Everythingís Coming Up Rosie
by Kasey Michaels
(HQN, $6.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-77127-4
**
Successful architect Doug Llewellyn has recently hit the forty mark. He is bored with his job, bored with women, and bored with his playboy ways. He meets Rosie Kilgannon at a week-long family wedding, and suddenly he is no longer bored. Now itís my turn.

At thirty-five, Rosie is much older than Dougís usual fling. Still, her spontaneity and impulsiveness win him over. She reciprocates his interest, and Doug and Rosie quickly fall in like and lust with each other. This would be a good thing if romantic tension were maintained by other means. Unfortunately, Rosie and Doug donít have much else keeping them apart, so there isnít much conflict. When a tiny intimation of one crops up close to the end, it is so forced and contrived, it should have been omitted.

What conflict there is comes from the non-romance plot and specifically from the goals Doug and Rosie set themselves: straighten out this mess of a wedding. They immediately see that the bride isnít in love with the groom. They also know that Lili-bethís mother is too preoccupied with pulling off the social event of the decade to notice. The fact that Bettie is pursuing other interests and has her own marital problems doesnít help. So Doug and Rosie happily step in.

They quickly sense that the brideís childhood friend is in love with her, but is much too wet behind his ears to tell her. In fact, Delwood has volunteered to be the best man to help her out. Heís also offered to trap squirrels and drop them off at an animal shelter so that they wonít be decimated with B-B guns. I get the friendly spirit; I get the sensitive soul; but I donít get why he dresses up in a goofy outfit. If he wants to protect himself from rabies, then maybe he should have re-thought his concern for the furry creaturesí plight. Dullwood, as he should have been named, is one knight in shining armor who needs all the help he can get.

Not that I cared. Given that both he and his beloved are blander than plain yogurt, neither get much sympathy from me. I quickly lost all interest in their story. The groomís behavior doesn't help. Itís so glaringly suspicious he is practically wandering around with a giant ďbad guyĒ sign above his head. This makes it hard to credit Rosie and Doug with profound insights into human nature and even harder to warm to Bettieís problems.

Everybody comes from wealthy families of illustrious ancestry. Iím all for a bit of escapism into the lives of the rich and famous, but donít expect me to sympathize with their petty non-problems. Doug and Rosieís playful banter managed to tug an occasional smile on my lips, but not enough for me to hike up my rating. There simply isnít enough plot, character development or wit to join the happy chorus and give Everythingís Coming up Rosie passing marks.

--Mary Benn


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