Friday, October 13, 2006

Juice Me Baby One More Time

Back to books finally. Unfortunately, this is not going to be a pleasant journey.

The Basics: Hot Night by Shannon McKenna, the latest from one of Brava's hottest authors.

The Plot: Abby Maitland is sick of dating losers. So bye-bye "bad boys" who deplete her checking account and wreck her cars, hello high class guys who know how to order wine and are snappy dressers. Enter her fabulous gay friend, Dovey (swear to God, how come the FGF can never have a name like Bob or Mike) who is fixing her up with guys who meet her criteria. Naturally they're all duds, but interestingly enough the girl doesn't get a clue.

Locking herself out of her apartment she calls our hero, Zan Duncan (honestly now, Zan?!) who is a locksmith and part-time computer guru (which means that while he's a "bad boy" he has money so rah-rah). He shows up, dispatches the latest blind date from hell, unlocks her door and the double entendres begin.

Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows, is the one-dimensionally evil bad guy who wants to steal The Pirate's Horde - an exhibit of sunken pirate treasure soon to be on display at the museum where Abby works. Nothing will stand in his way, and soon a dead body shows up.

The Good: Zan is suitably hunky and charming for the first third of the novel. That's all I got.

The Bad: The suspense thread here is way over the top. I mean, pirate treasure for cripes sake? Still, it could have been campy fun.

The Ugly: This is where the bulk of this novel fell for me, and I blame it all on the heroine. Seriously, I would have gleefully throttled Abby if I had the chance. She runs so hot and cold over the course of the story I got whiplash. She keeps pushing Zan away because he doesn't fit her criteria for the perfect man. For his part, he's persistent - cajoling her, being charming and witty, he damn near begs after a while. Then just as he's about to throw up his hands in frustration and declare it a lost cause, here comes Abby playing all hot to trot and putting her mouth on body parts that would surely send a mixed message to any guy.

But does that stop them from having the same argument over and over again? Of course not, and after a while I couldn't figure out what they were fighting about. Abby wants him, then she doesn't. Zan wants her, gets frustrated, then gets jealous jumping to conclusions and behaving like a Neanderthal. The dead body shows up and Abby somehow manages to get more annoying. They have hot sex, then instead of basking in afterglow, argue some more, declare their "relationship" hopeless but then keep bumping into each other.

Honestly, my head hurts just thinking about it.

And what the hell is up with McKenna and "girl juice?" Swear to God, she used it in the dreadful Return to Me as well. This time out it's, "He fell to his knees and shoved her thighs apart, putting his face to her muff. It was already puffy and slick with copious lashings of girl juice."

Lashings? I'm getting Mutiny On The Bounty images here. And girl juice? Say it with me now - Ewwwwwwwwww. Take a shower sweetie. I'm not sure what girl juice is but I'm thinking it's something that will go away with a little soap and hot water. This is the kind of laughable drivel I have to endure when I'm reviewing.

Just all around bad here folks. I'd place it on the same level as Return to Me, which I pretty much hated as well. I have Out Of Control still lying in the TBR. Please for the love of pete, someone tell me it's better than this one.

Final Grade = D.


Rosie said...

Well, we really parted ways on this one! I liked this book as a guilty pleasure. Different er...strokes I guess.

Wendy said...

This would have worked as a great guilty pleasure read for me if not for the heroine. She annoyed me from the moment she started harping on about her "List." Zan starts out very, very yummy - but Abby was just too much for me to overcome....

Still I read it in a couple days - so maybe my slump is over? We can hope anyway....

Karen Scott said...

Wendy, I totally agree, read this one on hols, and I have to say, Abby was the worst of her not-so-great heroines so far.

Like Rosie though, she is a guilty pleasure, but I don't understand why she continues to write about assholic neanderthals and binty whinging ho's.

I hated both characters in this book.

Kristie (J) said...

Hmmm - one good review, one bad review. I'll be interested to see if I fall on the plus or the negative side of this one.

Amie Stuart said...

LOL that's as bad as Cream!

sybil said...



that sucks... Hope I fall in the rosie camp.

~ames~ said...

EWWWWW I'm not buying this one and not going to read it. Blah.

LOL Thanks Wendy-I appreciate you having to go through that. :P