THE LOVING DAYLIGHTS
by Lynsay Sands
Avon reissue December 30, 2014
April 26, 2011
Book provided by publisher for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.
Shy Jane Spyrus loved gadgets. She could build anything B.L.I.S.S. needed in that international organization’s fight against crime—although its agents weren’t exactly queuing up at her door. Some of them thought her inventions were a little too … well, innovative. Like her shrink-wrap prophylactic constraints, or her spray-on truth serum. But they just didn’t recognize the potential of her creations.
Of course, you couldn’t use wacky inventions to fix all your problems; Jane knew that better than anyone. Her neighbor had been kidnapped, driving that point home. She would have to team up with another human being—and Abel Andretti arrived just in time. He would help Jane find her neighbor, stop the evil machinations of tall Dirk Ensecksi, and most of all he would have to show her how to love the daylights out of something without batteries.
My editor at the time heard I was considering doing contemporaries. He was interested in doing a series of female James Bond type spoofs and asked if I’d be interested. I considered it for all of fifteen minutes, and poof! Jane Spyrus appeared in my head. She’s more a female Q than a James Bond type. Her specialty is gadgets, but when she lands in the middle of a James Bond type incident, she manages to survive and even to catch the bad guy and save the world with the help of the hero Abel Andretti.
At times this book felt really silly, with its Bond movie names and female slant on the whole hot guy-spy thing. Other ties, under the nonsense there was a story about the lengths we go to out of loyalty, told with a real sense of humor and, most definitely, tongue in cheek.
I enjoyed trying to imagine all the characters as they are presented in their more or less ridiculous tableaux. I am sure there are a good many spy gadgets on the market and Lynsay has the humorous idea to make them look like sex toys and feminine hygiene products.
Until I realized the story was intended as a strictly comedic spoof on Bond, I was appalled that Sands would sink to such lows as giving the characters such ridiculous names; homonymic: Jane Spyrus (Spy-r-us) Dirk Ensecksi (Dark and Sexy) and Ira Manetrue (I remain true). They still felt silly and since I have always thought that was a very silly part of the Bond franchise, it really helps to lay out the spoof.
While Bond and his pals get up to some sexy Bond hijinks, they are not nearly as funny as all the Bondian events that Sands uses to enhance her satire right down to that waterproof whatever it was that Bond landed in the water with. The story does move slowly in some areas, setting up the house and spy equipment and it takes a while to get to the romance which I found lukewarm. This is one of those times where the sex doesn’t really do anything for the story.
This story is light, funny, a little sexy, and I don’t think it is a good as the rest of Sands’ work. Let’s face it it is a bit silly, but is that a bad thing. Sometimes we want a silly book to read as a mood lifter or a distraction. If you need a funny light read, say for a flight or car ride, this might work for you.