November 24, 2004

Where there's smoke/ Sandra Brown

Sandra brown seems to be a favourite among women readers -- that was how I remembered it when I was doing my "tour of duty" at the reference desk some years past. A few months ago, I happened to see this book on the display table and decided to read it to understand what the fuss was about.

She's not someone I'd normally read but I figured it might be an interesting experience. My female colleagues teased me about reading this. Someone told me this was "trashy stuff" (which I found out that it means it deserves a RA label of sorts -- I guess that's why it's so appealing!). Anyway, I told them that a good salesman has to know all his wares, so...
In this story, we have the following characters:
  1. A beautiful, strong, determined -- but misunderstood -- heroine.
  2. A suave, testosterone-charged "living-on-the-edge" macho man, whom all women seem to find irresistable. He appears to be a rascal with a devil-may-care attitude but has a heart of gold.
  3. A powerful but bitter & manipulative mother
  4. A rich and vindicative vamp -- beautiful but conniving and unfaithful. She has a thing for the hero but spurned by the hero.
  5. Sub-plot: Romance between the hero's Plain-Jane "Suffer-in-silence" sister (with an inferiority complex) and a righteous and chivilarious ex-con.
The hero falls for the heroine, and she for him. But they have a love-hate relationship because apparently she's the married woman who seduced the hero's brother -- an up-and-coming US senator -- and subsequently ruined the brother's career.

OK, I realise this isn't much of a book review or summary, but I'm sure people read Sandra Brown not for the plots but more for the element of escapism.

It's entertaining, really.

It doesn't set out to be intellectual stuff in the first place, and like any adult Romance novel, it has its fair share of love scenes. All in clean fun, and some love scenes are quite amusing 'cos it's so cliched. A good read for those who want to just lose themselves for a few hours on the train, or before bed.

I can now understand why it's popular among women readers. Heck, men should read such books once in a while. A companion read to "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus". If you can't get "Sex In the City", try Sandra Brown -- Woo-Hoo! Ahem...

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