Loved it! Every chapter had something that made me laugh.
Not a fan of the cover, though, which (on the ebook version I got from Amazon) was obviously...moreLoved it! Every chapter had something that made me laugh.
Not a fan of the cover, though, which (on the ebook version I got from Amazon) was obviously just some images slapped together. I actually was horrified to see on the copyright page that a cover design company was credited for this design...it would have been forgivable if the author had cut and pasted it together herself. But the sales description on Ebookbub hooked me, the longer summary at Amazon reeled me in, and the story itself was good enough to make me speed read through it in two days on top of my own crazy writing schedule.
I really loved the initial premise of a mother of three also working secretly as an assassin. And I dearly loved the little "handbook tips" that introduce each chapter that took an already great story concept and excellent title and expanded on it. Really great device, and almost every single one of these "tips" made me either smile or outright laugh.
I wasn't as thrilled when the relationship between the heroine and substitute hubby devolved into a very Mr and Mrs Smith knockoff type of thing, as I thought the heroine really ought to grow up a bit and act more mature and professional rather than throwing cleavers and raw meat at the guy (not to mention a supposedly experienced assassin who claims to be big on planning really ought to have a little bit better impulse control). For me, these scenes came across as pretty darn contrived for drama and action's sake and earned more than a few eye rolls from me. I also groaned out loud when the ten year old son said they should see a marriage counselor, as this did not sound at all like anything either of my boys (ages 13 and 8) would ever say to me. But maybe this kind of dialogue is authentic for kids who grow up in a rich suburbia as described in this story? Having never grown up in a place like that nor raised my kids there, I wouldn't know.
However, I appreciated the twists that the author tried to work into the plot, even if they weren't hidden very well and were immediately obvious to me (that could be my writer mind's fault and due to my inability to "shut off the machine" when I read). And though the general ending was also expected, along with the cliffhanger hook to help sell the next book, the writing style and emotional detail made up for it by making it feel a bit more real even if the ending could be seen a mile away. I could tell the author put a lot of effort into trying to make the less than imaginative plot feel as authentic as possible with a lot of emotional depth that most spy thrillers don't even bother to try to show. Also, two very enthusiastic thumbs up and a big reader thank you to the author for taking the effort to include the million and one spy gadgets, spy protocol, and fashion tidbits throughout this story! These details made the story a lot of fun to read and helped me remember to suspend my disbelief and just have fun reading it.
So although the plot didn't surprise me in any way, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to others who are looking for a spy thriller from a female character's point of view with lots of action and romance and emotional depth (and of course anyone who liked the movie Mr and Mrs Smith!). And I've already got this author's Totlandia loaded on my tablet and all cued up for reading next.(less)