Title: Doing Ireland!
Author: Kate Hoffmann
Published: 2007, Harlequin Blaze
Category: Category Romance
I am still trying to keep an open mind about Harlequin categories. There's been a lot of talk in blogland lately about how if you completely ignore the ridiculous titles and cheesy covers, you can find some good stories in them. I've only read a few and so far have not found much to convince me of this. But I still try. I won a whole bundle of Harlequins from Devon (thanks, Devon!) and I had to read this one first. Because look at that title! That's just funny. And it's from the "Lust in Translation" series. *snicker*
Claire O'Connor gets dumped and loses her job, so what does she do? She jumps on a plane and goes to the Isle of Trall in Ireland to get some water from this spring that (according to legend) will make people fall in love. She thinks she'll bring some water back and make her ex see the error of his ways. But once she arrives at the charming little inn and meets its owner, Will, she's not so excited about going back. Because he is HOT, you see. Then they give each other water from the spring and they just don't know if it's true love or magic. Or lust. Oh noooes!
Okay, I was seriously rolling my eyes through this. It was quite readable (I did finish it) and there was some funny dialogue. But it was all such standard, everyday, cliched romantic fantasy that it just wasn't very interesting. Oooh, you're pretty. Let's make out! Oooh, you're nice too! Let's have sex! The characters were beautiful, rich, funny, confident. I saw no weakness, no quirkiness, nothing unique to make them interesting, and they didn't change or grow in any way. It just all struck me as very vanilla (I don't mean mild as in no sex; there was LOTS of sex, it is a Blaze after all). I just mean that it was all really predictable.
That's my opinion. (I say this because I haven't given this low a grade in a while. I feel mean. Other people might think this is the greatest book evah. This amazon reviewer said it was "FABULOUS!")
And I'm not ready to give up on categories. Not yet, anyway.