Friday, July 4, 2008

Lola Carlyle Reveals All by Rachel Gibson

hmmmm... I'm conflicted about this book. Didn't love it, didn't hate it.

Lola is our heroine - she's a former underwear model who is now designing underwear and running her own underwear empire. She's a recovered (or is it recovering?) bulimic who is still referred to as fat in tabloids. The whole "reveals all" title is a reference to the fact that there are some embarrassing photos taken by her ex that he is now showing on the Internet - and she wants the photos gone. She is hiding from her life, with her rat of a dog (it's a Miniature Pinscher), in the Bahamas when she falls asleep on a yacht, is left there alone - and our hero Max commandeers it for his escape.

Max is one of those covert operators, a former Navy seal who gets called in by the government to do their dirty work from time to time. Highly trained, big, bad and dangerous. A loner. He was in the Bahamas on some drug cartel work that went real bad - they beat the shit out of him, and he killed some guys, including the Head Guy's son. He's a bruised and broken mess when he gets onto this supposedly empty yacht to escape.

We didn't have love or even chemistry at first sight in this story. Well, Max recognizes the underwear model and feels some lust, but Lola is horrified and repelled. In my opinion, she is bimbo material and did several stupid things, including shooting a flare gun that set the yacht's burnable materials on fire and melted others - rendering the yacht dead in the water too many miles out to sea for any quick rescue.

So I spent the first part of this book, in my afterglow from loving True Confessions so much, thinking it was a really lame story and I did not like Lola at all. I'm sure it's my own prejudice, but the whole bulimic recovery thing just didn't work for me - I couldn't find myself feeling any pity for her or the rat of a dog. I did, however, develop tender feelings for poor Max after a while - anyone with broken ribs who would jump into the sea to save the rat of a dog is a good person.

They did go through some harrowing experiences together, and while I kept feeling like Lola made more and more bad decisions, Max thought she was courageous. Huh? Just goes to show, he was already falling in love with her and couldn't see her faults, I guess.

But the harrowing escape from dangerous drug runners was nothing compared to what Lola put Max through afterwards - she actually made him attend her family reunion. Wow - that is true love on Max's part. And that was during the weekend he spent at her house - and wait a minute - nothing sexual happened between them. I was stunned.

My one big laugh out loud moment was a reference to Gibson's True Confessions: in the aftermath of Lola's disappearance, one tabloid publishes a report that she'd been abducted by aliens and was living in a small wilderness town in the Northwest. (That was Lola's favorite story.) See, the heroine of True Confessions wrote alien stories for a weekly tabloid, and... ok go read that book because it's a lot funnier and a lot more romantic too.

The ending of the book - their getting together afterwards in real life and trying to work out some sort of relationship - vaguely redeemed it for me, so I'll give it... I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars. I'll go with 4 stars only because I sorta have to almost not like it to give it 3 stars.

One more thing about this book: WHERE WAS THE EDITOR?? There are a bunch of typos in this book that are really slap-you-in-the-face wrong and should have been edited out. I'm not talking about her use of grammatically incorrect phrases - which I think she uses well as a break-the-rules kinda thing. Those work in this book as a way of making a point - and she uses them over and over, so it becomes a sort of recognizable pattern. No, I'm talking about verbs in the wrong tense, and misspelled words. Lots and lots of them. About using the word "gunnel" when it's "gunwale" (and she did use "gunwale" as well). Things an editor should have corrected.

Ok maybe it should get 3 stars. But I'll put 4, to be sorta consistent, because I did like it more than others I rated 3.

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