With this review we are starting a new section in our blog: “Oldies but Goodies” (I know, we are very original), and what a better way to do so than reviewing Mr Perfect by Mrs Linda Howard.
If you read this week’s “Follow My Book Blog Friday” you might have noticed that Mr Perfect is in my “I cannot live –or die, since it is the apocalypse- without it” list of books, and ladies that is God’s truth! Mr Perfect is just that, perfect. Linda Howard, being the master mind that she is, wrote a Romantic Suspense book (or Contemporary Romance with some traces of suspense) that is worth reading again and again because every time that you do it you discover something new that for sure will creep you out or make you laugh. In this book she manages a balance between funny dialogues, a plot full of trepidation and an explosive romance.
Mr Perfect is about a list of attributes that, according to Jaine Bright and her 3 friends, a man should have in order to be the perfect man. They write this list during a girls’ night out full of alcohol. The list started pretty mild (with items like faithful, nice, honest, with a steady job) but after several drinks they started adding more, let’s say, physical stuff (if you know what I mean). The problems begin when the list goes public and caughts the attention of all of Detroit, including a disturbing co-worker that takes the list as a personal offense and decides to make them pay.
Jaine, the heroine, is a smart-mouth woman that hasn’t been lucky in the love department. She just bought her very first house and is having troubles with her neighbour, a tall rough-looking cop that she believes is a mean drunk. After a couple of weeks of disagreements they discover that they are equal partners and that they understand each other, with the sarcastic remarks and everything.
Our glorious neighbour is Detective Sam Donovan a tall, dark and dangerous kind of man who knows that Jaine is trouble on a pair of legs. But that doesn’t stop him when their relationship goes from hate-insulting to hot-insulting. His sense of humour is a perfect match for Jaine’s, like when he said:
"Honey, the only experts in PMS are men. That's why men are so good at fighting wars; they learned Escape and Evade at home.”
The dialogues between them are the best part of the book; they crack me up even when they are getting busy on the steamy scenes. Take this scene for example, when Jaine explains him that she has been engaged three times:
"He snorted. "They were probably scared.""Scared!" For some reason, that hurt, just a little. She felt her lower lip wobble. "I'm not that bad, am I?""Worse," he said cheerfully. "You're hell on wheels. You're just lucky I like hot rods"
Jaine and her friends have the same chemistry, their characters are credible and their relationship one that could make you envious. Every one of them has a POV at some point in the book and they are delivered in the right moment so you don’t get confused, on the contrary it helps you to relate more to their characters and what’s going on in their life.
Half way through the book the story stops being a contemporary romance to become more of a romantic suspense. After the murder of one of Jaine’s friends she starts to suspect that is all related to the “damn list” and with Sam’s help they try to discover the murderer. Everything gets more and more complicated but even with all the tension Howard pulls off insanely good moments that will boost the fun factor. Jaine’s sister is exactly like most big sisters are and her dad – who only has a brief but honorable moment-, is hilarious.
All of this is why I’m giving this book a perfect 5, my very first one, and I have to tell you that if you haven’t read Mr Perfect you are missing out on something big! Go and get yourself a copy of this book because I can guarantee that you will read it a lot!
Review by Marie
Sensuality: Mc Steamy
SynopsisWhat would make the perfect man?
That's the delicious topic heating up the proceedings at a certain table of professional women at their favorite restaurant, Ernie's, tonight: Mr. Perfect. What qualities would he have? Would he be tall, dark, and handsome? Caring and warmhearted -- or will just muscular do? Jaine Bright and her three girlfriends start off with the basics -- he'd be faithful and reliable, the responsible type, with a great sense of humor.
But as the conversation picks up momentum, so do the quartet's requirements for Mr. Perfect -- and they write down a tongue-in-cheek checklist that's both funny and racy. The next thing they know, the List, as it has come to be called, spreads like wildfire throughout their company and sizzles along e-mail lines. And it doesn't stop there: the List becomes an overnight sensation, grabbing the interest of local newspapers and television coverage. No one expected this avalanche of attention for something that began as a joke among friends. And the joke turns deadly serious when one of the four women is murdered...
The prime suspect in the case is the victim's boyfriend, who was one of a number of men who found the List sexist and offensive. But an impenetrable alibi gets him off the hook. Now, with the help of Jaine's neighbor, an unpredictable police detective, the puzzle must be solved -- and time is running out as a deadly stalker targets the three remaining friends. Now, knowing whom to trust and whom to love is a matter of survival -- as the dream of Mr. Perfect becomes a chilling nightmare.
Pocket Star (June 26, 2001)