Bachelor on the Prowl

Be My Baby Tonight

Can't Take My Eyes Off You

Come Near Me

Escapade

Indiscreet

Jessie's Expecting

The Kissing Game

Love to Love You Baby

The Sheikh's Secret Son

Someone to Love

Then Comes Marriage

This Must Be Love

Too Good to Be True

Waiting For You

 
This Canít Be Love
by Kasey Michaels
(Zebra, $6.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-8217-7119-1
****

If you enjoy Kasey Michaels, you will love this. If you enjoy current contemporary romances, you will enjoy this. If you are new to the genre, this is a good place to start. Michaels has written a sexy, fun romance with characters you will enjoy meeting.

This Canít Be Love is the story of Dominic Longstreet, famous Broadway producer, who along with his brother and cousin are a successful team. Thirty-nine year old Dom both works and plays hard, but now it is vacation time. Of course, he doesnít know the meaning of the word rest. So while his brother and wife are on their second honeymoon, he schedules some rehearsals on the family compound in Virginia. His real job for the three weeks is supposed to be to enjoy time with his brotherís children. Lizzie, age twelve, and Little Tony, age eight, are ordinary children and Dom has no clue how to interact with them on a long-term basis. So he sends them to Prestonís child care. The snag is that Prestonís closes in the summer for 2 weeks and now Dom is stuck with the kids.

Enter Margaret ďMollyĒ Applegate. Molly is a complication that Dom doesnít need, yet canít live without. Molly is an heiress who is built like a million dollars and lives each day as if it were her last. In a twist that makes sense but is too complicated to fully describe here, Molly agrees to act as the childrenís nanny for the two weeks Dom needs. But the attraction between the two is sizzling.

What makes this story fun and better than average is the depth to the characters. Molly is silly, childish, fun and a ball of fire on the outside. On the inside she is a mixed-up, insecure person in need of love and someone who will stick with her. Dom is perfect because a) he doesnít care about her money, as he has as much as she does and b) he isnít sure he wants any long-term relationship either. Then they both discover ďlong-termĒ doesnít sound so bad. Molly then has to work through her demons to accept the love Dom offers. He must work through his workaholic tendencies to accept her freedom-loving nature. They both give to and they both gain from the relationship.

The cast of supporting characters add more depth to the story. There is Lizzie and Little Tony, who act like children and enjoy the fun with Molly without being precocious. The opposite, of course, is child star Bethany and her stage mother Bertha. These two are overbearing and exaggerated for good purpose in the story. Another side story is the star couple Cynara and Derek. This is a nice addition and gives some meat to the story without being a major detraction from Molly and Domís romance.

My only problem with the story is the relatively slow pacing in the middle. It seems to bog down when the two characters are trying to get to know each other and while showing the magnitude of the problems Molly must face from her past so she can move on as an adult. Once she starts resolving her issues, the pace picks back up and the story ends with a great romantic scene.

This Canít Be Love

is a good addition to Kasey Michaelís list of tales. Enjoy it this spring.

--Shirley Lyons


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