Monday, March 7, 2011

Review of Caught On Camera by Meg Maguire

Caught On Camera by Meg Maguire

I don't like contemporary romance.

I don't like blonds.

I don't particularly like Harlequins (unless I'm reading a "Sheikh" book as a joke).

So, it was with quite a bit of trepidation that I accepted an ARC from Meg Maguire. It's a Harly. With a blond guy. And it's a contemporary romance.

And then I looked at the cover.

Now, most of the time, a cheesy cover is something that would make an author cringe. Not a good thing. But in this case, the cover made me smile. First of all, there is a hilarious sub-title on the front cover that says "This show is getting x-rated"...hee hee! Then, you notice the camera strategically placed over the dude's crotch. And finally, the hero himself...he looks so damned naughty, with his shirt hanging open and a very wicked look on his face. How I love this cover! I quickly changed my tune about reading this book and couldn't wait to dive in.

Well, what I didn't expect was how addictive a writer Meg Maguire is. I literally could not stop reading this book. I ignored my children as they pleaded with me to serve them food and beverages. I ignored my weenie dog who was whining to go outside to do her business. I refused to do the laundry, pay the bills, or answer the phone. I inhaled this book from cover to cover.

My conclusion: Harlequin is very, very lucky to have Meg Maguire as an author. She took a somewhat hum-drum concept (a wilderness survival guide and his sidekick PA stuck in the woods during a snowstorm) and transformed it into an addictive bit o' romance crack. I usually get pissed off when there's too much deep POV from the characters, but Maguire gives the reader the perfect amount of we get to know the characters and their motivations. Both the hero (a sexy, scruffy Australian survival host) and the heroine (a Boston gal who has fled her past and relocated to California) are fully-formed, intriguing characters. The sexual tension in this book is fabulous. The love scenes are just the way I like them....intense, very sexy, and emotional. The pacing is absolute perfection, which is why the book was so addictive. As the story escalates, and the romance escalates, the reader gets sucked deeper and deeper into the narrative. Most excellent!

What I usually don't like about contemporary romance is that it's just too close to real life. I read romance for escape, not to be reminded of things like financial anxiety, job stress, or sucky relatives. But Caught On Camera included topics like survival guilt and family neglect with just the right touch. Maguire shows us what makes her characters tick, but doesn't overdo it. And best of all, she shows us how the love, affection, trust and partnership between these two characters make them both better people. That's what romance is all about.

I really, really loved this damned book.

Grade: A

Looking forward to my next Meg Maguire fix,