Published: November 2008 (Sourcebooks)
Do you like that commercial with the hot shirtless guy ironing a dress for his toddler and making dinner reservations for his six-month anniversary, and then cleans the toilet? If so, Romeo, Romeo is the book for you!
Our heroine, Rosalie, is a successful Brooklyn businesswoman, too occupied with her career to find true love. Unfortunately, she's got a long-term boyfriend who wants to marry her so she can help him run a deli and have babies, and a mother who thinks getting married is the true goal of a woman. Nick Romeo is a hugely successful car dealership owner, with locations all over the east coast. He has gorgeous cars and a gorgeous Park Slope brownstone. Oh, and he's gorgeous as well. Aside from the money and good looks, Nick is a really great cook and he vacuums when something's bothering him. Rosalie meets Nick on the side of the Prospect Expressway when she's trying to change her tire, only to find that her idiot brother took her money for a spare tire without actually purchasing one. She assumes Nick, wearing coveralls from the shop at his dealership, is a mechanic, and he doesn't correct her assumption. In fact, he's pretty comfortable with the idea of seeing a woman who doesn't see him as a prime catch for a husband.I normally have problems with stories where a hero or heroine keeps their identity secret and pretty much lies to the other the whole time, and you know it's going to end badly, but Romeo, Romeo was different, because Rosalie learned Nick's true identity soon after she meets him and understands why he'd keep it from her (too many golddiggers). And maybe my opinion of Nick is painted by his caring for Rosalie when she comes down with pneumonia very soon after they start seeing each other.
The romance is very sweet and very different from most romances I read. While Nick is an alpha male, he's a milder version than those found in the usual alpha male romance; I don't think this book would offend readers who think alpha males are too bossy and arrogant. He also gets along with Rosalie's huge dog, funnily named Dave, which is new to her because Dave hated her ex-boyfriend. I'm a sucker for big, goofy dogs with humorous names, especially when I was considering naming my cat Dave. It was all for the possibility of yelling, "Dave, stop licking your butt," when our (human) friend Dave was over. Sorry, I digress.
As a Brooklyn resident, I was amused by mentions of the Prospect Expressway, where Rosalie's tire blew out (I lived above it!) and the Park Slope neighborhood. The one inaccuracy that bugged me? When Rosalie and Nick were on the subway, Nick holds on to the strap, when there aren't any straps to hang upon anymore.
The suspense/action part of the book seemed a little unnecessary and outlandish, when it would've made more sense to humiliate the white collar thief in a board room. Otherwise, the book moves along smoothly for an excellent weekend read, the kind where you curl up under a big blanket with a purring cat (possibly named Dave) warming your feet.
I'm adding Robin Kaye to my "must read" list!