Go to Homepage   Karen Lee: Cupid.com


Crescent Blues Book ViewsLeisure Books (Paperback), ISBN 0-505-52482-1
Cupid.com tells the story of Chloe Phillips, a young and not-very-experienced business woman. Her late father's will gave Chloe two years to prove that she could make her venture capital business succeed. With only two months left, and her business on shaky ground, Chloe remains desperate to find her one perfect investment.

Book: karen lee, cupid.com
Enter Cupid and his demi-god-side-kick, Milo. Under the pressure of a bet, Cupid creates a computer program called E-Cupid to prove he can use modern technology to make true love blossom and wedding bells chime. Using the pseudonym E. Rose, Cupid gives Chloe a prototype of E-Cupid. As the program derives its power from a god rather than computer code, it works -- sort of. E-Cupid shows Chloe her true love, A.J. Lockhart, but she soon discovers that her brother hired A.J. to analyze -- and potentially shut down -- her struggling firm. Further glitches entangle Chloe in a very unwanted love triangle.

The idea behind this novel provides plenty of opportunity for fun, romance and adventure. Unfortunately, the novel seems to suffer from a disease not generally found in mass-market publications -- a lack of good editing. I can't fault Lee. She put together a fun story with a lot of potential. Writers, so completely involved in the story and the characters, may not be able to see problems that an editor brings to light. I suspect that she never benefited from the support and advice of a top-notch editor, who could help to fix the disjointed conversations between the principle characters. They constantly re-hash the same ground. A good editor could suggest replacements for too oft repeated phrases and awkward sentence structure, and point out the plot gaps and misconnections, helping Lee create a more cohesive whole.

A good editor could fix the Cupid/Milo debacle -- or should I say "void?" Cupid seems to suffer from a strange personality disorder. He behaves quite civilly in private but when he meets Chloe he becomes rude and disrespectful for no apparent reason. The god presents himself at the very beginning of the story, then disappears leaving Milo in charge of E-Cupid. What a great opportunity for mayhem and demi-god misadventure! Unfortunately, Milo remains completely invisible and silent -- even though Chloe tries desperately to contact him. The sidekick's silence wastes another prime opportunity to bring in some Milo generated humor. Neither Milo nor Cupid re-appear until the very end.

Reading this story I came away with the distinct impression that I held a work-in-progress rather than a finished product. I feel that with some good scrubbing and re-work this novel could shine. If this were an electronic publication, the problems could be corrected relatively easily. Since it originated in New York, I doubt we will have the opportunity to read a new and improved version.

Heather Firth

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