I've finished the second installment (third for me, really, since I started with book number four) in Nora Roberts's bride quartet series, Bed of Roses. This time the bride-to-be is florist and nice-girl-slash-man-magnet Emma. As I've mentioned in previous posts, the series centers around four friends who run a wedding planning business, each one with a different personality. But then, each member in a fictional group of friends seems to fall into a preordained category. Take "Desperate Housewives," "The Golden Girls," and "Sex and the City." In each clique you have the nice ones (Susan in DH, Rose in GG, and Charlotte in S&C), the intellectual ones (Lynette in DH, Dorothy in GG, and Miranda in S&C), and the sexy ones (Gabby in DH, Blanche in GG, and Samantha in S&C). I realize my logic falls a little short because I left out DH's Brie and S&C's Carrie, but you get the idea. Anyway, Emma embodies the dual and seemingly discordant goody-two-shoes and siren stereotypes, which works for the most part. Still, she has the annoying habit of eating only slivers of food at a time. She says she does it to savor her food, but her behavior strikes me as the earmark of an eating disorder. (I'm not trying to be flip; I just hate stories that perpetuate the idea that women eat like rabbits.) Hmm. It's beginning to look as though I didn't really like this book after all, does it? And I didn't even get to the part about Emma's brute of a commitmentphobe boyfriend who takes offense to her doing nice things for him and - gasp - spilling cosmetics on his manly bathroom counter. But I suppose all's well that ends well because he falls in line with an engagement ring at the end.
Although romance novels are fun, the one-dimensional characters sometimes get on my nerves. But then, I'm bound to feel that way since I started reading the anything-but-one-dimensional page-turner The Help. More on that later. (Much later, as it's quite thick.)