Lucky in Love by Tracy Sinclair
(Silhouette Special Edition #1167, $4.25, PG)
ISBN 0-373-24167-4
**
Disclaimer: The opinions stated below are mine and not necessarily those of the management.

Tracy Sinclair is one of Harlequin/Silhouette's five Star authors, meaning that the starred authors have each sold five million books. Who's buying all of her books? I think it must be prepubescent teenagers and people who like glitzy stories about phony people. We've all read these kinds, where the poor working girl is wined and dined by the handsome, rich, eligible bachelor. She normally doesn't trust him, and he thinks she's interested in his money. Those who enjoy lots of medium misunderstandings must be buying her books, too. I would call this the 'Insensitive Clod meets Gold-digger' syndrome or Tracy Sinclair at her best. While we know from the very beginning that the hero may be insensitive, he's not a clod. We also know that the heroine would love him even if he weren't rich, handsome, a member of the country club and didn't have servants, a yacht, a mini-mansion and was dynamite in bed.

Michelle Lacey receives a phone call from her mother. Mom, recently widowed, has finally listened to Michelle and is taking a vacation. Mom has met Mr. Wonderful, she thinks. She tells Michelle that Mr. Wonderful is rich, charming, and a successful inventor who needs someone to invest in his latest project. Warning bells go off in Michelle's head. Dear Mom has met a con artist of the first water. When Mom refuses to heed Michelle's warnings, Michelle flies from New York to Florida to save the day.

Jonathan Richfield, nephew of Mr. Wonderful, thinks that his Uncle Lucky has met two con artists, a mother and daughter, who want to fleece him out of some of his millions. Jonathan, sensing that his uncle won't heed his warnings, decides to hang around and personally save his uncle by not allowing these two 'gold-diggers' to win his uncle's heart.

Finally, the misunderstanding is resolved. Everybody knows that everybody else is on the up and up. Michelle has been attracted to Jonathan from the first, but now that she knows he's a legitimate businessman, she allows herself to express that attraction. Jonathan, sensing her change, thinks that Michelle is interested in his money. Now this cloud is hanging over their heads.

Petty jealousy occurs when two vapid secondary characters appear. Jonathan has a friend who wants to be more than that. She's hateful, sneaky and gorgeous. Michelle sees her for what she is, but thinks that Jonathan is really interested in the other woman. When Michelle thinks that Jonathan is involved with the gorgeous witch, she occupies herself with Mr. Playboy, who takes her to Nassau for lunch.

Always in the background are Michelle's mother, Evelyn and Jonathan's uncle, Lucky. They fall in love quickly, and soon they act as Cupid's messengers. They see that Michelle and Jonathan are perfect for each other. Evelyn and Lucky will have short lives together, I fear. They are so sweet, pleasant, kind, understanding and wholesome that a massive sugar overload may lead to diabetes and an early demise.

Throughout the book we're subjected to glitzy nightlife, shopping at high-dollar boutiques, food that does a master chef proud and countless examples of a hedonistic lifestyle. I did notice that they had to rough it occasionally. No chauffeur was in evidence. One of the secondary characters explained that, while she doesn't work, she does do charity work. She volunteers at the local country club. Do we pat her on the back?

I find this passage indicative of the whole book. Michelle is at yet another party, unhappy because Jonathan is paying attention to Ms. Witch.

"She needn't have worried about being a wallflower. Men flocked around her, drawn like a magnet to the scarlet gown that beckoned to them from the sea of white and pastels the other women had on. Michelle was like an exotic bird, beautiful and prized. Men paid her extravagant compliments, from the trite to the poetic. They praised her deep blue eyes and grew lyrical about the creamy skin of her throat and bare shoulders."

Lucky in Love is 249 pages long. On page 247 our young lovers still aren't together. But, hey, they're dressed well. This cotton candy attitude permeates the whole book and becomes overwhelmingly . . . silly.

This is one of those cases where the title is misleading. Lucky is a secondary character and our lead characters are anything but lucky in love.

Yes, I enjoy reading about people who have privileged lives, but that's very different from having my nose rubbed in the minutia of their daily lives. Lucky in Love was much too superficial to be a recommended romance read.

--Linda Mowery


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