Dear Love Doctor
Dear Love Doctor,
I have a dilemma about a new encounter. Sure the packaging is great, suggesting a humorous, charming few hours, but when it gets down to it all I’m left with is a few nice words sandwiching a lot of sex. Talk of sex, thoughts of sex, and then the sex, sex, sex. Why can’t people get to know each other without lust dominating every thought? Sure after the sex there may be a little love, but it’s too little too late. Am I looking for love in all the wrong places?
Signed, Losing patience.
Daffodil “Daffy” Landry is a society deb from a dysfunctional, wealthy family. She’s got a checkered past when it comes to men and is rumored to be a heartless tease. She works as a society photographer and advice columnist – The Love Doctor (sounds like something from a seventies radio show). Hunter James is the illegitimate son of a single mother, grew up poor and now is the handsome CEO of a thriving computer company. Hmm…have these characters migrated from other books in Avon’s line?
When one of Hunter’s many girlfriends gets a reply from The Love Doctor that suggests he is incapable of commitment, he flies into a snit and vows to uncover the woman’s identity and make her pay for her insults. Though why he would find this so insulting and egregious is beyond understanding. It’s not like he’s interested in the woman who wrote the letter in the first place. Perhaps the author needed a reason for Hunter and Daffy to meet? Could be. Once they meet, Hunter’s quest seems to disappear until the last few pages of the book and Daffy barely spends a moment working on a column.
Though the two meet because of the column Daffy wrote, Hunter does not know she’s the writer of said column. All he knows is that he’s strongly attracted to her. Because of her reputation he’s determined to get the sex he’s craving, but not to actually fall in love. Daffy’s lust for Hunter equals his, but she knows that if they have sex she mustn’t fall in love. Frankly, for the first three-quarters of this book, if these two aren’t thinking about sex, then they’re talking about sex, or having sex. Every situation the two get into is set up just so that they’ll end up doing one or all of three of these. Example: Daffy sleeps in the nude, she’s got a date with Hunter, oversleeps and throws on a see-through peignoir to answer the door. Guess what happens.
Somehow these two decide they’re in love and that actually leads to an interesting conflict for the last quarter of the story. Daffy’s fear of commitment is real and understandable. When Hunter pushes for more from her, she steps back. I was finally interested in this relationship and this could have been the meat of the book. But because it comes so late, it doesn’t get the time and space it needs and is resolved in an unsatisfying flash.
Sex in a romance is not a problem for this reader, but when it replaces relationship development, character development, and conflict in said relationship,I’m bound to comment. I’m not sure where this problem came from. North’s earlier book Bedroom Eyes, though not a DIK for me, relied more on the characters and plot to drive the book and was therefore a far more interesting read. If you want to try this author perhaps that one is a better place to start.