I'm as hard as nails on the outside. Scratch the surface and I'm as hard as nails on the inside. Impenetrable. Well, emotionally impenetrable, not the other. Not frigid. Technically, I guess, for want of a more user-friendly term, I'm a slapper.
Cas Perry's self-portrait is astute. Since her father deserted the family home when she was only seven, Cas has led a life "awash with cynicism, constraint and calculation". As she points out, the psychology isn't difficult to figure--to protect herself from being betrayed again, she "dumps before she's damaged." And there are plenty of men queuing up to be dumped--what with her glamorous job and "sexy, cool, flawless" looks, Cas normally has charge of the relationship reins, until she meets Darren. A breathtakingly beautiful tree-surgeon, with long gypsy hair and a set of teeth the Osmonds would be proud of, Darren looks as if he has just what it takes to smash through her tough-gal stance.
Game Over is a saucy twist on the twentysomething girl-meets-boy fiction that has bombarded our bookshops recently. Cas is an exhilaratingly unconventional female protagonist and it's refreshing to read a city-girl novel about a woman who is trying her hardest not to find Mr Right. That said, there's also a comforting predictability about her--just like the hero (yes male) in a Mills and Boon romance, it's inevitable that Cas will "submit" to love. The question is will Darren be interested when she does. Like Adele Parks' debut novel Playing Away, Game Over looks set to be another winner.--Jane Honey
About the Author
Adele Parks lives in West London. This is her second novel; her first, PLAYING AWAY, was published in March 2000.