Monday, May 9, 2011

Make Mine Midnight by Annmarie McKenna

TITLE: Make Mine Midnight
AUTHOR: Annmarie McKenna
LENGTH: Short story (roughly 15k)
GENRE: Contemporary menage erotic romance
COST: $2.50

Erotic romance author Claire hasn’t had nearly all the experiences she’s written about. So when two hunky guys seem interested in her at her best friend’s New Year’s Eve party, she decides to throw caution to the wind. The thing is, the guys aren’t strangers. Hunter and Mason have been in love with Claire since high school, and now that they’ve outgrown their gawky stage, they’re ready to show Claire everything she’s been missing…

This book has been sitting on my TBR for quite a while. I bought it before I changed my personal rules about what I was willing to pay for, and actually helps cement my conviction to stick with those from now on. The rule in question? Don’t buy books with heroines as romance authors.

The plot is simple. Plain Jane Claire is at her best friend’s New Year’s Eve party when a hunky guy begins checking her out. Then his friend is checking her out, too. They ask her for a dance, at which point reveal they knew her in high school, when they were computer geeks and nobodies. They’ve filled out nicely since then and both men are determined to finally have Claire the way they always wanted. She takes them back to her place for a night of fantastic sex, then wakes up convinced it was all a dream. But of course, it wasn’t.

It’s pure fantasy and shouldn’t be read in any context of realism whatsoever. The characters are all types rather than individuals, slotted into the appropriate place in bed to try and make this as painless and hot as possible. Claire doesn’t buy her own attraction, the guys went from zero to hero and are now the perfect men, and so on and so on. It’s all been done before, and better. Not even the sex is enough to save this, especially with the attempt at drama right near the end that gets resolved almost as quickly.

I must admit, I don’t understand the appeal of authors as heroines. Every time I see a blurb like that – which is at least a couple times a week, it is so overdone – I automatically think it’s fantasy material for the author. And placing the author into the story is incredibly uncomfortable. I don’t want to do it. I don’t want it even hinted at. But this book in particular makes it hard not to, when the heroine’s voice is so casual and conversational (and really tries too hard as it strives for that) and she shares things in common with the author. Like I said, I’ve changed my policy about buying them. I’m not sure I’d even buy an autobuy author who did it. I probably should have filed this one away as unread and trusted that I’d made the right choice by skipping it. Lesson learned.


7/10 – Clean but boring with a casual voice that tries too hard


4/10 – Complete fantasy


3/10 – Stereotypes to play into the fantasy

Entertainment value

3/10 – The sex wasn’t hot enough to counter how unbelievable the rest of it was

World building

4/10 – There’s not enough room or development for any of this



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