|Cristine Dobbins thinks she had everything she every wanted; the
perfect relationship with her live-in boyfriend Charlie, a lovely
house that they are restoring together and a good job. That all
falls apart when she arrives home one evening to find Charlie with
his bags packed. It seems he doesn't want to renew their seven-year
"contract" and leaves Cristine heartbroken and confused.
Enter the Yellow Brick Road gang, Cristine's close knit group of
girlfriends who dabble in everything from tarot to tea leaves. They
come to Cristine's aid and stage something of an intervention where
they make her realize that Charlie was not all she made him out to be
and that she was actually being taken advantage of by him. To help
Cristine rebound, the gang decides to send her to an exclusive resort
hat specialize in hooking women up with fantasy men. Cristine
reluctantly agrees to go but her lusty adventure is cut short when
she throws out her back in the midst of making out with Simon, the
sexy guy assigned to her.
Back home Cristine is as low as she can be, barely able to move and
crushed by what has happened to her life. That's when she sees
strange shimmering lights that enter her bedroom, engulf her and fill
her with such intense pleasure that she has the most mind-blowing
climax that she's ever experienced. Afterward she finds her back
completely healed and her attitude changed. She is determined to take
back her life. She's going to start by finally finishing the last
bit of her home restoration. She meets Daniel Burns, a handsome
enigmatic man who seems to have a magical way with kitchen
renovation. Cristine soon becomes aware that Daniel is not the
contractor she hired but an other-dimensional being whose true form
is the shimmering, pleasure bringing lights. Daniel tells her that
he answered Cristine's call when she was down and attained "unity"
with her and that they are bound together.
If the first thought that crosses the mind is creepy, you're not
alone. Daniel and Cristine's romance, if it can be called that, has
no basis other than this mystical life force being called by
Cristine's inner self and the joining (without even being asked) of
their energies. The majority of their relationship consists of long
boring conversations about string theory and metaphysics. Apparently
Cristine finds this irresistible because she falls deeply and
passionately in love with Daniel and convinces him to achieve unity
"her way" and its no surprise what the consequence turns out to be.
That particular plot device is ridiculous to the extreme.
I'm not sure how this book even classifies as romance, when it reads
like a mish mash of every New Age, spiritual self-help book on the
market. More time is spent exploring Cristine's manipulation of the
life energy around her in order to win the lottery than any
development of her or Daniel's relationship. Frankly, that whole
concept is borderline offensive as Cristine chants that she's worth
it and she's as deserving as anyone else - a woman with a thriving
real estate career and a house. Right.
There's a whole lot of agenda going on in this book as well. They
range from the subtle, Daniel's vegetarianism because killing other
creatures for food is bad, to the more blatant "girl power." Not
that feminism is a bad thing, but there was something very
condescending about how the one member of the gang who has a husband
and children is laid out as an object of pity. Cristine spends the
better part of a whole chapter bemoaning how Paula used to be so
young and vibrant, and now her five kids have sucked the life out of
her. Her hair is getting so gray, her belly is all soft and stretch
marked. Oh poor, poor Paula, she doesn't even have the energy to
finish graduate school. There's got to be a way to help her because
she can't possibly be fulfilled.
To be honest, I only graded this book as two stars because of the
portrayal of strong female friendships. That part of the book works;
these women care for and love each other (even if they are misguided
a times). Otherwise there isn't much I can recommend about this book.