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            Faking It
            By: Jennifer Crusie
            Romance
            Reviewed By: Melanie Nilsen
            Review Date: 8-20-03

            A romance novel. Carrie challenged me to read a freaking romance novel. Now, I’m an open minded girl, but I must say all prospects of enjoying my review of the week looked rather grim.

            I’ve never liked romance novels. Perhaps it had something to do with the rampant abuse of such adjectives as “lusty” and “sultry.” Perhaps it’s the ever stereotypical conniving, filthy rich female. Or it could just have a lot to do with the general concept that romance novels are only read by bored housewives. Personally, I find romance novels rather depressing; a not so pleasant reminder that my love life is not nearly so exciting or as existent as those in the novel.

            So how does Faking It stack up against all these years of built up prejudice? Not as well as Carrie might have hoped. Jennifer Cruise’s tale of plain Jane muralist, Tilda Goodnight, is a light, fluffy marshmallow of a book. It’s sweet to the taste, it appears rather substantial, but when you’re through with it, you realize it was primarily comprised of little more than air.

            While Carrie might be disappointed by these statements, I will confess that I was intrigued enough to actually want to finish this book. Tilda Goodnight is a muralist-an artist in a long line of artists. She has also inherited a legacy of art forgery- a secret she’d like to keep at all costs. Unfortunately, while she was away, one of her forged paintings was accidentally sold. This could result in a terrible disaster, to say the least. Therefore , Tilda resolves that the only way to solve this problem is to break into the home of the painting’s new owner, Clea Lewis (the stereotypical rich bitch of the book).

            Enter our bad boy, Davy Dempsey. Tilda meets him in the closet (a recurring event in this book actually). Of course, he has broken into Clea Lewis’ house for entirely different reasons. He’s attempting to recover the money that she stole from him. So okay, Tilda’s fairly well cornered. Rather than simply make this guy swear to secrecy, she tries to convince him to help her steal back the painting. She does this by shoving her tongue down his throat. Hence the journey begins. He follows her around like a lovesick puppy dog, and she begins to unlock her inner “bad girl.”

            I will admit that I actually enjoyed the plot when this dynamic duo bands together to seek out all of the forged paintings. However, I was not overly impressed with the actual romance part of this romance novel. It was predictable, though I suppose it was necessarily so. My brain demanded consummation, and Jennifer Cruise provided. A chick flick in text, if you will.

            Sadly, I know that there will be nothing of this book that I will carry with me. No wonderful little quote…no changed perspective of the world. It was a few days worth of entertainment and nothing more. So what have I gained? Well… should I start mass producing book shaped marshmallows, I will entirely credit Jennifer Cruise for the great idea.