icky! I think that's because it was handled so badly by her mom and Jerry. Here's a bit of advice: If you're going to mess around with a man young enough to be your son, be sure your children don't catch him coming our of your bedroom in his sexy red bikini underwear. Bad form.
What did work for me? Well, the story flowed very smoothly and was a fast read. The dialog was snappy (even when irritating) and never boring. Oh, and I love the cover!
My Grade: C-
I have Perils of the Heart in my TBR. I'm hoping this one is better.
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