John Crusher arrives at his hotel, expecting to have a normal weekend attending an accounting conference. He couldn't be more shocked when he opens the door of his room to find a beautiful red-headed woman who drags him inside and demands that he strip naked - now. It soon becomes apparent that she's hiding out from hotel security, quite possibly because she's stolen something. John finds himself intrigued by the fiery beauty, so when she tries to leave, he invites her to hide out in his room a while longer, leading to a much more interesting weekend than he ever would have dreamed.
My Thief is the second novella I've read by MaryJanice Davidson that didn't really do much for me. It was a little better than the previous one, but much like it, had a rather far-fetched plot that was difficult for me to believe. It also begins very similarly to Karen Kelly's Southern Comfort with the heroine accosting the hero in his hotel room and demanding that he strip for the purpose, we discover, of creating a cover story. The main difference, though, is that in Ms. Kelly's book, the heroine is an undercover DEA agent, while in My Thief, the heroine is - obviously - a thief.
The main reason I couldn't truly get into this story is the highly improbable nature of the plot. Maybe some guys would be happy to be accosted by a strange woman who demands he strip naked, but there are plenty of guys I know who would be extremely dubious of such an ultimatum, unless of course she was holding a gun on him, which in this case she's wasn't. I couldn't help but lose some respect for John right then and there, especially when he's ready to have sex with Robin at the drop of a hat and rather disappointed when she splits moments later. John is an accountant, a profession stereotypical of cerebral types, but he barely questions what's going on and he's instantly intrigued by this oddball woman. Maybe he's bored with his job or something and the spontaneity of it all is appealing, but if that's the case, it isn't really brought out well. I had a hard time believing that Robin has spent the last ten years of her life (all of her time as adult) doing nothing but playing a cat and mouse game with her uncle, stealing an initially mysterious item that belonged to her dad back and forth between them. I know she had an unconventional upbringing, but this was strange in the extreme. I most definitely wouldn't want to get romantically involved with someone who's possibly engaging in illegal behavior, not to mention, the whole scenario seemed a little immature to me. Then there's the instant romance that felt rather forced. Thankfully John and Robin make no unrealistic declarations of love, only a tacit agreement that they want things to continue between them, which wasn't entirely satisfying since I didn't feel much of an emotional connection.
I think there are two reasons why I liked this novella a little better than the other one by Ms. Davidson that I read. The first is that, while I still didn't find the heroine to be particularly relatable, I did like her a bit better, because she isn't quite as abrasive. The other reason is that the one sex scene didn't completely fizzle for me. Now as I said, though, I didn't feel much of an emotional connection between them, so it really is pretty much just sex. It happens the same day they meet each other with virtually no build-up to it, but somehow it seemed a little steamier and more to my liking. I didn't however like the lack of protection. Even though John mentions it, Robin simply bushes it off, saying she's on the pill and assumes he not riddled with disease. I know this is a fantasy, but in real life, careless assumptions like that could potentially be disastrous, especially since they'd just met and had no idea if the other one was trustworthy.
Intellectually, I know this novella wasn't meant to be taken too seriously, and I'm certain there are readers out there who would get a kick out of it. Even I admit that it was mildly entertaining, but I just don't think I have the right sense of humor to fully appreciate it. At least the writing itself was pretty solid and more readable than I've found in some other stories, but overall, My Thief was simply too unbelievable to be fully enjoyable for me. My Thief can be found in the anthology, Perfect for the Beach.
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