Category Romance Review: Show Me by Janet Dailey

show me dailey category romance
Show Me by Janet Dailey
Rating: two-stars
Published: 1977
Illustrator: TBD
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Presents #200
Book Series: Americana #25
Published by: Harlequin, Mills & Boon
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 188
Format: Paperback, eBook
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Category Romance Review: Show Me by Janet Dailey


The Book

Janet Dailey‘s Harlequin Presents #200 Show Me takes place in the “Show Me” state of Missouri. The hero, Jake, spouts lines like this over and over again: “I’m from Missouri. You have to show me to believe.”

As the first American author of Harlequin Presents, Janet Dailey set her novels in all 50 states. I suppose this was to show foreign readers how diverse and exotic the USA can be.

Although her books never inspired me to jet-set across the country, I, too, have traveled around the States and found myself in various oh-so-glamorous US cities like

  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • South Bend, Indiana
  • Newark, New Jersey

Talk about exotic!

The Plot

In Show Me, Jake is a bitter man who’s returned home after being away for more than half a decade.

He’s sour because he was forced to marry Tanya, the mother of his son, John. The child was a result of a drunken one-night stand Jake can’t recall.

The “hero” is a deadbeat dad, as he’s lived in Africa for 7 years and made no effort to get to know his son. Plus, he’s contemptuously open about not having been a faithful husband.

There is a Harley dramatic revelation at the end, which the heroine had to do if she expected to engage in makeup sex with her husband.

So the big twist is… Tanya isn’t really John’s mom, and Jake isn’t his dad. Their dead siblings were the real parents, and their shotgun marriage was due to a big lie/misunderstanding.

Jake didn’t have to stay away from his family for so many years if Tanya had talked to him back when the kid was born.

Final Analysis of Show Me

But what kind of story would exist if the protagonists acted like adults and engaged in conversation? It would make for a dull romance. Almost as dull as this one.

Show Me was a slow, ponderous read. I swear Janet Dailey could take a decent plot and make it as fun as reading furniture instruction manuals.

2 Stars

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 2.3


I don’t blame you for hating me at first,” Jake said. “After all, I forced you to marry me. But you do see why I had to tell you all this, don’t you? You’ve been so honest with me that I had to be the same with you.

Tanya’s heart sank. Honest! Honest! The word kept haunting her. Her supposed honesty was the one thing he admired about her.

She couldn’t possibly tell him the truth now. If she did his love for her would be shattered forever!

Show Me by Janet Dailey

1 thought on “Category Romance Review: Show Me by Janet Dailey

  1. Mary Anne Landers

    Thanks, Introvert Reader. Wow, that big revelation is crazy! Talk about hard to swallow! I hate it when a storyline does something like this.

    This novel doesn’t sound like my kind of read. But allow me to note two matters.

    First, many years ago I was on a Janet Dailey kick. But the works I read were considerably better than this one.

    Second, in 1978, the year after “Show Me” was published, the author and her husband Bill moved from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Branson, Missouri. There they lived for the rest of their lives.

    Location obviously mattered to Dailey; she famously set a romance novel in each of the fifty states. I wonder if her research for “Show Me”, her Missouri novel, influenced her decision to move there.

    Just a thought!


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