I Dream of You

Wanted: One Perfect Man

You're the One

 
Wanted: One Sexy Night
by Judi McCoy
(Avon, $5.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-06-077420-2
**
There's a problem on a distant planet, somewhere in the universe. Actually, it's the men who have the problem. Of a sexual and reproductive nature, if you get what I mean. Which means the women also have a problem. Fortunately, the elders have a solution. As anyone who has read the first two books in the Starlight trilogy will know, they send nine women to Earth. Their mission: mate with a designated male, get pregnant and return to rejuvenate the race.

Groomed for leadership, logical Mira loses no time hunting down her designated match and partaking in all those pleasures the women on her planet have been long denied. She's a bit worried about deceiving the clueless earthling, but he did sell his sperm in college so he can't be too concerned about any offspring he might father. When she discovers what his job is, she feels even more obliged to keep her secret.

Lucas Diamond works at the Division of Interstellar Activity, a top-secret government agency that investigates every hint of extraterrestrial landings. A firm believer in other life forms, he wants to protect them from warmongering generals. But he also has to ensure the safety of Earth and its inhabitants. When he begins to suspect that the beautiful woman who propositioned him is more humanoid than human, he is determined to obtain her surrender.

Lucas may report directly to the President of the United States, but he is not exactly the brightest of romance heroes. Not only does he invite an unknown woman into his room where they engage, more than once, in unprotected sex, he also brings top-secret government files home and leaves them in an unlocked briefcase. It takes him a while to figure out who Mira is and what she is capable of. Even then, he doesn't immediately protect himself from her psychic tricks. Every time he turns his back or closes his eyes, she escapes. Thank goodness she's only after his sperm, or heaven help us earthlings!

Mira may be a Xena clone, but she isn't much better at the intergalactic spy business than Lucas. She can't decide where her loyalties lie: with her people or with the man who has unknowingly fathered her baby. Every time she gets away from Lucas to head for her spaceship, she returns to do the right thing.

    All this indecision and incompetence may be a measure of the lead characters' internal conflicts, personal honor and mutual respect, but after the third such incident, it just struck me as tedious. What kind of heroes and heroines makes the same mistakes over and over again without advancing the plot?

At least, Lucas and Mira have their moments. This is not the case of the host of secondary characters who are supposed to provide a chuckle or two - supposed being the key word. The worst is the clichéd small towner who thinks his ancient truck Sadie is better than a Hummer (come to think of it, given gas prices, he may be right). Then, there's the military bad guy who hopes either to blast extraterrestrials out of the universe or sell them to the highest bidder (now, where have I heard that before?). The older couple who handles things in the office while Mira and Lucas are on the run are slightly more original, but they're hardly more convincing. If their mating dance and professional competence is meant to console middle-aged readers, I think I'll just stick with Archie Bunker.

While Wanted: One Sexy Night stands on its own, the two couples who featured in the earlier books of the Starlight Trilogy make an appearance in the closing pages. Their fans might be curious to know where these inter-planetary couples elect to reside. The rest should consider renting Mars Attacks>Men In Black. They might be weak on romance, but at least they're strong on laughs and originality.  

--Mary Benn


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