Love Me Tender
Who wouldn’t want a fairy godmother or father? Someone to make your dreams come true? Throw in a little romance and you’ve got the guaranteed Cinderella formula, right? Wrong.
I knew from the moment I read the back cover of Love Me Tender that I might be in for a rough read. First the narrator suggests that PMS might be the reason why the heroine isn’t always a princess. And then there is the fairy godfather – a sequined, jumpsuit-wearing, Elvis wannabe named Elmer Presley (no one in the book finds this strange, by the way). I was already rolling my eyes before I finished the first chapter.
Prince Perico Tomas (known as PT) runs a company that makes ladies shoes. Cynthia Sullivan, known as “the Shark” of Wall Street, claims to have gotten a corn from one of his products and begins picketing outside his hotel – on crutches. She’s completely unlikable, but he thinks she’s a real babe. He also has two wicked step-sisters named Naomi and Ruth. Anyone up for a cheesy biblical reference?
It doesn’t seem to get any better either. The hero’s name – PT – made me think of PT Barnum, which was a most fitting comparison since the entire book seemed to be a circus. Once in a while I would find some semblance of normality, but then the book would tumble right back into Monty Python territory again – not good for a romance.
The sex was hot, but made greasy by PT’s almost “Rico Suave” attitude. He made my flesh crawl. His vocabulary was studded with demeaning words like “Chick” and “Babe”. I think he was supposed to be comedic, but he came across as just plain dumb. Cynthia was a barracuda throughout the story. She became more sympathetic at the end, but by then I didn’t care what happened to her. She went through so much trouble blaming PT for her stupid corn and then finally admitted that Elmer gave it to her to start off her Cinderella transformation. She was completely unrepentant about the fact that she could have done serious damage to PT’s career. How could he even be attracted to such a woman you ask? Because she’s a babe.
Sandra Hill has a definite flair for humor, but she goes overboard with this novel. It’s like Dumb and Dumber with a happily ever after ending. The genuine funny bits are overshadowed by bad puns and slapstick humor that comes dangerously close to insulting the reader. Most of the book reads like a very bad farce. By the time Hill gets serious, it doesn’t seem to fit the rest of the book. And when the sweet, fairytale ending arrived, I didn’t care what happened to PT and Cindy. I just wanted the book to end.