Sunday, May 15, 2011
Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard
WHAT WOULD MAKE THE PERFECT MAN?
"That's the deliciously racy topic that Jaine Bright and her three girlfriends are pondering one night at their favorite after-hours hot spot: Mr. Perfect. Would he be tall, dark, and handsome? Caring and warmhearted -- or will just muscular do? As their conversation heats up, they concoct a tongue-in-cheek checklist that becomes an overnight sensation, spreading like wildfire at work and sizzling along e-mail lines. But what began as a joke among friends turns deadly serious when one of the four women is murdered....Turning to her neighbor, an unpredictable police detective, for help, Jaine must unmask a killer to save her friends---and herself. Now, knowing whom to trust and whom to love is a matter of survival -- as the dream of Mr. Perfect becomes a chilling nightmare."
(from the publisher)
Let me start off with a warning: don't pick up this book if you have a busy day ahead -- because I promise you, once you read the chilling prologue, you won't be able to put this book down until you've read the last page! It was so good! I had my nose stuck in the book all day long, and I was practically bumping into walls while I moved through my activities.
Jaine Bright is the fiesty, outspoken heroine of the story. At the age of thirty (with three failed engagements under her belt!), she's very proud of the fact that she's settling into her quaint new home in a lovely neighborhood. There's one big problem, however, that is marring her newfound domestic tranquility -- her next door neighbor is a surly, loud-mouthed jerk! Sam Donovan is unkempt, drives a car with a muffler that could wake up the dead, and comes in at odd hours during the night, depriving Jaine of a peaceful night's sleep. She is certain he is either the town drunk or a drug dealer, and it's just her luck he lives right next door to her! Their first few encounters end up in a shouting match, and Jaine is discouraged that this derelict is going to be a constant thorn in her side. Trust me, things get really interesting between these two! (wink, wink)
Meanwhile, Jaine and her three friends from work meet for their regular Friday night dinner and drinks. As usual, the conversation turns to men and relationships, and they begin joking around about what makes the perfect man. They are having such a good time laughing and deciding on their priorities, that one of them pulls out a pad and starts to take notes. Unfortunately, these notes that were supposed to be a private joke make their way into the public and become a local and national sensation! Although their names were not originally attached to the list (they were identified as A, B, C, and D), their identities are discovered and they are hounded by reporters from magazines, tv, and newspapers. Women are amused by the list, and men are annoyed at the physical attributes for the perfect man -- let's just say that most men would "come up short" in that department! The list has also angered a psychotic killer, and one by one the women's lives become a nightmare as the killer begins to stalk them and strike out to retaliate.
I won't spoil the twists and turns in the plot, but not everyone is as they seem. (I guessed the killer's identity but that did not detract from the enjoyment of the story as there were more surprises ahead that I didn't see coming). This is a really funny, sexy thriller with lots of fireworks and sizzling scenes with Jaine and her new love interest. My only minor complaint is that for someone who has had such a bad track record (three broken engagements), she moves awfully fast to commitment -- seems pretty risky to me! Overall, a great read, laugh-out-loud moments, and real page-turning suspense.
Title: Mr. Perfect
Author: Linda Howard
genre: contemporary thriller/romance