Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie: Quinn McKenzie is dating the world’s nicest guy, she has a good job as a high school art teacher, she’s surrounded by family and friends who rely on her, and she’s bored to the point of insanity. But when Quinn decides to change her life by adopting a stray dog over everyone’s objections, everything begins to spiral out of control. Now she’s coping with dognapping, breaking and entering, seduction, sabotage, stalking, more secrets than she really wants to know, and two men who are suddenly crazy . . . for her.
"The world's nicest guy" turns out to be a psychotic stalker and Quinn turns out to be a non-too-bright wimp. This story was a cross between The Three Stooges and Fatal Attraction - and if somehow that sounds like a good mix, I haven't adequately described it. I did finish listening just to be sure that the happy ending came through - and it did.
Ask Again Later by Jill A. Davis: Emily has a tendency to live with one foot out the door. For her, the best thing about a family crisis is the excuse to cut and run. When her mother dramatically announces they've found a lump, Emily gladly takes a rain check on life to be by her mother's side, leaving behind her career, her boyfriend, and those pesky, unanswerable questions about who she is and what she's doing with her life. One evening, Emily opens the door, quite literally, to find her past staring her in the face. How do you forge a relationship with the father who left when you were five years old? As Emily attempts to find balance on the emotional seesaw of her life, with the help of two hopeful suitors and her Park Avenue Princess sister, she takes a no-risk job as a receptionist at her father's law firm and slowly gets to know the man she once pretended was dead.
Ditto! Different situation, different names, same personality, same ending.
So, I'm swearing off romances. Life's too short to read mediocre books and I'm tired of listening to myself whine after I do. I don't usually make New Year Resolutions, but here goes - 2012 will be the year of deeper reading. Don't get carried away, I'm never going to completely abandon thrillers and cozy mysteries - occasionally you run across one that is exceptional - but I resolve to keep the "fluff" to a minimum.
*In case you're too young to remember, there used to be a TV show called Love: American Style which was a series of short, silly sketches about, obviously, love and romance.