Contemporary romance is not a genre I’m very familiar with. I deeply enjoyed “The Diary of Bridget Jones”, but that was because I can identify with BrContemporary romance is not a genre I’m very familiar with. I deeply enjoyed “The Diary of Bridget Jones”, but that was because I can identify with Bridget’s fear of dying alone, eaten by German shepherds or, in my case, very hungry English bulldogs. “Tangled Up In You”, on the other hand, doesn’t present such a bleak prospect for its protagonist. Maddie Jones (or Dupree, her pen name) is a true crime writer with a love for bath products and body butters. She moves to a town called Truly to write a book about the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death. She’s a tough and successful woman who interviews dangerous criminals for a living and is used to being on her own. Things, however, don’t go exactly as planned and she ends up falling for Mick, the son of the woman who shot Maddie’s mother.
As I said before, contemporary romance is not my first choice when it comes to finding new books to read. There are times, however, when you’re in need for something light and entertaining that doesn’t force you to think very hard, and “Tangled Up In You” did a great job fitting those requirements. This is pure, hot and steamy romance all the way through, beginning with the well-known instant attraction between incredibly good looking people, and the mandatory sex scenes that made me look back every few seconds in fear of my mom coming up behind me and thinking that I was reading porn.
The one thing that bothered me was the way that the plot, (the murder investigation) disappears in the middle. I was expecting some big reveal, a reason for me to care at all about the reasons that drove Maddie to that little town, but Gibson throws everything to the back of the closet to make space for the sex scenes that justify the “romance” tag on the cover. I was waiting for Maddie to be in a situation that called for her to put on her brass knuckles and SHOW US that she’s no scared little bunny in need of protection, but it never happened. Don’t get me wrong, even at her worst she doesn’t come off as greedy or shallow (well… except when she’s talking about food and all the reasons why she doesn’t allow herself to eat sugar), but the whole “my mother was murdered by a crazy woman” led me to believe that she was going to face a similar situation.
And what about the other characters? Meg had a lot of potential, but Gibson's way of dealing with her felt cheap and lazy. The rest are a bunch of stereotypes I couldn't care less about; I read this story less than an hour ago and I already don’t remember any of their names. Is this the rule for contemporary romance?????? Oh well. At least it got my mind off the Third Reich foreign policies, and that’s saying much given all the time I’ve spent this week reading and watching documentaries about it. ...more
I came across this collection while looking for “Southern Gods” on Amazon. At 99 cents it didn’t look as if I had anything to lose by giving it a tryI came across this collection while looking for “Southern Gods” on Amazon. At 99 cents it didn’t look as if I had anything to lose by giving it a try and what would you know? That little investment turned into a couple of hours well spent. The stories in “Fierce as the Grave” are short, twisted, and greatly increased my desire to read some of Hornor’s longer work.
“Verrata”, the first tale, takes place in futuristic New Orleans that is far from being ideal. Hornor takes ghosts to the next level here, and introduces lots of elements that were confusing at first but made “Verrata” memorable in the end.
“Heaven of Animals” is a mix between zombies and the Wild West. It was my least favorite, perhaps because I needed a few more pages to really feel something for the characters. If you happen to like zombies, however, this one is definitely for you.
“Bone China” is the story of two women, a birthday celebration and a family reunion. It’s by far my favorite tale from this book; it’s set in the South and the atmosphere really shines through the text, which just makes it all that much creepier.
In “Sneaking in” a small town kid learns that every action has a consequence. This tale marks the end of the collection and it left me wanting more, which I guess was Hornor’s intent from the beginning. The creepiness here, to me, lies not in the supernatural element, but in the protagonist’s system of beliefs, that justifies abuse as long as you can get away with it.
Overall, “Fierce as the Grave” is one solid collection, and if you have the time to spare, a great read. ...more