Going Overboard, by Vicki Lewis Thompson

>> Tuesday, May 20, 2003

One of the books received in the box I mentioned was Going Overboard, by Vicki Lewis Thompson, from Harlequin's Love and Laughter line.

When her pregnant sister invites Andi Lombard to join her husband and her on a houseboat vacations, she doesn't know that her workaholic brother-in-law Chance is invited too.
I'm always a bit distrustful of the Love and Laughter line. Good comedy isn't easy to do, and books in this line often feel like they're trying too hard. They try to base their humour on contrived situations and on making people (usually the heroine, grrrr) look stupid, and this is painful to me, not funny. To be fair though, there have been some gems, like Jennifer Crusie's wonderful Anyone But You.

Going Overboard wasn't up to the level of Anyone But You, but it was good. No making the heroine look stupid here, just to get a few cheap laughs. It was light-hearted in tone, but I don't think it was trying for outright laughs. I ended it with a smile on my face, and this is a good thing. My grade for it: a B.

It had the author's trademark (I've only read 3 of her books, so I'm guilty of inductive reasoning here!) breezy, colloquial writing style and modern characters, which is something I very much like of hers. It's also a romance between a free spirit heroine (who, I repeat, is not portrayed as a stupid klutz) and a stuffed-shirt hero, which is a storyline that works very well for me when done right.

Add to this a nice and original setting (a houseboat on a Nevada lake), a lovely relationship between the hero and his brother and the heroine and her sister, and a very satisfactory resolution for the fact that Andi and Chance lived in separate cities, and we've got a very nice, enjoyable book.

It did, of course, have a couple of problems. First, Andi and Chance's relationship wasn't terribly well developed, probably because of the book's length. At 187 pages it was almost short-story long. A few more pages developing their relationship would have been nice.

Second, the love scenes. The foreplay was steamy, and so have been the author's love scenes in her Blaze books, but here all we got was a light summary of the actual act... almost "waves crashing on the surf" quality. Doesn't work for me.

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