by Barbara SamuelApril, 2006
A devilishly delightful combination
When word got out that Jennifer Crusie was writing a book with acclaimed thriller writer Bob Mayer, a lot of readers asked, why mess with perfection? Not only is Crusie one of the most beloved, visible and successful writers in the genre, her last book was one of her finest the virtually perfect, RITA-award winning Bet Me. What could Mayer possibly add to the Crusie magic? The answer hits shelves this month. Don't Look Down is the story of Lucy Gordon, a director called in to shoot the end of an orphaned movie. On set is her ex-husband, her sister, her niece and the irritating but all-too-interesting Capt. J.T. Wilder, a Green Beret hired to bring some authenticity to the action scenes being filmed maybe too realistically on a bridge high over the Savannah River. Between the rapacious cast and eccentric crew, Lucy has enough troubles, but now the CIA is breathing down Wilder's neck, there's trouble with the Russian mob, and on top of all that, what is wrong with Lucy's sister? Peopled by a classic Crusie lineup of original characters, Don't Look Down is notched up by a breakneck adventure with a hero who could never be accused of being anything but a Real Man. And that's where the real pleasure of this book lies: reading a Crusie book is like sitting in a dressing room, listening to the girls gossip as they try on bras. Mayer also brings in the guys gritty guys who drink whiskey and know how to kill gators and fly airplanes and save little girls, even if they do frankly admire those bras (you just know they'd love red lace). Crusie + Mayer = a great time. Don't miss it. Barbara Samuel, who joins BookPage this month as romance columnist, writes novels from her native Colorado. Her latest book is Madame Mirabou's School of Love.