Thursday, December 18, 2008

Here Comes Santa Claus by Sandra Hill & 2 others **

This was an anthology/novel of sorts - the authors collaborated and each took 1 h/h couple, and each wrote a chapter, so it wasn't 3 separate stories but one long, boring story that I didn't like.

OK - it didn't work for me. At all. For one thing, waaaay too many clich├ęs - in what they said, in what they did. The characters were 2 dimensional for me and the secondary characters came across as cardboard. The married-50-years couple - how many times did they have to remind us of that? Were we likely to forget since it was mentioned every time their names were invoked? The elderly sexed-up spinster doctors? Ick. And "thanks" for making one of the elderly folks be 50 - being 53, I really did NOT appreciate that!

But was the story good? No. OK - it's 3 best friend guys, all orphans from the same group home in Maine, now adults making their way to the wedding of their mentor George. Hey - how about fleshing out George a little? He's just now getting married, and yet he was an adult when these 35-year-old guys were kids? But no, we get nothing about George except each of the guys and one of the girls really looked up to him (but we don't ever learn exactly why - he helped them, but how?).

The heroines weren't particularly likable either. One was from the home town - wait, actually 2 were, but the guys only knew 1 - Reba - who is now the director of some old folks home, or something, that sends out Santas to visit homeless shelters at Christmas. The bus that drives them around is the only mode of transportation in the area so the fellows have to get on it to get to the home town where the marriage is. So we match up guy #1 with Reba - ok, they've always had a thing for each other and they acted on it as teens but then he left and didn't come back for some reason which I never figured out. Maybe it was in there - I was bored and skimmed a lot.

Guy #2 is a private detective looking for a woman who skipped bail, and miraculously he runs into her in the airport - unaware - and then figures it out and takes her along on the Santa bus. Well, she didn't skip bail, there was some other convoluted reason she was on the lam and he was being paid to find her. Lo and behold, they fall in love. Yeah, just like that. And she was really on the right side of the law. And she was a famous fashion designer too. Right.

Guy #3 is a former football player who was in a car accident and now walks with a cane, and it seems George fixed him up with Girl #3, who was also from their home town and also from a group home for orphans but the guys never knew her even though George did. Hmmm. Their tale was the worst of all.

And in the end the guys all proposed marriage. Right. Oh and they made it to the wedding and we still didn't get to meet George.

Did not like it. 2 stars.

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