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Paris or Bust! Mass Market Paperback – 1 Apr 2003
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Romancing Roxanne? by Kate Hoffman: A cynical and confirmed bachelor is set up with a divorced mother of 4 children, by his father, who is the owner of the radio station promoting the Mother of the Year contest. Although four children under the age of 6 are understandably a handful, they are unrealistically well-behaved and accepting of this new man in their mother's life. He abandons his single-forever idology for this ready-made family without very much of a struggle. The only conflict is that at first he thinks she is greedily after his father. Once it's established that she is not interested in his father nor his money, he is concerned that his father has fallen for this woman...also unfounded and easily resolved.
Daddy Come Lately by Jacqueline Diamond: The owner of the magazine sponsoring the contest notices that one of the entrants is from his hometown and is someone he dated about six years ago. She is also the single mom of 5 year old twins who look just like him. He pays her a visit, and is unrealistically understanding about why she didn't tell him that she was pregnant with his children when he left Texas for California, and then proceeded to raise his children without him. She quite easily lets him back into her life, and the children accept the sudden appearance of their father quite well. The only conflict they deal with is some small-town gossip, and where to establish their home once they unite as a family.
Love is in the Air by Jill Shalvis: While the above stories were as much about family-love as they were about romantic love, this last novella focused more heavily on the man-woman relationship. Kylie didn't have any children, yet she was overburdened with responsibilities - maintaining her father's private airport after his death, and taking care of her flaky mother and grandmother. She was way too stubborn and feisty for her own good, and created unnecessary conflict in continually pushing away the man who cared about her. It was a painful struggle for her to eventually come to the realization that she deosn't have to bear all the burdens on her own shoulders, and she needed to let people who loved her in to help her. This was my least favorite of the three stories.
"Finalist #1 is Roxanne Perry, a single mother of four, who isn't positive wealthy entrepreneur Christopher "Kit" Lawrence is right for her, but his matchmaking father certainly thinks so!
"Callum Fox had no idea he was a dad, but after some quick calculating he decides to pay finalist #2, single mom -- and former lover -- Jody Reilly, a visit she won't soon forget!
"Kylie Birmingham has no time for frivolous activities like traveling and romance. But her meddling mom, finalist #3, has plans. She thinks pilot Wade McKinnon is perfect for Kylie, and everyone knows Mom is always right!
"Falling in love has never been this exciting ... or unpredictable!"
I was really looking forward to reading this collection, which contains authors by three authors I regularly read. I really enjoyed Hoffmann's "Mighty Quinns" series, and Diamond's Nowhere Junction collaborations are some of the funniest "Duets" I've read. Shalvis usually manages both sex and spark in her books.
Unfortunately, I found the Hoffmann and Diamond contributions to be somewhat ho-hum. It's a challenge to write for a collaboration like this -- you have to build great characters and a decent romance in a limited amount of time. Unfortunately, "Romancing Roxanne" and "Daddy Come Lately" just didn't provide enough of either. Both failed to provide enough humor or tension to really fulfill me as a reader.
Shalvis' contribution, "Love is in the Air" is by the far the best of the three. The tension between the characters is great, the secondary characters are a hoot, and the romance builds satisfactorily (or as satisfactorily as you can get in a novella). It's a snappy, fun read with some characters that will stick with you.
I'm keeping this for "Air," but otherwise it didn't meet my (admittedly high) expectations.