by Susan Oudot

May 1998
ISBN: 0-671-85470 4
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

There are no alpha males. Oh dear, did I say that? Yes I did and what’s more the romance police did not knock on my door, take me away and lock me up for blasphemy. This tongue in cheek satire is a wonderful way to while away an afternoon, especially if you want something different - even the main romance is a slightly twisted version of what you are used to.

The opening page of this book has an ambulance screaming to a halt in front of the offices of Virt-E-Go PLC to pick up the latest test volunteer for their new Virtual Reality project, a VR sex suit. This volunteer just happens to be their major Japanese backer and the last words out of his mouth as they take him away “Ahhh…my baws! My framin’ baws!”

Here is where the men totally lose all touch with reality and the women are forced to stand up and save the company. Our four main females are totally different from each other, so each has a different set of problems for Susan Oudot to parade before us. There is Patricia, efficient head secretary who is lonely and frustrated. Louise, gorgeous and totally hooked on one of the married rats she works with. Cynthia, she has brains and a secret life that would surprise everyone. Then there is Chastity, our pure and virginal 18 year old who is also the main player in the more traditional romance, of course.

This book is a totally offbeat look at love, sex, business and the traditional roles of males and females. We even have a rival company stealing the plans for the VR sex machine and marketing it themselves, which is a whole different story line. There is so much happening in this book, you can never have too many sub plots, and Ms. Oudot takes a dig at, well, everything. Nothing is sacred, and the scenes where they are trying to gather input, both visual and sensory, for their invention is very graphic.

This is a fun book and not to be taken seriously. If you are in a I’m-not-too-pleased-with-men mood then Virtual Love will definitely give you a laugh and proof that men really are weasels. The reason I gave it a 3 ½ rating is because even though it was fun it wasn’t a traditional romance, but it is definitely worth reading.

I’ll leave you with the words of the last person to try the VR machine produced by the rival company that stole the plans. “Ach! Mein balls! Mein balls!” Just about says it all doesn’t it? Happy reading.

Reviewed in April 2002 by Julie.

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