Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lose Myself In Your Kiss

Contrary to popular opinion, not all secondary characters in romance novels need their own stories. They just don't. But in the case of HelenKay Dimon's books - well, they do. Whatever that magic ingredient a secondary character has to have to snag a reader's attention, hers seem to. So when I got around to reading Holding Out For A Hero earlier this year, I found myself turning into a squee'ing rabid fangirl hoping that Eric Kimura (yes, Asian hero alert!) would get his own romance. In Impulsive, Eric gets the girl, although she's not exactly the girl anyone would ever imagine him falling for.

Eric is at his ex's wedding (see: HOfaH) when he catches a waitress making eyes at him. Before you can say, "My ex screwed me over and not in a good way" he's doing the dirty deed with Katie Long in the nearest restroom.

Ahhhh, romance! But honestly, hotter than hell. Just sayin'.

Complications naturally abound. Eric is running for political office (prosecuting attorney), and even though his ex just got married, there are plenty of rumors that they're sneaking around. Enter stage left, Katie, who was hired to keep an eye on Eric and see if the rumors about the ex are true. The plan did not entail having hot and steamy McLovin' with Eric in the bathroom, but minor detail that. There's also the small matter of Katie's checkered past and her 25-year-old "lifestyle" (as in, she was a total screw-up and is just now trying to get her life on track) to Eric's 37-year-old lawyer-running-for-political-office lifestyle.

See, I told you there were complications.

Impulsive follows the trajectory I seem to have with a lot of Dimon's books. Great dialogue, a yummy hero I wouldn't mind taking into the nearest bathroom myself, and a heroine that I don't start out liking all that much. It's entirely possible I'm being too hard on Katie. I mean, I was 25 once. Not as much of a disaster as Katie is, but she's young and hasn't had the easiest life. Bless her heart, she is trying. And just like other Dimon heroines before her, the longer I hang around Katie, the more she grows on me.

Eric makes this book for me. He's just as yummy as I remembered him, but the author doesn't fall into the trap of making him "too good." The guy has his faults. He sometimes says and does the wrong thing, when he really thinks he's doing the right thing. Honestly, there were moments when I thought Katie should have been more mad at him about certain things. But he's also a nice change of pace from many romance heroes. He's intelligent, reserved, and he's not exactly a demonstrative guy. Well, outside of the sex at any rate.

And that's sort of where this book stumbles a bit for me. Even after Katie grew on me, I'm not entirely sold on the romance here. First, there's the age difference (admittedly, an issue for me!). Also, Katie and Eric are so......different. That being said, I felt better about the ending once I got all the way through the book, because by that point I felt more confident that Eric wouldn't spend their entire lives together cleaning up after whatever mess Katie stumbled into. She figures it out over the course of the book, and so does he.

I didn't love this one as much as HOfaH, but I still found it quite enjoyable. If you're already a Dimon fan this new one has everything you've come to expect from one of her stories. If you're a newbie who is a sucker for great dialogue and drop-dead hunky heroes who talk and act like men? Yeah, what the heck are you waiting for?

Final Grade = B


nath said...

Ohhhh, I remember Eric! and now, I'm intrigued :P I was already wavering because of the fun cover...

Nice review Wendy :P

Rowena said...

Oh man, I want to read these books now. Must get them, thanks for the review Wendy!

Kim in Hawaii said...

Thanks for the review. It is ironic that the story takes place in Hawaii (yeah!) with a public official concerned about his electable image ... when Hawaii is engaged in bitter campaign ads at the moment!

I commend HelenKay for thinking outside of the box, especially with her Asian hero. I salute her for paying homage to her Hawaiian connections!

I met HelenKay back in March when she was visiting Hawaii and agreed to speak to the local RWA chapter (she also met with a readers' group). She motivated us to seek excellence and lovingly shared her special moments with her late ediotr, Kate Duffy. I cheered when HelenKay was recognized by RWA as the PRO Mentor of the Year.

The cover on this book is beautiful - a reflection of the beauty within HelenKay.

Wendy said...

Nath: Is it wrong for me to be jealous of a romance cover model? I mean, I would give up a kidney to have legs like that chick.

Rowena: HKD's backlist is sizable, and I think I've only read 5 of her books now? (3 of the Bravas, 2 of the Harl. Intrigues). I've liked all of them. Not a dud in the bunch yet :)

Kim: HK is full of awesome isn't she? She did my library's literary event last year and she was really fantastic.

HelenKay Dimon said...

Thank you for the great review! As I wrote the book I repeatedly tried to close the age gap between Eric and Katie, but it never felt right. In my head they were 25 and 37, so I finally relented and stopped fiddling with the ages. It's just one of those things my author brain wouldn't budge on. Stupid brain...

Kim - I am humbled and more grateful for your words than I can say. Your Chapter and readers' group were warm and welcoming. It was a privilege to talk with you all.

Wendy said...

HelenKay: Oh, I can totally see why the age difference ended up "sticking" for you. I'm not sure the book works on the same level otherwise. It just took me a while to warm up to the idea ;)

Plus, I think it adds to the whole "impulsive" thing. For once a title that FITS the contents of a story.

nath said...

LOL Wendy. Wrong no, but pretty useless. What I'd prefer is those hands on me :P