May 2 2006
Dear Ms. Kent:
Call me Miss Late-to-the-Party, but this is the first book of yours that I have read. And maybe it is the first book because instinctively I knew we wouldn’t be a very good match. If you have visited our blog (and I don’t think that you have), you would have seen your book in the “now reading” section for about 3 weeks. I can safely say that is not a good sign. Note to authors, the longer the book cover stays up in the Now Reading section, the less likely we are writing love letters.
Your plot seemed simple enough. Your heroine, Georgia, is an antiques finder (which apparently is a cutthroat and dangerous business and would have been fun for me to read had you cared to elaborate on it). She is obssessed with clearing her father’s name. Her father went to prison for being responsible for failure of satellites and the sale of parts to others abroad. The hero, Harry, is a member of some special military unit that you created. SG-5 or something like that. You managed, in the first book, to let me know which of your past characters were married or together. Yeah. (I could care less but apparently your readers must be dying for this information).
The heroine is put in the county jail for a botched attempt at recovering a dossier that she is CONVINCED will clear her dad’s name. This is a dossier that her dad told her about but somehow he didn’t use it to clear his name, but she is SURE that there is exculpatory evidence there. You are requiring me to suspend my disbelief here at like page 3! Here’s where I put my book down the first time.
So I go back and read on. The heroine is picked up from the county jail by her super nice brother Finn who is always bailing her out. Super nice brother Finn and Georgia stop at a diner. Harry (aka Rabbit – btw not a terribly sexy nickname no matter how you spin it) is following them. He stops at the diner. A bad guy named Charlie shows up and says he’ll kill everyone in the diner, including her brother if she doesn’t go and get the dossier for him. She has 72 hours.
So off she and Harry go. Why she and Harry are let go, dunno. Why she thinks that Harry is going to be a help and she let’s him do all the planning? dunno. I lay the book down.
I return a few days later. I am trying to just believe, just go with the story. Everyone seems to like you. You write a damn funny blog. I am going to finish this book. I know something good is going to happen. Then I get the kicker. The heroine has this internal monologue:
The story of her father's wrongful incarceration and her determination to prove his innocence had been on the tip of her tongue before she had bit down. If Harry knew the truth of why she wanted the dossier, he would quickly figure out she had no intention of delivering it to Charlie Castro.
Then, no doubt, they'd get into an argument about the value of her brother's life versus that of her father's name . . .She really didn't want to go there with Harry. She was having too much trouble going there with herself. Finn would understand; she knew he would. As long as he was alive to do so when this was over–
WTF??? She is willing to sacrifice her awesome brother to clear the name of her dead father? What kind of shithead is this woman? I hope the bad guys off her. If I wasn’t reading this book on my expensive IPAQ, I would have thrown it against the wall. Instead, I close the file and practice breathing deeply. Rephrase and redirect.
Again, I talk myself into finishing the book. There doesn’t seem to be a whole heck of alot of concern about her brother during this 72 hour time period despite Georgia’s one or two thoughts about Finn’s well being. There were alot of pages devoted to Georgia’s What Not To Wear makeover. There were pages devoted to Georgia’s attraction to Harry. Harry’s musings over his awesome car. Harry and Georgia having sex. But not a ton of worry about the fact that if Harry and Georgia weren’t successful, poor Finn gets the ax. But then everything works out swimmingly. There was never a moment that Harry and Georgia weren’t in complete control of everything. The last 100 pages were very very dull.
I actually think I could have liked this story but for the plot problems I had in the beginning. I could not get past the very selfish act of Georgia’s in the willingness to sacrifice her brother for a cause she didn’t even know for sure was right. If she had used even half a brain cell would she question why it was her father never tried to get his hands on the exculpatory evidence? And then, when Harry gets the upper hand, Georgia’s obssession just melts away, ruining my idea of her as a strong woman. The prose was good but the plot wasn’t. C- for you.