Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hot Property

Hot Property, by Carly Phillips
ISBN: 0373773331
Romance novels, like sci-fi and other genre fictions, are an enjoyable indulgence now and then, but shouldn't be read all the time. They generally follow the same, predictable format: if you've read one Nora Roberts book, you've read them all. I repeat, ladies: dime-store novels are fun, but there's more to life.
That being said, I really enjoyed Hot Property. When it comes to light romance, Carly Phillips can compete with the best of them.
Our heroine is Amy Stone. She's in twenty-five, and has just gotten a high-roller new job at a sports publicist agency. She's hard-working, 
ambitious, and desperately wants to avoid any obstacles on her fast track to success. All business.
She meets a guy. On the surface, he's a dream come true: an athlete who's outstandingly gorgeous, incredibly rich, and underwear model handsome besides. 
John Roper is a major league center fielder whose career seems to be on the decline. 
Widely blamed when his team loses a World Series, he turns to the Hot Zone sports agency for help reversing his momentum.
Roper (silly name, by the way. Try again, Carly) has a depth of character you don't usually find in romance novels. He's tied down by 
a loser brother and eccentric, aging movie star mother who absolutely steals the show.
Cassandra, the wicked mother, is a pathetic character who lives like a millionaire even though she hasn't earned any money in years. The author captures her as perfectly as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, reaching madness as her former glory drifts further and further away.
Further to the novel's credit, it strikes the perfect balance between sensuality and smut. There were parts that gave me a hard-on, but it 
was still something my great-grandmother might have enjoyed. Quite an achievement, I'd say.
There's no shortage of eight dollar paper backs suitable for a day at the beach or a long airplane ride. Hot Property is among the best written this year. It would be nice to see the author try her hand at a more serious novel, but in the meantime, this is one dollop of marshmallow fluff that's positively irresistible.
Highest marks for a first class treat!

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