Saturday, December 4, 2010

Review: Back in Black by Lori Foster

Title: Back in Black
Series: SBC Fighters
Author: Lori Foster
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: February 2, 2010
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 0425232980
ISBN-13: 9780425232989

Drew Black, president of the SBC fighting organization, is as controversial as they come. But this hotheaded entrepreneur is a perfect match for his popular sports club venture: uncompromising and extreme. With a reputation for saying what he thinks, Drew's been causing a lot of friction. That's why someone's been called in to clean up his image—before he does any permanent damage.

The lucky lady is Gillian Noode, a PR expert who has smoothed out the rough edges of many a man. But Drew is rougher than anyone she's ever met, and he refuses to change for any woman, for any reason. To make matters more complicated, Gillian's starting to like him raw. Now opposites aren't simply attracting—they're igniting. But in the rising heat, who will end up on top?

My rating:

I enjoyed the few Harlequin romances I read by this author, and this is the first book in this series I've read (so I don't have all the details), but it will most certainly also be the last.

This story had more holes in it than Swiss cheese, but that was only one of the problems...

1. The initial premise was stupid. Sorry, but I don't see a problem with a guy who speaks his mind. It's a breath of fresh air nowadays when everybody is lying through their teeth. Also, I had no problems with Drew's language. Yes, it was crude at times, but nothing we don't hear in every action movie out there. Actually, compared to some action flicks he was indeed quite tame...And, as the heroine also learned, he always used language that was appropriate for the moment and/or his audience.
So the whole deal about changing his image was ludicrous. He was the president of a fighting organization, so it's normal he expressed himself accordingly. Now, if he ran, let's say, a figure-skating organization, the premise would work.
I also didn't see him as a jackass. The author, through the heroine, told me. What happened to "show not tell"?

2. The heroine didn't work. She was much too prim and proper for a PR expert. According to the blurb, she has smoothed out the rough edges of many a man. So she should've been used to all kinds of "antics", so her feminist core (or whatever the term Ms. Foster used) shouldn't have been in peril. Well, she was just the opposite, bristling at everything he said, everything he did, being ashamed of their "relationship"...Sheesh.
Also, if I go back to the "feather smoothing", her success was only told, never shown. There were no real examples of what she's accomplished, and even with Drew, she only planned, never executed. He was the one who knew what to do. He never needed her (in the PR department).

3. Their "relationship" was very iffy. I didn't feel the connection, beside in the bedroom, and even there it was all about the sex. I didn't see the love coming, and when it did, it made me rise a severely doubtful eyebrow.

4. The secondary story (with Audrey and Brett) was unnecessary, if you ask me. It went completely over my head, I couldn't care less what happened with the two etc. I guess we needed an additional "relationship", because the main one couldn't feel the requisite number of pages.
Let's see, the book looks like a normal paperback, but it has two (2!) excerpts at the end, for two books by two different authors. The original story has only 281 pages, a third of which is used to relay Audrey and Brett's story. If that doesn't tell it all, I don't know what can.

5. WAVS - redundant. I guess the whole item number 4 had to do with item number 5. Women against violent sports. As Drew said, a bunch of old biddies and wallflowers being against everything they didn't know. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. The WAVS angle was (again) completely unnecessary, but it tied to...

6. The suspense angle didn't work. I don't know why we had to have a suspense angle, if not for the fact it was probably the only way the hero and heroine would declare their (doubtful) feelings for each other.
The villain's motive was never explained, so it made for even more unbelievable reading.

Those are the major problems I had with this book...And, come to think of it, if those six items weren't present, we wouldn't have had a story. Which is daunting.


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