Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review: Gray Quinn's Baby

Magenta knows having a new employer might be tricky. But she isn't expecting the old-fashioned ruthlessness of Gray Quinn! However, plucky Magenta is up for the challenge, and tries to beat the distractingly gorgeous Quinn at his own game…. Quinn is no New Man—
Bwuh? "New Man"? Is that some sort of Britishism?
—he wants temptingly innocent Magenta in his bedroom, not the boardroom. But he can make her no promises. He'll give her the night of her life, but he might not be there when she wakes up…. And he definitely doesn't want her taking maternity leave!
Firstly, lol @ that cover. These covers never cease to slay me. The heroine looks like an alien with that long neck and gangly arm and the dude's all squinty like Brenden Fraser and Gilbert Gottfried's long-lost love-child. That being said, I am glad she has dark hair instead of those covers where the brunette heroine magically becomes blonde.

Magenta Steele—yes, I too chuckled at that name—works in Steele Design which is daddy's company though I couldn't be bothered to really learn what she does besides put together "campaigns", have themed office parties, and be the HEEEEEART of the office whatever the hell that tripe means. She meets a smokin' hot biker in the parking lot. This isn't a spoiler, it's Gray Quinn. You know it's Gray Quinn, I know it's Gray Quinn. It's Gray Quinn. Why he's all playing bad boy on a bike in the parking lot when he's, like, thirty-two years old, instead of riding in a car like a normal reclusive rich bloke who just acquired said company is anybody's guess. That's just how Gray Quinn rolls. Do not question the Quinn.

Anyway, for whatever reason Quinn's smitten with Magenta. I couldn't tell you why. Maybe I wasn't supposed to be able to. Maybe I didn't read closely enough. Maybe Magenta in her gym clothes is just that damn sexy. Perhaps he just likes the bitchy ones and that ain't no crime. He ends up giving her a ride back to her place and all is well. Until Chapter Four.

Chapter Four is the uh-oh chapter. This is the chapter of a perfectly good book where you kinda know something's going wrong but you go into denial and read on anyway in the hopes it will not come to pass. There had already been mention of the sixties hammered in earlier on and I had a sinking feeling it may lead somewhere but I couldn't have imagined this: the heroine gets all dressed up like she's in the sixties, goes to sleep in her office, AND WAKES UP IN THE EFFIN' SIXTIES AND STAYS THERE FOR OVER TEN CHAPTERS.

While I commend this twist on the tried and true formula, I would not have picked up the book if I knew this was gonna happen because now Magenta is IN A DREEEEEEEM and can't wake up. Worse, she's in a sexist dream where all the chicks work the typing pool and get the mens coffee. I tried trudging through it all but this stuff just isn't my bag. Gray Quinn comes in and he's the boss, of course, and they form a relationship, do it, and she ends up with a DREEEEEM baby. BWUUUH? HAHAHA. No, really.

Magenta then wakes up in the present missing her dreeeeem baby but she and Quinn—perhaps feeling rushed that they only have about three chapters to tidy it all together—pretty much pick up where they left off in the dream. There's not much mention as to how she knows who he is (for he never introduced himself in reality) and they interact like old lovers. He takes her home, feeds her, and she begins obsessing that things are happening in reality like they did in the dream. She comes off as "hey, crazy lady" but Quinn—despite voicing some protest—seems relatively cool with it. This leads me to believe he rode that motorcyle too many times with his visor up and all of them dead flies choked his brain stem. At the end, Magenta's pregnant and la-dee-dah everything's Cheerios.

MEH. This made me kinda sad, I do admit. The writing itself is really top-notch and the hero is really good. I guess it was disappointing to start out with a hero like Gray Quinn and feel like we didn't see too much of the REAL Quinn but instead had to settle for DREEEEM Quinn for the majority of the book. The beginning seemed to set itself up for an interesting meeting when Magenta discovers the biker in the parking lot is the new owner of her father's business, but that tension is never hit upon. And although the parallel is obvious that Dream Quinn and Real Quinn are likely exactly alike, it doesn't change that one was still a sixties dream and a product of his own "era" and real interactions would have made a tastier book. It doesn't help that I'm no fan of the sixties either and I just wanted the dream sequence to GO AWAY. I have to wonder if it might've for a while as I got to the point where I just had to scan over the dream as I found it tiresome.

As for Magenta Steele herself, the name sounds pornish and she came through as being sheltered and entitlement-minded. Yeah, her daddy's a sexist pig, but why should Magenta expect to get a company for free? Go work your ass off like Gray Quinn did and get your own company to run, woman. I would like to have been given a reason to like Magenta as much as Quinn appears to. Is it her body, her eyes, her razor sharp wit, her caring heart, her creativity? I DUNNO. If she was even described as being anything other than a "good-looking woman", which could really be ANYTHING, I've completely forgotten. Magenta seems made to be generic so the reader can relate to her, but this quality made her kinda unlikable to me.

Because of the length of the dream, the ending felt rushed despite being about three chapters long. It also turns the focus on Magenta's lost dreeeem baby half-way through, which would've been a more enjoyable concept with a little more time. As Harlequin/Mills & Boon have started doing two-part books, this one probably could've focused on the dream in the first one and taken us back to reality in the second.

As it is, I'm only docking it an acorn for my own enjoyment value. As I said, this is well-written and you won't be pulling your hair out even if you don't dig it. Someone else will love this book, I just know it. If you have a hankering for a book that takes you into a sixties dream sequence for the majority of it, this is the one for you. As for me, I'd rather just read an older Harlequin than be taken there by a newer one.

4 acorns out of 5.

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