Sunday, April 09, 2006

Title: Don't Look Down
Author: Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
Published: 2006, St. Martin's
Category: General Fiction/ Romantic Adventure
Rating: 7/10

I have been looking forward to this book for almost a year. Jennifer Crusie is, in my opinion, the queen of contemporary romance. Her books are some of my favorites--Bet Me, Faking It, Welcome to Temptation. She writes the best characters--quirky, hilarious, lovable.

I was excited when I heard that she was teaming up with another author for a collaboration. (For one thing, Crusie writes really slowly, compared to a lot of romance writers who can churn out a couple books a year. Maybe if she only had to write half a book, they'd come out faster.) And it is an interesting combination--Mayer writes military adventure novels, which are about as different from Crusie's as you can get. Crusie wrote the heroine's point of view, and Mayer the hero's.

The heroine is Lucy Armstrong, a movie director, who goes to Savannah to finish up the last four days of a movie shoot. The set is in chaos--the original director has just died, the prima donna actors are sleeping with/cheating on each other, the financer is very shady, and Lucy's ex-husband is the stunt coordinator and aiming for a reconciliation. J.T. Wilder is a Green Beret (a kind of military hot shot) on military leave, making some extra money by serving as a stunt double. J.T. and Lucy seem to be the only two sane people in the book. They get into all kinds of adventures and end up saving the day.

I was hoping that Don't Look Down would take all the things I love about a Crusie and just add a great, suspenseful plot. And it didn't quite do it for me. I mean, it was good and I think if I hadn't had these overly high expectations, I would've thought it was a great book. But it wasn't all that I'd been hoping for. So sad. The plot seemed a little overly complicated and the characterization and romance definitely suffered for it.

The collaboration part worked, though. I thought the writing was really good--the two author's voices and styles flowed together well. Crusie and Mayer are already working on their next book. I'll definitely still read it. But my reaction will be more a "oh, good, another Crusie/Mayer," rather than a "omigod, squeeeee!"

1 comment:

jmc said...

Your review sounds very similar to a lot of the reviews I've read on the 'net. I preordered a copy of Don't Look Down but haven't started it yet, because I'm afraid it won't live up to my expectations :(