Review: Love in Plain Sight by Debbie Macomber

love in plain sight -debbie macomberSometimes love’s right there in front of you.

As Stephanie Coulter discovers, sometimes you find it in the most ordinary places—and what could be more ordinary than the office? Stephanie, who works as an assistant at Lockwood Industries in Minneapolis, is temporarily assigned to the boss—Jonas Lockwood himself. Jonas lives up (or down!) to his reputation as a tyrant, dictator and grouch. But Stephanie’s colleagues, romance readers all, decide that he’s really the classic lonely hero. What he needs, they say, is Love ‘n’ Marriage. And the woman they have in mind for him is… Stephanie.

Bethany Stone, on the other hand, is already in love with her boss, Joshua Norris, although their relationship is strictly business. But one day he asks for her help—outside the office. Joshua’s ten-year-old daughter, Angie, is coming to live with him and he has no idea how to raise a precocious little girl. Angie might be Almost an Angel, but she quickly develops a matchmaking plan for her dad—and Bethany!

3 Drink Me Potions

I know, I know. These stories are rather old and not in the YA genre, so sue me. Call me grandmotherly if you have to, but her stories aren’t bad. I mean, not all of them are at least. This one just so happens to be “okay” instead of awesome.

In Love in Plain Sight, the first story had one of the most annoying male characters ever. He was very cold and arrogant. Come on, it even said that he was an arrogant man. At least that was an accurate description of him. However, the way the ladies in the company, DIE HARD ROMANTICS (really??), go about meddling in people’s love affairs is rather weird. I know I love books and sometimes wish to bash characters’ heads in (I say this as nicely as possible) for the stupid things they say or do, but to think their boss is like a “hero” in a romance novel is taking it more than a step too far. So I can totally see the protagonist, Stephanie’s skepticism. Mine was ricocheting off the roof as I was reading this. I would NEVER imagine my friends as “heroine” material either. Okay, I’m also not much of a matchmaker but that’s besides the point. Imaginary guys in books are also not necessarily anything like real life guys (if you’re a guy, I’m sorry!).

So, what does their meddling get? She falls for the guy, even with all his thorny attitudes, and it doesn’t go well. Predicted that ages ago.

It was amusing in the sense that the problems that come in the way of their love was SO predictable. I wished I loved it more, but the year in which the story was written really shines through for once. Basically a secretary falling for her aloof and somewhat mysterious boss. It was mildly entertaining, but definitely not worth a second read.

As for the second story, at least there were no meddling co-workers who only “mean well”. But the boss was still JUST AS COLD. Come on! I’m starting to roll my eyes here. Can’t the man be somewhat nicer at least? Either way, it sat a little better with me because of the daughter, Angie. She was very aptly described, and I could almost see a wonderful little girl in front of me. She was by far from perfect and not the stereotypical angel type of kid, although at the heart of it, it was clear she loved her dad and Bethany. For that reason, it helped with the story a little bit more. Still not really worth a second read, but it was better.

Overall Recommendation:
Although I was dying to enjoy or at least be thoroughly entertained as I normally am by Debbie Macomber’s compilation 2-in-1 books, these 2 stories just didn’t sit well with me. For one, both male protagonists were rather bland and cold. It didn’t make sense to see these aloof and arrogant men as someone who would profess the kind of care that they later seemed to show. I just couldn’t believe in it. That’s not to say it wasn’t at least mildly entertaining to see the crazy antics that the women drove themselves into, or that some of the minor characters weren’t as real. It just wasn’t up to par from what I had come to expect from the author. I’m gonna just blame it on the age (30 years now) of the stories from when they were first written.

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