Judi McCoy: Wanted: One Perfect Man
Judi McCoy: Wanted: One Special Kiss
One Perfect ManAvon
(Paperback), ISBN 0-06-056079-7
In Wanted: One Perfect Man, Daniel Murphy hides a number of secrets behind his good-ol'-boy gas station jockey fašade. Six years ago, he kidnapped his son, Will, from Will's grandparents. The boy Will was the product of Daniel's affair with one of his graduate students, Rebecca. But Daniel didn't learn about the boy until just before Rebecca's death. She implored him in a letter to come claim the boy, but her father, a powerful judge, pulled strings to stop Daniel from ever visiting the boy. So after careful planning, Daniel snatched Will and left behind his beloved career as an astronomy professor. Now they blend in to the rural life of Button Creek, Texas, a tiny little town near the Texas-Oklahoma border.
In such a small town, outsiders stick out easily, especially when the outsider seems to be a beautiful young woman hiding a few secrets. Zara finds waitress work at Button Creek's diner, where most of the men in town come for food and to ogle her, Daniel included. She and Daniel hit it off immediately, but Zara fights her attraction to him because of her mission. Actually, she came from another planet with one goal in mind -- to become pregnant by a man named Robert Lotello.
Physiologically, her race seems very similar to earth humans, but genetic experimentation and cloning on her world left most men (and a number of women) sterile. Selected for this mission, the elders matched Zara to Robert and sent her to Earth to track him down and sleep with him. She would know him by a tiny tracking device implanted in him many years ago when he donated sperm.
After much searching, Zara finally realizes that her target changed his name, because her tracking device points straight to Daniel. She accomplishes her mission by getting pregnant by him, but her emotions get in the way. She falls in love with him, and he reciprocates.
But the course of interstellar true love doesn't run any smoother than the home-grown variety. Several outsiders show up in town. Two government agents posing as Texas transportation officials, seem very interested in her, as well as a photographer with a penchant for aliens. And then there's the mysterious Lerner, who flashes photos of a much-younger Daniel and Will around, trying to find the pair. Zara determines to finish her mission and sets out for an emergency rendezvous with the mother ship, but everyone seems to be chasing her, all for different reasons.
Wanted: One Special Kiss begins with the same premise: Heroine and alien Lila comes to Earth to get pregnant by a specific man. However, her planet's elders selected Lila's twin sister to be sent on the mission. Tired of always being second-best to Rila, Lila knocks her twin out and stows away, seeing this as the only way to escape the repressiveness of her home planet and family. Her plan: Get pregnant by Rila's target, Paul Anderson, then leave him and blend into human society like any other single mother.
Her task gets much easier after she spots a newspaper ad: Paul Anderson needs a nanny for his two-year-old twin boys, Rick and Teddy. Paul finds himself attracted to his new employee -- he even develops a mantra of "Don't grope the nanny.". The rambunctious boys also adore Lila.
She swiftly succeeds with her plan, but trouble dogs her heels. Some men in the town (mostly old, doddering retirees with not much else to do) create the Eastern Shore Alien Watch, convinced that aliens plan an imminent invasion. Lila humors them and joins the group, hoping to throw them off her trail. But a large trailer of "birdwatchers" also show up in town, poking around Lila's landing zone in the nearby wildlife refuge. The brusque behavior of these newcomers "alienates" most of the locals.
Although the general premise of the books seems a bit silly, Judi McCoy pulls off a pair of decent reads. Humor abounds, especially when the aliens try to decipher slang words or situations that didn't come up in training. The secondary characters add lots of spice to the plots, but both books contain one big downside. The emotional connection between the lead characters just doesn't seem strong enough. And although romance novels turn out the same 99.9 percent of the time, the specific how-they-came-together-finally could be spotted from very early on in the books.
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