All I Ever Wanted, by Ellen Fisher

>> Monday, July 11, 2005

As a newcomer to the world of e-publishing, I rely a lot on other readers' recommendations, but they need to be very detailed recs. The thing is, you see, that the usual dominating, uber-alpha who seems to be such a staple in e-books (especially erotica e-books), leaves me completely cold, so just picking highly-rated e-books at random won't work.

The latest e-book I picked up, I did because of a review at Paperbackreader: All I Ever Wanted, by new-to-me author Ellen Fisher. I believe Fisher has had some books in print, but this one was published exclusively as an e-book.

Maxfield Sinclair, the author of a popular science fiction series, is revered by fans everywhere as "The Creator." Drew Cooper, a snobbish literature professor, isn’t impressed with Max’s books, or with Max himself, for that matter. As Drew gets to know Max, however, she realizes there’s more to the shy, awkward writer than meets the eye. But can a woman who enjoys escargot and caviar fall in love with a guy who thinks fine cuisine means supreme instead of pepperoni?
All I Ever Wanted had the potential to be wonderful, as wonderful as its hero, but a horrid heroine and a suspense subplot which was frankly bad lower my grade to barely above average. A C+.

Max was... oh, just yummy. Don't misinterpret what I wrote above, I do like alphas, as long as their alphaness doesn't come accompanied by jerk-ness, but a steady diet of them gets boring, as a steady diet of anything does, really. So I treasure the few heroes with real insecurities and vulnerabilities I get, those who are very definitely not leaders or the aggressors in a relationship, those who are a teeny bit insecure in bed, instead of totally sure that they are god's gift to womanhood.

Max is just like that. At first he didn't ring completely true, actually, because I couldn't really buy that a guy like him, a rich, good-looking author, idolized by his fans, would be like that, but a certain revelation late in the book helped it make sense. And this revelation was kind of announced way before that, so the reader was able to have certain suspicions, and the actual knowledge wasn't left until too late.

So anyway, Max was great, a really sweet, caring and endearing hero. The only objection I had to him was his taste in women. Just what did he see in that close-minded, judgemental, holier-than-thou nitwit, Drew? The first scenes were truly painful, when she mouthes off about how sci-fi is so awful. I could totally see her saying the same type of mindless idiocy about romance novels, actually.

And, unbelievably, what does Max like so much about her, that he becomes so infatuated? "There was something special about her that attracted him, something beyond her obvious physical attributes. Maybe it was her conviction in the correctness of her opinions, the assurance of a woman who could read two paragraphs of a book and determine the writer was a sexist pig." Er, and that is attractive, why? I'm afraid that's the kind of thing that would completely kill a guy's chances with me! Oh, and of course, Drew's very fond of making huge assumptions on no basis. The mark of an intelligent person, as everyone knows.

Poor Max deserved so much better than this idiot! Even once she gets over her prejudices and realizes what a great guy Max actually is, she keeps hurting him and hurting him, pretty much on purpose, I thought. No one can be that thoughtless!

As for the suspense subplot, the least said about it, the better. It was half-way interesting at first, but by the end of the book, not only had it turned completely over the top (I'm talking about "Look! This person is evil! (S)he likes kinky sex!!!" lack of subtlety), it had also started cutting into the romance, which was basically why I was reading this.

Still, whatever the book's flaws, I find myself intrigued enough that I'd try another book by this author.

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