Honeymoon Hoax by Lisa Plumley
(Precious Gem #129, $1.96, PG) ISBN 0-8217-6077-7
****
Books like Honeymoon Hoax make reviewing so much fun. I'm not sure that I would have read this book if not for getting it as a review copy. That would have been my misfortune and loss. This is a delightful book, and I'm recommending it with a great big grin on my face.

Stacey Ames is a good person. She's agreed to help her newly married cousin get out of a jam. It seems that a well-meaning aunt has given the honeymoon couple a trip to Las Vegas, not aware that the couple has purchased a trip to the Bahamas. So Stacey is in Las Vegas, pretending to be her cousin. She's in the honeymoon suite, sans a groom. Until . . .

Dylan Davis knows that Stacey Ames will be in Las Vegas. Following some well-meaning but wrong advice, Dylan thought that recently divorced Stacey would not want to get serious so soon after her divorce. He broke off the relationship rather than risk getting his heart broken. He now knows that it was a stupid move and hopes to show Stacey that he's serious . . . and in love with her.

Humor has to be hard to write, or else there would be more of it on the book shelves. There aren't too many authors known for their consistent humor. Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jennifer Crusie come to mind. Remember the name Lisa Plumley. Her humor is natural, never forced or contrived. If I wasn't grinning, I was smiling. I think that I probably had a goofy look on my face most of the time I read Honeymoon Hoax.

Stacey and Dylan are multi-layered, fleshed out characters, which is pretty amazing considering the page constraints. Stacey is an adorable klutz, who does things like accidentally breaking a sachet packet of aromatherapy powder on Dylan's head. This happens after she's impaled him with rose thorns as she hugs him while holding a bouquet of roses.

Stacey, before Dylan arrives on the scene, is actually enjoying her stay. "Now here she was, chest-deep in a bubble bath foamy enough to get lost in, in a hotel suite bigger than the whole closet-sized apartment she lived in back in Phoenix. You know, she thought, sculpting herself a new pair of forty-four double-d's with the suds, this might actually be fun. A little relaxation, a little honeymooner champagne..."

Those of you who like humor, clever dialog, light heartedness and basic goodness in your characters need to plan a book buying trip to Wal-Mart. Lisa Plumley packs a punch in a small amount of pages. My guess is that her future is bright. I know that I'm remembering her name and am looking forward to her next books.

--Linda Mowery


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