Bait & Switch
Darlene Gardner
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Bait & Switch

Darlene Gardner
Love Spell
352 pages
October 2002
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Cary and Grant are identical twins, but that is where the similarities end. Grant, who goes by the nickname "Mitch", is a cop and an altogether model citizen, whereas Cary likes to live life dangerously; naturally, this attitude often gets him into trouble. This time he’s in really big trouble, and with his usual aplomb, Cary skips town and dumps it all in Mitch’s lap. Mitch reluctantly agrees to switch places with Cary and work undercover to catch a criminal and try and save his twin. And so the "bait and switch" begins, and things snowball in a wildly spectacular fashion.

One look at the girl his brother’s dating and Mitch knows he’s in deep trouble, for heiress Peyton McDowell is one blonde bombshell he can’t take his eyes off of. But Peyton thinks he’s Cary, and Mitch is in a big dilemma as he finds himself uncontrollably attracted to his brother’s girl. Other aspects of Cary’s numerous jobs, some humorous and some dangerous, leave Mitch floundering. Meanwhile Peyton, who was on the verge of breaking up with Cary, finds herself wholly captivated by the sudden and vast change in Cary’s attitude and begins to fall in love with him. Meanwhile, without a single care in the world, Cary goes to Key West, where once again he takes the easy way of making money by transporting suspicious cargo. He also meets and is utterly bowled over by Leeza, who’s had a massive crush on Mitch since they went to high school together and now mistakes Cary for his twin. So Cary’s stuck pretending to be his twin. However, even the worldly-wise and sophisticated Leeza is not who she seems to be. Read this highly tangled romantic comedy and sort it all out.

Darlene Gardner has tried to re-work the magic of Shakespeare’s immortal "Comedy of Errors" in Bait and Switch, and she does succeed -- to some extent. The book's drama and action mostly revolve around the feelings developing between the two main couples. Sensuality abounds and plenty of pages are devoted to it. The humorous moments are the highlights of this book. But overall, this mistaken-twin theme has been so overused that it really doesn’t hold much surprise or allure. This is good for some light reading and maybe a smile or two.

© 2003 by Rashmi Srinivas for Curled Up With a Good Book

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