It’s a Guy Thing by Cindi Myers
(Harl. Tempt. #902, $4.25, R) ISBN 0-373-69102-5
Cassie Carmichael has never quite figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. A champion ski racer in college who dropped out after her best friend Amy crashed, never to ski again, she’s tried a variety of things, none of which have really worked out, and she now works with her friend, Janna, in a coffee shop while she goes to massage therapy school. And her love life isn’t all that exciting either. She’s dated Bob for two years, but he treats her more like his “gofer” than anything else. When Cassie finds out that Bob is doing the books at a ski lodge all weekend, Janna persuades her to drive up and seduce him with champagne, strawberries and sexy lingerie. After Janna drops her at the hotel, Cassie finds Bob’s room, only to discover that he is spending the weekend with his boss’s sexy daughter. There’s a blizzard, she has no way back to Boulder, and the hotel is completely booked up. She feels foolish and has no idea what to do.

Meanwhile, incredibly hunky Guy Walters, Amy’s older brother, comes into the coffee shop every morning just to have a chance to talk to Cassie, even though he’s found out she’s involved with someone. She’s changed a lot since college, and he is more than intrigued, especially since she (unlike all the other women in Boulder, CO) doesn’t seem all that impressed with either his looks or his personality. He has no idea she’s had a mad crush on him since high school, and the reason she doesn’t say much to him is that her brain turns to mush every time he walks in. His best friends from high school and college are all married except him, and he’s beginning to wonder what’s wrong with him. Deciding to take the weekend off to think, he ends up in the same ski lodge, just down the hall from Bob.

When Cassie realizes Guy is there, she decides that she will try seducing him, since she’s always wanted him anyway. On her way to his room, she runs into Bob, breaks up with him, and invites herself into Guy’s room, and offers him champagne. But after a torrid night of the best sex either of them has ever had, she chickens out and calls Janna to come get her before Guy wakes up. Janna can’t believe that Cassie has dumped her dream man, or that she continues to refuse to see him. And like a bad penny, Bob shows up again, once he realizes whom Cassie spent the night with. The competition between the two men hilariously highlights Bob’s character as a slimy and conceited jerk, while Guy emerges as a sweet and romantic man who has fallen head over heels for Cassie, and will do whatever he has to to win her, and help her believe in herself and his love.

While not particularly complex, It’s a Guy Thing is amusing in its portrayal of the mishaps of male-female relationships. The heroine who is afraid she is too ordinary on the first page, and too cowardly and uncertain to face Guy after their first night together, evolves into a stronger and more assertive person by the resolution. Guy is the quintessential hero, but almost too perfect to be true, or to be really attracted to Cassie. Bob The Jerk, even though he’s little more than a stereotype included to make Guy look even more sensitive and romantic and provide a few chuckles, gets his richly deserved comeuppance. The setting is realistic, the action moves along with occasional touches of humor to relieve the predictability of the plot. It’s a slight but satisfying read, with the added benefit that the cover models do look like Cassie and Guy might.

--Joni Richards Bodart

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