A new year, a new TBR challenge: here we go!
This month’s challenge is to read and review a category romance. I chose When the Lights Go Down by Heidi Betts. The copyright is 2005, and I’ve had it a while. Not sure why I picked it up; I suspect it was because of a positive review somewhere, because it doesn’t seem like the kind of book I’d pick up otherwise.
Today is Gwen Thomas’s 31st birthday. She’s given herself T-minus 24 hours to change her life.
8:00 a.m.: Call out sick from library.
8:01 a.m.: Scour phone book for Emergency Beauty Technicians.
10:00-Noon: Hair. Goodbye, mousy. Hello, auburn.
Noon-5:00 p.m.: Nails. Makeup. Clothes. Be bold!
10:00 p.m.: Arrive at The Hot Spot. Pretend you’ve gone clubbing before.
11:00 p.m.: Fight polyester lizard’s advances–and the disappointment of a failed mission.
11:30 p.m.: Revel in being rescued by Ethan banks. Don’t let the sexy club owner’s chivalry prevent mission completion.
When the lights go down: Lose virginity . . . finally.
When the Lights Go Down is a bit of a fairy tale. I’ve said it before—I don’t read romance expecting complete realism, but this book had a significant lack of it. The main problem is Gwen. She’s not easy to relate to from the beginning. It’s not that she has negative qualities like she’s judgmental or bitchy. It’s that her motivations are not well explained. She wants to lose her virginity because she’s turned 31. Really? There’s no buildup; it seems like she just woke up one morning and made the decision. OK . . .
Then, there’s the way she goes about it. She heads to a nightclub (owned by Ethan) and heads out with a creepy polyester-wearing guy. This does not speak well of her judgment. Luckily for her, Ethan intervenes. Gwen then goes home with him. The sizzling sex between them is the best part of the book and the thing that kept me reading.
Gwen falls for Ethan pretty quickly, but somehow decides that her life as a single librarian isn’t interesting enough to keep Ethan’s interest. So she refuses to let Ethan come to her home and see all her cat figurines (I’m not joking), and she tells him that she’s a fashion buyer.
Ethan is a little on the too-good-to-be-true side. He owns a nightclub, picks up women while there, but falls for Gwen. Plus he doesn’t really mind when he finds out that she’s been lying to him.
As you can see, I had some problems with the book, but it was a quick, light read as long as it’s not taken too seriously. When the Lights Go Down: 2.5 out of 5.