Harlequin Presents #747
SPOILER ALERT ⚠
Sad to report, but A Naked Flame has to be the worst Charlotte Lamb book I’ve read so far.
Christie married Logan, a man 12 years her senior, when she was only 18. She lived in California hoping to start a career in Hollywood, but her chauvinist husband wouldn’t allow it. He controlled her life totally and wanted children ASAP, but Christie wanted to wait. They argued, he raped her, she left and filed for divorce. The rape resulted in a child. For five years Mommy and Daddy never see each other while sharing custody of their son. Now Christie is a hot movie star with a male “friend” whom she mercilessly teases. The press hounds Christie so much so she moves to England with her son–-without telling her ex-husband. This obviously angers Logan and he and Christie fight it out for custody.
It’s not the plot that I object to; it’s the horrific execution. Up until page 100, the hero and heroine interact twice, except for a brief flash-back into their marriage. It’s as if Charlotte Lamb wanted to write a longer book, found she had almost maxed out her word count so just summarized all the interesting parts and drew out all the boring, mundane scenes of Christie going to lunch and parties with another guy.
The actual romance portion of this book is limited to two, maybe two and a half chapters. I wouldn’t have minded if the scenes with the other man were fun, or at least we saw the heroine’s personal journey to “enlightenment” or sumthin’…but no. Christie is a Cnidarian of the lowest order. (That’s a fancy word I learned for jellyfish. See, home-schooling works for parents and kids.)
As for the other man…why isn’t he ever named something strong like Wolf or Magnus? Instead, he’s named Sheldon or Arnie or Dilbert or in this case Ziggy!
Final Analysis of A Naked Flame
So our major conflict consists of a love triangle between the Sensitive-New-Age-Guy slacker type:
And our manly hero Logan:
What a pointless boring book with a wishy-washy, stupid heroine who wouldn’t know her ass from the Grand Canyon.