Is He The Only Sane Person In Town?
Corporate shark Joe Iskerson wastes no time in getting exactly what he wants. And what he wants is to spend one brief night in Saunders, Idaho, close a major land deal, and get out. But no one told him Saunders is home to a bunch of kooky eccentrics who don't seem to grasp the concept of money, or that his B&B is a former brothel that now houses retired ladies of the evening. Then there's the proprietor of the B&B, Emylou Gainor. Pretty, warm, and apparently not deranged, she's the sort of homemaking, small-town girl Joe would never be attracted to under normal circumstances. But nothing in Saunders is normal. That must be why he's going wildly, passionately out of his mind for Emylou. The only way to stay sane is to get out of town, before he gives in to total erotic madness...
...Or Is Normal Highly Overrated?
Emylou has always been level-headed. But then, she's never met anybody like Joe. When he's around Emylou feels like going deliciously, wickedly insane. Or maybe that old brothel magic is finally starting to work on her. As acting mayor, Emylou is determined to keep Joe in Saunders long enough to save her hometown...even if she has to take leave of her senses and drive him completely crazy to do it...
Can Emmylou Sargent, heiress and young proprietress of the Shady Lady B&B, save small-town Beaverton, Idaho, from the evil clutches of out-of-town corporate honcho, Joe Montcrief, who wants to build-of all things-a cat litter factory? Warren (Bad Boys Down Under) sets her formula romance amidst an array of secondary characters whose exaggerated quirks and eccentricities-a kleptomaniac who returns all she steals, a deluded fireman who waters plants in response to shouts of "Fire!", a self-styled Napoleon on horseback-quickly lose their humorous fizz. Despite the predictable execution, however, Warren's premise is admirable: that the slow pace of life in a backwater town, where everyone puts up with each other's idiosyncrasies, has its benefits; that there is value to a place where human contact is an integral part of life and where work is not the end all and be all of existence. A fascinating side plot about a sexual pioneer who came to the town in the early 1900s to build a sanitarium, and whose theories about healthy sexual release echo the orgasm theories of Wilhelm Reich, unfortunately gets short shrift. Warren's heavy-handed jokes about the Shady Lady's past as the town brothel and its use by so-called "intimate healers" when the sanitarium was functioning don't add much nuance to the plot. The author is at her best writing steamy sex scenes-and the novel has plenty of these-but, outside the bedroom, Joe and Emmylou, with their stereotypical interests (him: cell phones, laptops and 24/7 work; her: cooking, flowers and "oh, so cute" town folk) come off as a flat, uninspired couple.
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March 31, 2008
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