Blame it on Cupid
I don’t like characters who are silly airheads – not in real life and definitely not in books – unless the author of the book is Jennifer Greene. Greene can take a character who otherwise would be exasperating and make her endearing. The heroine of Blame it on Cupid, Merry Olsen, is a classic Jennifer Greene heroine and I loved her to pieces.
Merry Olsen and Charlie Ross met when his marriage was breaking up and immediately formed a bond – not a romantic bond, but one of deep friendship. One evening they made a promise and even wrote it on a cocktail napkin, that if anything happened to him, she would take care of his child Charlene, and if she ever had children, he’d do the same for her.
When Merry hears of Charlie’s death, she quits her job, piles her stuff into her Mini-Cooper and takes off for Virginia intending to fulfill her promise to Charlie. Merry expects to find a sweet little 11-year-old girl to pet and spoil, but Charlene is something else. Charlene is a super brilliant math wiz and not into girly stuff at all. Charlene tries to keep her father’s spirit alive by wearing his old military fatigues and wearing her hair in a buzz cut – and she insists on being called Charlie.
The next door neighbor is Jack Mackinnon, a divorced father of twin boys. Jack sees Merry crying on her back porch – overwhelmed by the responsibility that she has taken on and goes over to comfort her. He’s overwhelmed by Merry – at first he thinks she is a disorganized ditz, but as time goes on, he warms to the love she shares with Charlene, and wishes for that love to encompass him as well.
There aren’t too many romance writers who have a very distinctive writing style, but Jennifer Greene is one of them. I have been glomming her novels for some time now, and have enjoyed each and every one of them. She can make the most unlikely situations seem plausible, and the most eccentric characters seem real and likeable.
Merry is, at first glance, a total silly ditz. She’s run from responsibility all her life, forgets to fill the car with gas, gets lost in a closet and has no idea about the minutiae of everyday living. However, Merry understands herself very well and why she is the way she is. The book begins at a point when Merry has decided that it’s time to grow up, commit, and become an adult. It takes her a while – but Merry has a big heart full of love and at the end of the book, she’s begun to outgrow her airhead ways.
Jack is a cryptographer. He’s settled, logical, dates occasionally, and has settled into a comfortable groove. Jack is totally bowled over by his breezy neighbor. Their relationship at one point is likened to a rottweiler and a kitten, which sums it up quite well. Jack has a strong desire to protect Merry, he’s bemused by her, and finally falls totally in love. His relationship with his sons is very well depicted as is his fatherly relationship with Charlene.
Blame It On Cupid is filled with delightful scenes and characters, but it has its serious moments as well. I don’t want to spoil it, but Jennifer Greene explores how explosive and sometimes dangerous, sex can be to an adolescent when one of Jack’s sons falls into a relationship with a young woman and he thinks it’s love.
I hope this book, the first romance I’ve read for 2007, is a good omen. Jennifer Greene is that rare author who is incapable of writing a bad book, and this one is a delight. I had the best time reading it, and I’ll bet you will too.