Wizard, by Jayne Ann Krentz

>> Saturday, February 07, 2004

Wizard, by Jayne Ann Krentz looked very good, at least from the back-cover blurb.


Sophia Athena Bennett had been raised by geniuses to shine in the rarefied atmosphere of academia. Instead she chose to live in Texas, where men were men, and a cowboy's prowess in barroom brawls and at breaking broncos was more important than any degree.

Enter Dr. Max Travers, professor of mathematics, friend of her brilliant parents, wizard. Sophy told herself he was a nerd; she told herself he probably made love by the numbers; she insisted that she preferred cowboys. Why was it that she found Max sexy as all get-out, and infinitely more dangerous than any gunslinger in a ten-gallon hat?
Wizard joins the list of my favourite JAK categories. I wasn't sure about giving it a keeper grade, because, well, it just isn't the kind of "important" book one sometimes (in one's more elitist moments) feels deserve a keeper grade. But hey, any book that has me reading most of it with my stomach churning and clenching, and gives me a lump in my throat during a scene in which the hero asks the heroine to stay overtime to finish typing a report for him deserves a keeper grade! An A-, well deserved.

This was a different book, in that instead of the very typical "heroine thinks she likes staid, conservative men, but finds love with a cowboy", we have here a story that is exactly the opposite. I really enjoyed this, since I'm not such a big fan of cowboys myself. I actually liked to see this professor show up those arrogant cowboys :-)

I also adored the character of Max. He was terribly endearing in his vulnerability and desperation for Sophy, a woman he thought would never be attracted to someone like him. So many scenes I felt my stomach clenching for, like the one where Max takes her to his hotel room once she has discovered the cowboy she thought she was in love with was cheating on him. I could just feel his anguish and his confusion. It takes a talented author to have me so involved in a measly 186 pages.


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