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Everday, Average Jones
by Suzanne Brockmann
(Silh.Int.Mom. # 872, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-07872-2
A young American woman is taken hostage by mideastern terrorists. Navy SEALs are sent in to rescue her and two other captives. The female hostage, thrust into a life-threatening nightmare and utterly dependent on her rescuer, finds herself attracted to this near superman. The result is mad passionate lovemaking. The result of the lovemaking is an unexpected pregnancy.

Does any of this sound familiar?

In fairness to Suzanne Brockmann, the plot of Everyday, Average Jones diverges from its earlier incarnation almost immediately. Still, I must ask, "What is it about these SEALs?" Until I started reading romance, I'd never even heard of them. Now, they pop up all over the place. I guess they have become the epitome of the alpha male domesticated by the love of the right woman.

The heroine of Everyday, Average Jones is Melody Evans. Our SEAL is Harlan (known as Cowboy) Jones. The attraction between the two is hot, hotter, hottest. Indeed, so intense is the chemistry between the two that they manage to "do it" in the bathroom of a 747 on the way to Paris. Since neither had time to take care of protection, this moment of passion leads to the pregnancy.

Melody had ended the relationship after Paris. She believed it was based on physical attraction heightened by danger and dependency. She did not believe that Cowboy was a good bet for a long term commitment. Even when she discovered her pregnancy, she kept it from him. Then, seven months later, Cowboy walks back into her life.

Cowboy had not been able to forget Melody. All other women paled in comparison. So, when he returns to the east coast, he calls, only to be once again politely told to get lost. Instead, he visits Melody's hometown and the cat is out of the bag. Of course, Cowboy immediately offers to marry Melody. But she turns him down. She wants an ordinary, average guy as a husband, not a man who lives for danger.

Thus, both the title and the premise of the book: Cowboy sets out to prove to Melody that he is, at heart, an ordinary, average guy. Fat chance.

Cowboy is the perfect alpha hero, but with the requisite unhappy past that makes him even more leery about marriage. But he is determined that his child will have a father.

The heroine is more problematic. The reason that this book is rated as "acceptable" rather than "recommended" rests on my response to Melody. I understood her reasoning but couldn't credit it. The lady did protest too much.

Brockmann surrounds her hero and heroine with an interesting cast of secondary characters including the other SEALs, Melody's sister Brittany, and the troubled young boy that Cowboy, Melody and Brittany take into their hearts. I do see possibilities for even more books in the "Tall, Dark & Dangerous" series. And I plan to buy and read the next books.

Everyday, Average Jones provides an somewhat original twist on the ever present "unexpected pregnancy" plot. If you like this storyline, you might well enjoy this book.

--Jean Mason

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