2 stars and a half

Category Romance Review: Lightning That Lingers by Sharon and Tom Curtis (aka Laura London)

Lightning That Lingers, Sharon and Tom Curtis, Bantam, 1984, cover artist TBD

Loveswept #25

2 1/2 Stars

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Lightning That Lingers by Sharon and Tom Curtis has received acclaim from many readers. By no means was this a terrible piece of fiction, but I found it didn’t mesh with my personal tastes. It was…not subtle.

There must be something the matter with me. The Curtises are beloved in the romance genre. The consensus seems to be that they–who occasionally wrote under the pseudonym Laura London–are the greatest thing in romance since Jane Austen. As far as their composition skills go, they’re very sensitive and attentive to detail. The Curtises certainly have talent. There was just something too treacly about this one for me. I coined the term cutsie-woostsie sugar shock after reading Lightning that Lingers. I’m a bitter GenXer, so perhaps my sarcastic takes have made me too apathetic to enjoy a cavity-inducing love story like this.

The Hero

The hero, Philip, is from a once proud and wealthy family. Now he’s all alone and broke. He lives in his massive, run-down mansion that he needs to renovate. So to do so, since he’s the most handsome man in the world, he turns to stripping.

But, no, before you think he’s just doing it for the money, let me tell you, why yes, he is doing it just for the money.

Philip’s not materialistic, as his true love is biology and animals. He’s hoping to go into that field to help preserve wildlife. First, he has to make his home a showpiece again. His house, by the way, is full of critters, including an owl. I thought that was odd. Dude, if you’re trying to renovate your old mansion into something nicer, maybe you should not have animals in there pooping all over the place.

This is my hang-up, I know, but I couldn’t take Philip seriously. If he had been an outright gigolo, dating women for cash, I would have found this a more interesting tale, with the conflict of a nice guy doing “bad things” for a good reason. I never went gaga for the Magic Mike movies. This is just my personal taste, but I’m not into a hero who waxes his butt, puts on a g-string, and shakes it for cash in front of a group of screaming, feral females. Not that I need an “alpha male” in my love stories, but whatever Philip was, I wasn’t into it.

I kept thinking about that old Saturday Night skit with the late Patrick Swayze and the late Chris Farley, imaging Philip like this:

Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze Stripping

The Plot

Anyway, about this silly story. The heroine, Jennifer, is a very young children’s librarian who is incredibly shy.

As a gag, her friends take her to a totally nude (!) strip club, appropriately named The Cougar Club. As she watches the stage, her eyes meet with Philip’s and practically faints away with the vapors.

Philip whisks her off to his magical home with said resident owl and bird crap splattered all over the place.

Philip and Jennifer embark on a romance that is supposed to be very moving, but it was just rainbow and unicorn farts for me. He adores Jennifer’s naivete and innocence, and Jennifer likes…Philip’s everything.

white and pink unicorn plush toy
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Can Philip pack up his life as a women’s entertainer and settle down with his inexperienced bibliophile? Will Jennifer open her mind to new sensual experiences? Will I ever read a Tom and Sharon Curtis book that doesn’t turn me into a snarky b-word?

Final Analysis of Lightning that Lingers

As said, the writing here was of fine quality, so Lightning That Lingers not a 1-star read by any means. However, the plot and the characters were gag-inducing. I do enjoy a sappy love story now and then; this was not one of them. Perhaps if you’re a less jaded reader than I, you’ll find this Lovewept Romance a bit more to your liking.

But for me, I’d prefer to eat a couple of bags of Tropical-flavored Skittles if I have a hankering for something this sweet.

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