Opening line:"Ellen Layne knew it was a mistake to leave the house without a book."
Originally published in 1997 and at just 215 pages LADIES MAN is your average stand alone romance. Not my favourite of Brockman’s however it’s a quick read and holds up fine today. I enjoyed all the characters and while the plots quite basic it is helped along by a plausible enough stalker mystery and some hot older woman-younger man lovin. Of course I should mention that the first 5 chapters (1/4 of the book) is taken up exclusively by ‘the limo ride’ and that’s reason in itself to read this book. Yum.
Ellen Layne is in the airport newsstand glancing over the bestsellers when she see’s him: “From the back he was a living breathing advertisement for Buns of steel”
All faded jeans, blond hair and impossibly handsome. According to Ellen he looks even better from the front too. Unfortunately for Ellen he’s also at least 10 years younger then she is. But what, oh he’s seen her looking, checking him out. He’s coming over now, flirting with her with those blue eyes, dimples and perfect teeth. Damn even his voice is sexy. I wonder how old he really is?
So I absolutely loved the beginning of this book. It is just the perfect fantasy, older woman meets younger gorgeous man and through mistaken identity and happenstance they wind up sharing a limo together. Sam the ‘ladies man’ puts the moves on Ellen as they tour around New York drinking champagne and taking in the sights. Ellen in a moment of recklessness allows herself to give in to the fantasy and experience a night of unbridled passion. A little something to remember because surely this player won’t want anything more then that? Sam however in an uncharacteristic move phones her the very next day hoping to see her again and in a ‘this is how the other side must feel’ move Ellen turns him down cold.
Unfortunately after chapter five the whole feel of the book changes and it’s no longer great --it’s okay. As it turns out Ellen is recovering from a divorce, has 2 precocious (see annoying) children and although a professor wants to try her luck at acting over the summer. She’s staying with her Uncle Bob, a famous talk show host when the phone calls start. They are soon accompanied by hate mail and then of course the police get involved. Fate intervenes here because who do you think is a member of the NYPD? Well it’s Sam the ladies man of course and he’s got some unfinished business with Ellen but first he’s got to figure out who the increasingly violent stalker is and possibly step in front of a bullet in the name of love.
So the ending is pretty exciting, oooh who’s the stalker? Who is the intended victim? And the beginning…sigh. But the middle part as well as being so different from the beginning floundered to me. And as much as I liked Sam, he was supposed to be a ‘ladies man’ (hell that’s what the books called) yet as much as I was told this I never saw it from him. He was just a nice guy who seemed to be searching for someone to settle down with. Maybe if his character had been flushed out a bit more. Cheers!