Sunday, February 10, 2013

Moonglow by Charlie Romo

I just discovered this "lesbian" book was written by a man.  That probably explains a lot.

Publisher:                   Smashwords

What can ruin the joy of reading a book?  How about if the plot seems to go nowhere?  Or if the characters are unappealing?  Worse, if the reader can’t tell the characters apart.  Maybe if the book is poorly produced.  The answer is a book that combines all of those problems and more.

Moonglow is supposed to be a story about fashion models and entertainers set in the future not too far away.  The major characters are Rena Hilst, a famous model who takes advantage of every chance to sleep with other women, and her supposed partner Shell Dawes, the head of Moonglow Model Management.  Shell is more than willing to overlook Rena’s infidelity because Rena doesn’t love the other women.  She just enjoys having sex with them.  Rena’s behavior doesn’t seem that far out of line when everyone around her is doing the same thing.  The book is one model or entertainer after another cheating on her girlfriend or partner, all in good fun, of course.  The crisis at the end is how long Shell is willing to put up with this behavior.

The blurb for this book says Rena never hunts for people to cheat with, but does this because she honestly cares for the people she’s with.  Apparently, she cares for them more than her long-suffering partner.  The first problem with this is that there is never anything shown about Rena that makes her appealing except her “great” beauty.  She’s spoiled, selfish and a drug addict.  Her partner is just as irritating for the way she puts up with the behavior and then provides excuses for it.  The reader might want to slap Shell and ask her what the devil is wrong with her self-esteem.  For someone who is supposed to be the head of the most powerful corporation around, Shell has an appalling lack of the decisiveness that good executives usually possess.  The next problem is that the characters are so one dimensional and identical in what they do that they’re difficult to tell apart or to like.  Basically, there is the cheating partner and the hapless, pathetic partner.  Even worse, the cheaters madly proclaim their love for their partners and then go right out and cheat again.  If it’s not cheating, it’s drugs or liquor.  The reader might ask why anyone would want to be around these women, but the answer is that they’re all behaving the same, so they hardly notice what they’re doing.  Besides, when they’re caught, the cheaters are forgiven.

The story is supposed to be a sort of science fiction, but the references are confusing.  They are basically limited to some unclear comments about transportation, communication and the materials that the models’ outfits are made of.  The scenes ramble from page to page without it being clear what point the author is making.  At the end Romo tries to reaffirm the power of love, but her characters are so unappealing, they don’t make very good examples of the idea.

A good editor might have saved this book.  There are fragments of a decent story, though they are difficult to find.  Moonglow’s greatest sin is that, by the end, the reader probably won’t care.  Save your money.  There are much better books to enjoy.

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