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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Convincing Alex

****½ Convincing Alex by Nora Roberts. Contemporary romance. Re-read.

This is the fourth book in the Stanislaski series.

It could be my August TBR challenge book--there's a "Darla" in it. Bess's producer is named Darla. In fact, it's one of only two Darlas in Nora's books that is not a bimbo. (There are 6, I believe, or maybe 7, who are bimbos.) Alas, though, I'm not going to cheat. I read this in *wincing* June.

Alex Stanislaski is a cop. Bess McNee is a soap opera writer. They meet when she's researching--posing as a prostitute to make sure the character she writes is realistic.

This one had things I really liked & things I really disliked about it.

The whole first chapter was fun, and really set up the characters. Bess was so excited about her research that being arrested and in jail didn't bother her at all.

I thought the story line with Rosalie, the prostitute, was well-done, and heartbreaking. I wish we'd have seen a little more of what happened to her, though.

It was so much fun to see Nick & Freddie, when you know the next book's about them.

What bothered me about the story was that the conflict between Bess and Alex was his double-standard. At several points in the book, sometimes on the same page, he's cruel to her, telling her he doesn't want to hear her say she loves him because he won't believe her, and then he'll mention how he was such a ladies' man.

More an attitude for the 50s or 60s, IMO---he said he didn't expect her to be a virgin, but that's exactly what he expected. Possibly that was pointing out his old-world origins, but I still think it was overdone. It just wasn't a big enough conflict to cover the whole book.

I think it would have been a better book if Bess had been in danger.... although Nora may have been trying to avoid that cliche, which seems to happen in nearly every book where the hero's a cop, so she gets points for that. Maybe if Alex's objections to getting serious with Bess included her research---if he thought she didn't really love him because she was just using him for research---instead of focusing on her 3 or 4 (depending on who's counting) engagements.

Still, I did thoroughly enjoy their story. Bess was a wonderful heroine. By which I probably mean that she accepted the dangers that go along with falling in love with a cop. I've read far too many heroines who start relationships with cops, then call it quits because they're afraid. Perfectly reasonable, of course, but it gets old when you read it in book after book. And I get so annoyed--they're like people who get this fabulous house really cheap because it's right next to the airport, then complain about the noise. Bess knew Alex was a cop, and she didn't ask him to change, or punish him for it.


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