Wanted: One Perfect Man
Judi McCoy
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Wanted: One Perfect Man
Judi McCoy
384 pages
January 2004
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Wanted: One Perfect Man is not your run-of-the-mill romance novel. Yes, man meets woman and they fall in love. However, the woman in Wanted: One Perfect Man is named Zara. Zara is different than most women in romance novels. Yes, Zara is beautiful and she is destined to get her man, but she has a secret that separates her from any other woman on Earth, and she is certainly different than any of the other residents in the small town of Button Creek, Texas.

Curled Up With a Good BookSimply stated, Zara is an alien. She has traveled to Earth in the search for one perfect man. His name is Robert Lotello and he resides in Button Creek, Texas. The planet where Zara lives desperately needs males to revive their rapidly dwindling population. Through research, Zara and her fellow alien beings know that Roberto Lotello can father a son, and it is Zara’s mission to find him, get pregnant and return to her planet. The survival of her planet depends upon it.

Zara is beamed down to Earth and quickly secures a job in a small diner owned by a matronly, sassy woman named Lucy. Lucy also owns a small hotel near the diner, and she lets Zara live in one of the rooms as part of her pay for waiting tables at the diner. Lucy takes an immediate liking to Zara, who is tall, beautiful and sweet. Zara shares little about herself for fear of revealing that she is an alien from another planet, but Lucy does not pry for details. Like many other residents in Button Creek, Lucy assumes that Zara is running from the past and has relocated to Button Creek to start a new life. Most people assume that Zara has escaped a bad marriage or perhaps even committed a relatively minor crime and is on the run. Zara is such a refreshing change for Button Creek and all the male residents are so enamored with her, few people want to ask Zara for details. They are happy enough to see her smiling face each day in Lucy’s diner.

However, there are three men questioning Zara’s motives, and they are newcomers to Button Creek, too. Jack arrives in Button Creek shortly after Zara, and he claims to be a photographer on an assignment in the small town. He takes up a side job at The Washeteria, where residents wash their clothes and rent videos. Chuck and Frank are rumored to be from the Texas Department of Transportation and are studying traffic patterns in Button Creek, which is mysterious - Button Creek has no traffic because it is too small. These three men keep a close eye on Zara, and they spend a lot of time at the diner and appear to doing more than taking photographs and studying traffic patterns.

Zara works at the diner and is discreetly searching for Robert Lotello. The special gem-encrusted bracelet and earrings that she wears provide her with information about Earth, Button Creek, and the American way of life. She knows that Robert Lotello resides within one mile of the diner. As she tries to determine who he is, she cannot keep her eyes off of Daniel Murphy, a regular at the diner. Daniel is an astronomy professor who secretly relocated with his eight-year-old son, Will, to Button Creek after a huge custody battle over his son. Daniel now owns a gas station in Button Creek and he and his son live a simple life. No one knows about Daniel’s past, Zara included.

Zara and Daniel meet, and things are never the same thereafter. Their attraction to each other is undeniable and visceral in nature. However, they each have their own reasons for not pursuing a relationship. Zara needs to find Robert Lotello, and Daniel is reluctant to get involved with a woman because of his past experiences. Nevertheless, the pull that they have toward each other cannot be ignored, and they cannot bear to be without each other. Daniel’s son, Will, is equally enamored with Zara, and she is like the mother that Will never had. As their relationship evolves and strengthens, Zara is unable to forget that her planet is depending on her completing her mission for its survival. She is torn between her love for Daniel and her mission. As time runs short for Zara, she is forced to make a decision that will impact her life and the lives of others forever.

Wanted: One Perfect Man is original and entertaining. Judi McCoy does an admirable job of making the story as believable as possible. The interactions between Daniel and Zara are well-written and engrossing. At times, it is hard to believe that Zara is an alien because she seems so real or human. As the story draws to a close, the ending and the resolution of the story are dramatic and perhaps a bit overdone. However, when an alien and an Earthling fall in love, perhaps a dramatic ending is apropos. While this reviewer prefers romances that do not involve aliens, this book was entertaining and is recommended to those who enjoy romantic suspense and want to try a different type of romance novel.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Shannon Bigham, 2004

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