Skin Deep, by Nora Roberts (O'Hurleys! #3)

>> Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Skin Deep is the third in Nora Roberts The O'Hurleys! trilogy, which then turned into a quarted when older brother Trace's story was published.

The high price of fame meant learning to deal with obsessive fans. But this one was different...scary. He was watching...waiting...and Chantel O'Hurley was afraid. She needed help, and it cam with a five-hundred-dollar-a-day price tag. Quinn Doran, a private investigator with the kind of tough, gor-to-hell looks that made a woman's pulse race. What Chantel didn't need were his arrogant insinuations that she'd brought this trouble on erself. What she needed was to stay alive...
After the very meh first book in the series, I was happy to see that the second was very good. Unfortunately, I thought this one was even worse than the first. A C-.

If you've read the first two books, you'll know that the eldest of the triplets, Chantel, is a well-known Hollywood star. And what's the most stereotypical plot you can have with an actress heroine? Why, a stalker, of course, and the heroine being forced to hire a bodyguard because of it! And is the bodyguard a serious professional with a respectful attitude or is he a sexist asshole who has a prejudice about beatiful actresses and treats Chantal like crap because of it? A gold star if you answered the second option.

You can probably tell I detested Quinn. He mellowed a bit as the book progressed, but his behaviour in the first sections made me hate him so much that it would have been pretty much impossible to redeem him. What a judgemental, sexist prick he was! When he tells Chantel (maybe 5 minutes after meeting her, mind), that some of the fault is hers because she prances around on the stage showing her beauty, I wanted to strangle him. And then, in a one-two punch, he follows with this gem:

Not that Quinn was a supporter of the women's movement. To his way of thinking, men and women were different. End of story. If a woman walking by a construction site was insulted because she got a few whistles of invitations, he figured she should walk someplace else. After all, that was just good clean fun.
Oh, yeah! A prince of a guy! And totally unprofessional, too. Chantel is his client, and his job is to protect her, not to make insulting comments about her life. Who the hell does he think he is?

As I said, he does mellow a bit, and ends up taking the threat to Chantel's life seriously and obviously, falling in love with her. But though he did improve, he was starting from such a low place, that it just wasn't enough for me. I simply couldn't see what someone like Chantel would see in this clown.

Chantel herself was all right, I guess. She does stand for herself with Quinn -which is the reason why this didn't get an even lower grade- but the problem is that the plot means that she spends half the time scared to death, and with reason, and this puts her in a vulnerable position with the asshole.

I also groaned a bit at Chantal's history... of course, the beautiful Hollywood star is so sexually inexperienced she might as well be a virgin. Tragic romanc in her past, blah, blah, blah. Why, why, why??

Eh, well, such a disappointment. Maybe the last book will redeem the series, but I'm not holding my breath.


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