>> Monday, January 10, 2005
It seems I read books set in Alaska (not the most common setting, at all) in twos. A couple of years ago it was first I do, I do, I do, by Maggie Osborne and then Lori Wilde's A Touch of Silk. This time I first read Northern Lights, by Nora Roberts and immediately started She Went All the Way (excerpt), by Meggin Cabot.
Success hasn't spoiled screenwriter Lou Calabrese -- it's just given her a taste for luxury. And it's put her in some bizarre situations -- like in a helicopter en route to the wilds of Alaska, sharing too-close quarters with the last man she wants to be with: Jack Townsend! Once a sexy nobody whom Lou helped make a somebody, Jack's just been dumped by a high-profile Hollywood airhead -- who's eloped with Lou's longtime love! So what else could go wrong?Like the first Cabot book that I read, Boy Meets Girl, this was lots of fun, and not lacking in heart, either. My grade is a B+.
Their pilot could try to shoot the most adored man in America. They could crash land in the icy, mountainous middle of nowhere. And at the worst possible moment, when survival should be their only consideration, Jack could start wondering if maybe he wasn't a wee bit too hasty for not giving this sexy screenwriter a second look -- while Lou could start noticing how superstar Jack is kind of hot after all ...
I should mention, before anything else, that unlike Boy Meets Girl, She Went All the Way isn't narrated through emails and such. It's proof that Cabot's humour is not dependent on gimmicks. She's just as funny writing traditional contemporary romance.
Plus, the romance is the focus here, and it's a seriously satisfying one. There's just something about a commitment-phobe like Jack being the one to start immediately pressuring Lou to move in with him, get a beach house together, get a dog together... Even if I was a bit doubtful about him after we know of his extremely sluttish sexual past, I did believe he really was in love with Lou and that their relationship would work out. And I loved Lou! I loved how she was completely unimpressed with Jack's huge movie star status, and how her very intelligence and common sense was what Jack was crazy about (plus, he found her extremely sexy, of course!). She's not a girly girl and can take care of herself (even being the one who shoots the villains), but she's perfectly comfortable with being female.
The only weak point here is the suspense subplot, which didn't really make much sense. Also, Jack's insistence that he didn't need police protection, when they got back to civilization in, just reeked of romance novel stupid conventions.
As for the setting, well, this was a very different Alaska from the one in Northern Lights, and it suffered in the comparison. It was a bit more "generic forest in the snow" here, but the "tone" of the setting jibed with the tone of the book, which was more comedy than drama, so that was ok.
I'm very glad I discovered Cabot. I've already got myself much of her backlist, and I'll do my best to ration it and not just read them all in a gulp!