Nobody Does It Better
Paris Sommers is a woman with a secret. To the rest of the world, she is the manager of best-selling author Montgomery Alexander, a man renowned for his thrilling cloak-and-dagger adventure novels. However, in reality, Alexander is nothing but another invention of Sommers’ fertile imagination, a creation she has fallen for à la Pygmalion. Then she meets his virtual double. Devin O’Malley is the owner of a small but thriving pub, an ex-con man who is trying to make good. Unfortunately, his father owes $20,000 worth of gambling debts, debts that Devin has offered to cover. When Devin inadvertently finds out Paris’s secret, he finds himself facing two options: blackmail the beautiful and quirky author about her secret identity, or pose as the suave Alexander himself. And we all know what the more fun option is, don’t we?
The two words that best describe this are “fun romp.” The plot isn’t exactly the best, but it’s so darned entertaining that you won’t particularly care. First of all, it’s difficult to believe that Paris manages to pull off the deception for so long, particularly in these times and considering Alexander’s best-selling status. Surely some brainy, geeky fan could have figured out the pretense long before. The ending is also almost too neat, too pat: all the conflicts are resolved, all loose ends are tied in a pretty bow. But despite all of this, Nobody Does It Better is fun to read, in a Remington Steele sort of way. Kenner has a way with dialogue; her one-liners are funny and fresh. Her comic timing is beautiful, almost Jennifer Crusie-esque. Italics are slightly overused in the book, but they’re a very minor distraction. My disbelief was happily suspended while I read the book, and eye-rolling was kept to a bare minimum.
The characters are tried-and-true romance novel types. Paris is a character we all know well, the smart, independent woman who still feels the need to please a powerful, distinguished parent (in this case, her father, a distinguished judge). She lives a little too much in denial for comfort, but to her credit, she is likable and generally a sympathetic character. Devin is another popular character in romance, the charming rogue with a heart of gold. Of the two, he is perhaps the one who is more fleshed-out and proves to have more depth. You have to respect a man who has the grit to start up his own pub from scratch. But he’s no dried-up, bitter financier/tycoon (another beloved romance novel type); he’s fun and sexy. How can you not love a man who can look good in a tux and lounge around in comfy sweats, as the situation demands?
A major part of what makes this novel so enjoyable is the distinct feeling you get that the two characters like each other. The issues and conflicts certainly exist, but none of them are blown out of proportion or turned into the dreaded Big Misunderstanding. The sexual chemistry between Paris and Devin is also skillfully done. Some of the shenanigans the two of them engage in are certainly imaginative and a lot of fun to read, although the 5-times-in-one-night sex marathon bit did make my eyes roll a little.
Overall, Nobody Does It Better is a fast, sexy, entertaining read. It’s pretty much perfect if you’re looking for a couple of hours of relaxation and distraction.