cover image True Bliss

True Bliss

Stella Cameron. Zebra Books, $5.99 (381pp) ISBN 978-0-8217-5369-9

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but Cameron shows little of Jayne Ann Krentz's wit, whimsy or good taste in her latest woman-in-peril contemporary, after Sheer Pleasures and Pure Delights. At the heart of this muddle is a bittersweet romance with likable protagonists: Bellevue, Wash., high-school sweethearts Bliss Winters and Sebastian Plato, separated 15 years earlier, when he jilted her. Now they have another chance to rekindle old flames, but someone doesn't want the lovers reunited. As Sebastian's wooing begins to win Bliss over, the dead bodies start piling up. A cluttered plot, base villains, crude sex scenes and a motley cast of secondary characters with unfortunately cutesy names (e.g., Liberty Lovejoy) work against the story's readability. Author tour. (Aug.)