Saturday, February 24, 2007

Scoop by Rene Gutteridge

I guess by now you know I’m a certified fan, and after reading so many Rene Gutteridge books in a row, I’m seeing the funny side of everything. Which is a good thing, I think.

Rene has a knack for coming up with hilarious premises, and she really delivers with the set up of this novel. The heroine is young Hayden Hazard, whose parents die in a hot tub while on vacation. As one of Hayden’s siblings put it, “We don’t really understand it ourselves, but it boils down to an overly ambitious serenading guitar player, a hundred-foot extension cord, and a rack of mood lighting.” (Okay, if you’re not laughing, you must not be breathing.) Hayden and her six siblings are left with the Hazard Clown business, where the whole family for years have worked as clowns. When the oldest sibling announces that he has sold the business, Hayden (whose severe clown phobia has relegated her to office manager) realizes she will have to do something else with her life.

Cut to several years later. Hayden is working as an assistant at a TV news station. When the stressed-out producer is left with no female anchor on the first night of sweeps week, he decides to put his cool and articulate assistant, Hayden, in the anchor chair. The sparks fly in all directions when another news station gets wind of the missing anchor story, the producer’s wife gets fed up with her marriage, and people’s true feelings for their fellow workers are revealed.

This is a fun, funny story, but the best thing about it, as with all Rene Gutteridge’s books, is that it makes you think. You will think about how—or if—you share your faith with non-Christians. Is sharing your faith in the workplace taboo? Should it be? This book is well worth your time. I highly recommend it.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy

Realistic and honest, this romantic comedy/adventure story is laugh-out-loud funny. Sophie is capable of taking care of herself and her four young daughters, and has been forced to do so by a largely-absent husband. When he is killed by vigilantes, she does what she must to survive.

Enter her husband’s long-lost twin brother, Clay, who sees himself as the one who has to save these defenseless females from the wild, dangerous Texas frontier.

The contrast—and conflict—between the way a woman thinks and the way a man thinks is just the beginning of the hilarity. But I felt a little sorry for Clay as he muddles through his new life with five females, after being raised by a single father among a bunch of rough mountain men. The tears, the giggles, the squeals and screams. It’s enough to make a grown man—run for it. Yet Clay is head over heels for his girls, at first thinking he has died and been surrounded by heavenly angels with golden blond hair.

I laughed myself silly reading this book. I even learned some things. Namely, that it is a man’s nature to want to protect, provide, and give orders to the women he loves, and they’d better like it. When Clay decides he has finally figured out how to deal with his woman, you’ll die laughing. Men, beware. This book may be a little too honest for you. As for the other half of the human species, you’ll always remember reading in black and white what you’ve been thinking all these years but were too afraid to say out loud. Too funny. I highly recommend it.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Reluctant Burglar by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

The Reluctant Burglar by Jill Elizabeth Nelson reminded me of my favorite detective shows, Moonlighting and Remington Steele. Remember those?

Desiree Jacobs helps run a museum security company started by her father. When her father is murdered, a police detective—cute Italian, Tony Lucano—shows up to investigate, and it’s no secret that he believes her father was involved in something shady. But Desiree could never believe her father would do anything illegal, and she finds it hard to hide her resentment toward the man who seems bent on sullying her father’s good name.

The plot thickens when it seems that her father really did steal several priceless paintings. Desiree must somehow return the stolen paintings to their rightful owners and get to the bottom of what happened to her father before his killers get to her, all while fighting her attraction to the oh-so-irresistible Officer Lucano.

This book is a fun romp. Don’t miss it if you like light-hearted intrigue and romance.