On Lifetime


Nora Roberts has written 170 books, which have collectively spent 632 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. If you lined up every copy sold, they’d stretch from coast to coast 11 times over.

I don’t care. I’m a guy.

I’m sure that among her millions of readers there are some male fans, and when I say some, I’m thinking 56.

It’s appropriate, then, that the Lifetime cable network, which women love only as much as they love chocolate and George Clooney, would translate four of her romance page-turners into films, airing on four consecutive Mondays starting Jan. 29.

“Every one of her books has a really relatable female character who is very contemporary and, like all women, is trying to find her way and is looking for love,” said co-executive producer Stephanie Germain, when asked by an ignorant dude (me) to explain the Roberts formula. “Many of them are career women, and along the way she usually stumbles into a murder or a mystery and has to get through it, find the solution and, hopefully, end up with the right guy.”

Hmmmm. Interesting. But can a viewer with only one X chromosome be moved by these adaptations?

I decided to venture into this foreign territory by watching the first installment, “Angels Fall.” (Any more than that, and I might have found myself booking time at a spa resort.)

Heather Locklear stars as a master chef who has witnessed a restaurant massacre and now questions her sanity after seeing what she believes to be a riverside murder. In between tragedies, she finds time to fall in love with a mystery writer, played by Fabio – I mean, Johnathon Schaech.

It’s easy to see why this fare is so female-friendly. The boyfriend is compassionate, patient, strong and looks great without a shirt. In other words, he’s a sci-fi character.

Dinner dates are conducted while surrounded by candles. Lovemaking (not sex – lovemaking) takes place in front of a roaring fireplace. Afternoons are reserved for nature walks. In the end, the woman gets rescued by the heartthrob, but not without proving that she can take care of business herself.

Then there’s the gorgeous setting: small-town Wyoming, where the morning mist sticks around all day long, wrapped around majestic mountains almost as stunning as Locklear’s figure.

Sorry. That’s the Y chromosome talking.

By the end, you might not be able to avoid getting in touch with your feminine side, whether you want to or not.

“If you’re married and your wife says, ‘We’re watching this tonight,’ there’s a good chance you’re watching it tonight,” said co-executive producer Peter Guber, the person behind such megahits as “Batman” and “Flashdance.”

Locklear had an even smarter response to why men should tune in with their significant others: “Just give women what they want, and we’ll all be happy.”

Don’t worry, guys. It’s not that uncomfortable a ride. In fact, I may even watch another Roberts movie all by my lonesome.

Now you’ll have to excuse me. I’m late for a facial.

Four made-for-TV movies adapted from Roberts novels will air at 9 p.m. EST on consecutive Mondays on the Lifetime cable network:

Jan. 29: “Angels Fall,” starring Heather Locklear and Johnathon Schaech.

Feb. 5: “Montana Sky,” with John Corbett, Charlotte Ross, Ashley Williams and Diane Ladd.

Feb. 12: “Blue Smoke,” with Alicia Witt, Matthew Settle, Scott Bakula and Talia Shire.

Feb. 19: “Carolina Moon,” with Claire Forlani, Oliver Hudson and Jacqueline Bisset.