Almost a Lady

Callie's Convict

Cinnamon & Roses

A Promise of Roses

Tangled Up in Love

Walker's Widow

 
Loves Me, Loves Me Knot
by Heidi Betts
(St Martin's, $6.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-312-94672-4
***
Loves Me, Loves Me Knot is one of a series of book involving the members of a Cleveland knitting circle. One of the members, Charlotte Langan, owns a magic spinning wheel. Yarn spun on it can "bring two people together for their very own happy ever after." She has already used it in a previous book, entitled Tangled Up In Love, with the result that formerly feuding newspaper columnists are now madly in love.

So Charlotte spins a skein of purple yarn and gives it to her niece Jenna, who seems depressed ever since her divorce from undercover cop Gage Morgan.

If this is too twee for your tastes, don't despair, but read on.

Jenna's BFFs, Ronnie (the newspaper columnist) and Grace (a local tv personality) are in love with, respectively, Dylan (a sports columnist) and Zack (a hockey star), both of whom have gone to Columbus for a game. So the three women get together for a Girl's Night of Mexican food and tequila.Jenna confesses that she desperately wants a baby, but she doesn't want anyone other than Gage to be the father of that baby.

They come up with one of those cunning plans that seem brilliant after three pitchers of margaritas: Jenna will lure Gage to the house under pretence of having a plumbing emergency, ply him with drugged beer and then, once he passes out, tie him to the bed and use him to get herself pregnant.

While Jenna is busy with Gage, her accomplices decide to leave town for a few days. As they put it,

"It was one thing to manipulate events and take some liberties with a man's free will when it came to sex, but it was a whole other thing to stick around and wait for The Wrath of Gage to fall upon them".

They drive to Columbus to surprise their men. However, Grace gets the surprise when she finds Zack with a 'puck-bunny" in his bed. She freaks out completely; as soon as she can get back to Cleveland she trashes his apartment, smashes his beloved Hummer with a baseball bat and steals his equally beloved dog. She then treats her TV audience to a diatribe about "her heartfelt desire for certain parts of Zack's anatomy to shrivel up and fall off." (She is being set up to be the heroine of the next book in the series, which will be entitled Knock Me For A Loop.)

Back at Jenna's bedroom, Gage definitely doesn't mind the sex, although, as he points out, technically it's rape; he doesn’t even mind being tied to the bed – much - but being used for stud service against his will really irks him. The two of them divorced when Gage decided that he didn't want kids, ever. His undercover work brought him into contact with so much of the seamy side of life that he's afraid to bring kids into such a world.

Gage moves in with Jenna, telling her that he's not letting her out of his sight until he knows whether or not she's pregnant. Gage and Jenna are still in love/lust with each other, so all they really need is to talk through their problems. The chain of events won’t surprise any experienced romance readers. However, this is an agreeable read, written in a bright, bouncy style which is frequently funny. The characters are generally likeable, although Grace's Woman Scorned is over the top. If you like hot sex, there is plenty of that. To sum up, not a great book but an agreeable way to spend some time and money.

Oh yes, the magic spinning wheel:  if one is of a severely rational bent, it is possible to argue that it doesn't actually play any part in the plot.  Dear Old Charlotte just took her granny's bedtime stories too literally.  Even Charlotte has her doubts about the magic at one point. Although, to be fair, Jenna did use that purple yarn to tie one of Gage's wrists.

--Sandra Wise


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