Saturday, September 18, 2010

Princess Charming by Jane Heller ****

This was the other Jane Heller I read this week - also that romance/chick lit style, first person POV, mostly about the heroine and her best friends and with a side dish of romance.

The friends - 3 women who met when going through their mid-life divorces - were on a Caribbean cruise, apparently spending the exes' money as often as possible, based on the list of vacations they had taken together. During a storm on the ocean, the phone lines get crossed, and our heroine Elaine hears a conversation between an apparent hit-man and his employer in which he tells the hit-man he better kill his ex-wife. Elaine already has a reputation for blowing things out of proportion and panicking over nothing, so she says nothing to her friends about it, but tries to convince the ship captain and local authorities at every stop that someone is in danger.

The hero is Sam, an insurance salesman on the cruise who becomes romantically involved with Elaine. He and some other characters - I mean that both in the "book" way and in the "he's a character" way - are the women's table mates for the duration of the cruise.

The zany mishaps of the 3 divorcees and table conversations of Table 186 make up most of the humor of the book, and I did laugh out loud several times. Heller's love scenes fade to black once the kissing starts, but she does create real tension for her protagonists even if she doesn't let us share it. And if you like older protagonists - at 45, she might have been the oldest heroine I'd read about in a while (ok, Family Blessings by LaVyrle Spencer was the other).

4 stars for the laughs

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