"Not such a dead hero - not such an exciting story"

Working her way up through the restaurant business Rose Pisano has the dream of opening her own restaurant one day. She saves every penny she can from the cooking job she currently has but it will still take years before she has the money to make this dream happen. When she sees a job offer in the paper for a personal chef with the outlandish pay of $80 thousand a year, she has to apply even though she has never taken a cooking class in her life. Everything she knows, she learned from her Italian grandmother.

Having faked his own death, mega music star Declan McDonald has spent the last two years shut off from the world. His only "contact" with the outside world is his mother, the songs he anonymously composes for terminally ill children and getting frozen dinners delivered from the grocery store. One look at Rose and he knows he is headed for trouble, but hires her anyway because she is the only applicant that didn't run away before the actual interview.

Jane Blackwood has a very interesting story idea, and Rose does have a very humorous personality. Each chapter begins with a food item such as one would find on a menu, and some of them sounded pretty good. However, I have very mixed emotions on this book.

I actually think that the story itself is too long even with everything that is happening. The book introduces our couple, then they toy with each other, Rose in the kitchen... it dragged on. When Declan's cover is discovered and the media is all over him the pace of the story picks back up, but I didn't think it would be possible but the story actually started to drag again for me.

Even though Rose has decided she is in love with Declan, there is very little interaction between the two in person. I think this is my primary complaint with the story: for a romance, there is too much happening that doesn't involve Rose and Declan as a couple. To tell you the truth, I stopped reading this book and am not sure why I picked it back up to reread and finish.

Declan was unable to handle his celebrity status and in all actuality, I did not like him as a hero. He and Rose don't actually have a dating relationship, but they do have a consenting sexual relationship. As a person, he is a contradiction: to many things in a hero I don't like and yet he has this soft side that to me clashed with his personality and the person he presented to the media. It is his love of music that has him composing songs, and it is one song written for a prominent political figureheads dying daughter that brings about his discovery.

Unlike Declan, Rose shines in the media. She uses every bit of the celebrity status she has received to promote her restaurant because she now has the ability to open and if she plays all her cards correctly, succeed. She has a great personality and I really like the fact that she was willing to let Declan go even though it was breaking her heart. So she had the drive to also make her dream a reality.

So as I said, THE SEXIEST DEAD MAN ALIVE is an interesting idea. I'm not sure its worth buying, but it was a good book to read right before going to bed.

Reviewed by Cynthia Eckert \
Posted June 4, 2006

Reviewed by Cynthia Eckert
Posted November 22, 2006


Jane Blackwood started her writing career as a journalist. She worked for several small, community papers before covering crime at a Connecticut daily, where she discovered life can be cruel and doesn't often have a happy ending. Taking matters in her own hands, Jane decided to recreate a world where all women are successful and brilliant, all men are kind, sexy, and gorgeous, and every story ends happily. She likes this world much better.

Jane lives with her husband and three children in New England where they all strive to make certain Jane has her happy ending every day. So far, so good.


The Sexiest Dead Man Alive
by Jane Blackwood

Zebra Books
May 1, 2004
ISBN #0821776150
EAN #9780821776155
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